We woke-up from our slumber in the morning, since we went early to bed, we rose too early. After getting ready for the day, we came out to have a cup of tea (ceylon tea) or coffee. Coming out of our room, we witnessed a beautiful scene, a small hill atop it there was a Buddha statue. We enquired in the front desk of the city center (Kandy City Mission), who informed us that there is a tea shop just a little distance away.
Kandi is a nice place; we were not able to enjoy the beauty in the night, now we had a very leisure morning walk. The climate was very nice for a nice stroll. As I told already, it is very difficult to find a vegetarian eatery in Sri Lanka. Each tea shop or juice shop had some non-vegetarian item boiling or baked. We walked to the edge of the road, where there is a beautiful lake. People were busy early in the morning.
Next to the lake, there was this big Buddhist monastery type of temple type of palace (did you get the point). When we inquired about it, to our surprise it was one of the two important place in Kandi the Temple of tooth relic (of Buddha) (Dalada Maliga) and the other is a botanical garden (Perdenia Park). Since our destination is through kandi and not kandi itself, we had let these places in choice. But now since we were located just close to the entrance, not by our design, we decided to visit this place.
Before entering this palace, I should warn you, you need at least a day for visiting this place. It is a huge complex. From the outside, we may not be able to understand this, but entering the premise we will get an idea. The lawn itself is so huge.
We came to the main entrance we came to the counter, they charge money from the tourists, and is free for locals. We decided to go to the counter to keep our footwear, and enter the relic temple. But, just after removing it, we saw some temple structures; these are hindu temple structures, inside the compound.
We decided to have darshan of these deities before the relic temple. This temple complex too is of the same style as the kathirgama temple. Every sanctum is covered with a flex print of the deity inside. This may either be because of the destruction during the invasions, or maybe because of some other unknown reason. The priests in each of these temple chant mantra, probably without realising they are Sanskrit (one should understand the Sinhalese and tamil here has more Sanskrit, even in this they have similarity with kerala culture).
After visiting all these hindu temples in the complex, when we saw the time it was around 8.30 am, and our destination from here is Trincomalee (triconamalai or trinco as the locals prefer to call it). And our stomach is growling, so we decided to leave exploring this place for the future visit.
We came out and wandered the same street, in opposite direction, for a cup of tea. When we almost came to the other end, we were told about a vegetarian hotel in the next adjacent street, so went to the next street. Almost at the end of the next street, close to the lake, there was a hotel, as promised, we went in and decided to eat proper breakfast (In all the spy novels, invariably the hero says this, sleep when you can and eat when you can), we had our breakfast and coffee.
We came back to the hotel and packed our bags, came down to the grocery shop below, it is run by a tamil who is a nice person and was very helpful. After this we came to the bus stand, for our bus to Trinco.
We boarded a bus at 10.00 am and reached Trinco at 4.30 pm. The scene was very different. Srilanka though is a very small country, has a very varied topography. We had arranged a place for stay, through some friends in trinco. The place is Sivananda Tapovanam, it is an orphanage. This place was started way back in the 40’s by a Swamini Sacchidananda Saraswati, who was the first lady sannyasi initiated by Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh.
We were received from the bus stand and were taken to the place. After freshening, we had our late lunch. This is a very nice and good food that is prepared for the kids there. The home has strength of 76, and they are all studying in the nearby schools. The place is run by one of the trustees named Mr. Chandrakantan who was an assistant director of education, and therefore knows the value of education.
At around 5.30 pm the head of the institution had called an auto, and we travelled in it to Triconeswara Temple. This is situated in a fort built by the Portuguese, by destroying the old temple. One can imagine if the fort complex is so big, what should have been the structure of the temple. It is also the abode of one of the shakti peeta in the 51 peetas and the goddess is called Shankari devi inside the temple complex. It is a very beautiful place, with the sea surrounding the temple. We can have the view of the old temple which is immersed in the ocean. The Lord of the temple is Triconeshwara and the consort is Madumai Amman (Maadu – lady, Umai – Uma).
In the same complex is the place called Ravana Vettu, the story in the close by banner says that it is the place where Ravaneswara prayed to Lord Triconaeswara for a vision, when there was a delay in bestowing the vision, Ravana got angry and tried to displace (lift) the mountain from there, Lord punished him for this and to pacify Him, Ravana used one of his heads and the nerves to make a Veena (a string instrument like sitar), and sung Sama gana.
After this we went to the next place of interest called Kanniya spring wells. This is another place associated with Ravana, it is said that when Ravana was performing Tarpana for his ancestors (especially mother), he dug in seven places from where hot water gushed. Each of the spring water is in a different temperature. And it is said; the British or Portuguese tried to dig to find other springs in other locations closer but failed to do so. We took bath in this spring and returned to our place of Stay as our host had requested for a Satsang for the kids there. There is another ancient Ganapati Temple in the vicinity which was destroyed for reconstruction and the war situation did not give any chance for it. But by chance or design, this place now stands as something resembling a vihara.
We came to the Home around 7.20 pm and were ready for the satsang. I spoke about the importance of study and greatness of being a vegetarian for about 15 minutes, since I don’t want to trouble the kids in their dinner time. But, the kids thought otherwise, it was clear when they asked permission for asking some questions. They asked such beautiful questions, I was awe struck by their inquisitiveness. Around 9.30, we all had our dinner, in-between the host had carried the small kids for their dinner and that was a solace. After the satsang, one small girl surmised it in a very chaste tamil, I had to ask them if they understand my tamil, she, as I said later to her, started with summary of my talk and later gave her own.
One thing that our host brought to our notice needs a mention here, in the travel notes of the famous tamil author Ki. Va. Ja, he had said that the tamil spoken by the people of this region as chaste literary tamil. But I beg to differ, the tamil that is spoken here in this part is definitely better than that of the other parts, but the tamil these people speak and as they are proud of, is not chaste tamil but the form called manipravalam, which is the form of Tamil mixed with Sanskrit. Many tamilians will definitely not understand – “’bhavittal’ as used in ‘inda neerai kudikka bhavikka vendam’ or ‘bhavikkum murai’”. The best thing I liked is the way they say ‘yes’ – “omam” (sounds like om).