Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sri Lankan Tales - A Perplexing Moment in Dambulla
Sweat was trickling down my back as I finally conquered the several steps that lead to the hill where 5 caves have been carved from a stone hill. I was feeling a bit let down for having paid several times just to visit this site. It is beautiful, but there's a certain psychology involved in overpaying for stuff. The $50 Round Ticket that I bought from Anuradhapura a few days ago was supposed to cover for a Dambulla tourist fee. Yet upon arrival here, I had to pay for the cave entrance - another 1,100 rupees. I went to the loo and I had to shell a few rupees more. Then as I made my way up the caves - after an arduous climb - I had to once again deposit my shoes at a shoe rack, and guess what? More rupees!
In my country, people would take the streets and complain to the D.T.I. if malls fail to provide adequate amenities, such as "public toilets". In Sri Lanka, we pay for every little thing we do. They must have forgotten to charge us for the air we breathe.
When I got inside the compound - up the hill - the view was spectacular! Green trees spread as far as the eyes can see. I wondered where the town was because I couldn't see a commercialized area down below. There were 5 separate caves, with several buddhas inside each! A nice guy volunteered to tour me around, but I didn't have the time. I was in a hurry. Otherwise, I would have loved to listen to those little stories that Lonely Planet doesn't provide. I hope he didn't find me dismissive. But I somehow wondered if I were to be charged a few more rupees if he did "guide" me!
There was this small "temple" between the carved caves, but i didn't bother check it out. There were devotees on the ground chanting, and by the time they finished their piece, they stood up and went to the Hindu statues: touching them, offering flowers, and stuff. These people are indeed very religious, if "religious" is a term that can be applied to buddhists and hindus. I have always considered the same term as an entity within the Catholic realm.
I have my photos with me. One day, I shall show them here in this blogsite the way I saw the buddhas, the caves, the chanting locals, the copulating monkeys - haha!
I think I forgot to mention that several donation boxes were scattered all over each cave! All those fees - and they expected more donations! It's enough to summon the Gods for such seeming greed! But yeah, Dambulla is beautiful!
This is the Eye in the Sky!
For some strange reason, I can receive the "Comments" made by our friends sent through my email but when I approve/accept them for publication, they do not appear at the blog post. So here are a couple of comments from our friends:
Ever ( Pamatay Homesick ) : Pards, minsan error yung Eye in the Sky blog mo. Di ko mabuksan.;)Anyways, Kakaiba yung cieling ng Dambulla. Artistic!
Trotter ( BLOGTROTTER 2 ) : Hi Eye! It seems to be life... Pay, pay and pay till the end, and even after... ;). At least it was beautiful... Blogtrotter Two is showing some incredible rocks by the sea... Enjoy and have a great week!
@ Ever: I know, I get that a few times too. Ewan ko ba nagloloko. It might have something to do with the Neocounter. As for the caves, the walls have been thoroughly painted, kaya I am sure it inspires the artist in you.
@ Trotter: Pay, pay, pay. Stuff of life. Enjoyed your new post too. The seas look rough but dramatic.