Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu; Sri Lanka; Kathmandu and... goodbye!

Since our last entry, David and I have moved quite a long way...

We spent a couple of days in Thanjavur, where we visited the Birhadeeswara Temple, one of the largest temples we've seen in our travels. We spent a lovely late afternoon/evening there, and the light was perfect for taking some pictures of this great architectural structure...

(Find Bici in the picture!)

We spent the next morning at the Thanjavur Museum, which holds a large collection of both stone and bronze sculptures. Below are some of our favorites. When possible, I would highly recommend clicking on the image to take a closer look for yourself:



(This was our most favorite piece in the bronze collection! It's a really soft, well proportioned, and overall beautiful Siva. The picture doesn't do justice to the sculpture, but at least it's documentative. If you are ever in Thanjavur, keep your eyes out for him!)

After two days in Thanjavur we returned to Chennai, took our last auto-rickshaw drive


...and took off for Srilanka, where we met with Margot, Tom, Ben and Ele. The following are a series of pictures from our one week stay in this BEAUTIFUL country. David and I really look forward to going back for more exploration.
(We were staying in a resort close to Tagalle, in the South of Srilanka. On our second day there we took off for an elephant safari. On our way there we saw these Giant Bats hanging out on a tree as the sun was rising. They were huge!)

(A family of elephants who spent quite a bit of time looking at us and posing for pictures. The tiny one was always somewhat hidden by the adult elephants :-)

(Our jeep and the landscape of the natural park we visited for the safari. Ele is standing in the background...)

(We spent 4 days in a beautiful resort by the beach. Above is a classic sun-vacation shot of David and Ele.)

(View from the resort's restaurant. Quite idyllic. It was really special to meet in this beautiful place...)

(Ele between her two guardians, David and Ben, who are shading her from the midday sun.)

We spent 4 wonderful days with our families, celebrated Passover, hung out on the beach, and just generally had a good time. When Margot, Tom, Ele and Ben left, David and I spent two more days in Srilanka. We visited the beautiful fortress/castle/Buddhist site of Sigiriya, famous for its frescoes portraying women from all around the world...



We were also able to quickly visit the ancient capital of Srilanka, Anandapuram, which used to be a very important center for Buddhism. Below are some images to give you a feeling of the location...


The two photos below will give you a sense of how similar the art in Anandapuram is to the work in Amaravati. We were told that during the time these reliefs were made, Sri Lankan artists were traveling to Andra Pradesh to learn from artists in Amaravati...




Anandapuram is also known for a beautiful moonstone (the stone at the footstep of a stair case.) I love how the animals on this one have worn out with time, giving them a real three dimensional feeling, as though they were shaded.


At Anandapuram we were caught in our first real monsoon! Below, omnious clouds before the drenching rain...


After Sri Lanka we quickly made our way up to Kathmandu, taking 4 planes in 4 days. Needless to say, once we got here we were a little exhausted. For more than a week now we have been planning our (now imminent) trek around the Manaslu Circuit. We are actually leaving in just a few minutes, after a full week of planning, shopping for food and equipmnet, getting permits, and other general organization. During the week, both David and I managed to get sick, but are now basically healed. Our trek will last 24-25 days, and won't be documented online, but I will be happy to share images and stories once we get back and, with many of you, hopefully in person. Thank you so much for participating in our travels by reading and writing- it has been a wonderful journey and this blog a special way to share our adventures.

Wishing you all much happiness,

Bici


5 comments:

  1. Beautiful blog, Bici and David.

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  2. Come on now Bici! You haven't added anything since April. Life continues, you continue. The journey isn't over. Check my blog - http://jeffwatt.blogspot.com/

    Later....

    --- Jeff

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  3. Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

    Hotels in Thanjavur

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  4. Nice post. Located in the the southerly state of Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur (Tanjore) is an ancient city rich in cultural and historical heritage. The historical city boasts of many hotels in Thanjavur for travellers.

    ReplyDelete