Monday, February 13, 2012

Luna Lakwatsera at Gangaramaya Temple

This month is quite busy for my little girl as we have been entertaining quite a number of Filipino visitors.  It’s actually a cool thing – I wouldn’t have expected to have quite a number of friends visiting Sri Lanka.  It’s not really on the average Pinoy’s list of must-go places… at least not yet and I do hope Pinoys will realize what a beautiful place Sri Lanka is, how very different (which makes it interesting!) and very similar it is to the Philippines.  But I digress.

T, A friend from University came this week to join C for a quick trip to Maldives over the weekend.  He had a night and whole day in Colombo to spare and I pulled out my “no fail” Colombo itinerary:

Day 1
Dinner at Gallery Café
Window Shopping (actual shopping for C) at Paradise Road Shop at Gallery Cafe

Day 2
Gangaramaya Temple
Lunch and (Window) Shopping at Barefoot
Hangout At The Apartment
(Window) Shopping at Odel (Colombo’s biggest mall chain)
(Heavy) Merienda at Gallery Café and Shopping at Paradise Road (shop at Gallery Café)

Gangaramaya Temple and Odel Shopping were the two things our officemates took us to during my first trip here in 2009 (for a conference) and I kind of got the idea there. 

Going into Gangaramaya Temple is free and you can basically take pictures everywhere.  If you wish, you may also make a donation for its various causes.  
Inside the temple
It has a “museum” and a collection of gifts from other Buddhist countries.  Museum in quotation because things are kind of just strewn all over with reason but without rhyme… it’s grouped together into similar items but a bit too disorganized for my taste.  In short it was not “manicured” but I guess that is its own appeal.

There was a huge elephant when I first came in 2009 however our driver told me the poor elephant died last year.  There is another elephant but it’s smaller.  I just got a little scared because it kind of “chased” us and I was wearing Luna.  It’s not the old big one but an elephant nonetheless!  Freak out moment!

Going around just be prepared to go barefoot as you have to leave behind your footwear to go into the temple and other areas.

Barefoot T
To cap it all off, I wanted my friend T to get the full “Temple Experience” and looked for someone who could give us the pirith noola, a thread tied around one’s right hand as a protection from bad luck.  Luckily we were able to get one and of course Luna girl too!

Luna and her pirith noola
And how did Luna girl like it?  Well she screamed her head off when we arrived (she was disturbed from her sleep) but quickly fell back asleep and kind of slept most of the way through.  I guess the temple gives some kind of relaxing vibes even for babies!  T observed that it is a place that is conducive for prayer and meditation.

the sleeping traveler

After the temple, we went to Barefoot for some window shopping (T didn’t like anything there) and lunch at Barefoot Café.  T liked the chill vibe which is elusive in Singapore (where T is based).  For some practical reasons, we hung out first in our apartment where we changed Luna’s nappy, had her afternoon feed and I had to give nanny/cleaner’s weekly pay.  After resting, we headed to Odel where you can find more souvenir treats.  Because T liked what he ordered when we went to dinner at Gallery Café, we headed back there for some merienda.  T also bought some pasalubong at the shop.

photo grabbed from T
That was the short itinerary we had for T which he said he enjoyed!  Yipee!  One satisfied guest!  Luna and nanay are happy hostesses with the mostess!

Gangaramaya Temple is at Sri Jinaratana Road, Colombo 2
Odel, 5 Alexandria Place, Colombo 7

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