Solo Trip to Sri Lanka - Day 13 (Anuradhapura)

My injury had made me weak and to some extent killed my enthusiasm. I woke up a bit late. I was running short of cash. So, I walked around few ATMs and finally found the right one. It was the Commerical Bank ATM that read international cards. Anuradhapura was different from all cities/towns I visited in Sri Lanka. Everything was pretty scattered here. So, I took a tuk-tuk and asked the driver to take me around the city.
First, I went to see the Sri Maha Bodhi tree. One has to remove their shoes/slippers before the entry. After which you have to walk into the temple from any of the four gates.
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The Sri Maha Bodhi is said to the oldest and longest-surviving tree in the world. It was planted in 288 BC. It grew from a branch taken from the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment and became known as Buddha more than 2,500 years ago.
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One gets to see a huge number of devotees coming to the place with offerings. Several of them tend to spend hours sittings by the tree and its whereabouts.
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Suggestion:  Carry a pair of socks, you would be requested to remove your shoes. The floor gets really hot and it's very hard to walk barefoot.
After the Bodhi Tree, I asked the driver to take me to Mahiyangana Stupa, is believed to be the site of Gautama Buddha's first visit to the country.
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Then, I went to a temple which had some 500 statues of monks meditating with Lord Buddha. There was no one there as it was too hot at this hour of the day.
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I roamed around the place. It was very peaceful. Even the tuk-tuk driver clicked pictures of the place. And we sat there for a while.
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We then headed to the Isurumuniya Temple. There is an entry fee to it. It is one of the oldest Buddhist temples of Sri Lanka. I was not wearing socks which made it really tough for me to roam around.
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I was hopping around the place with an injured knee. Also, it was extremely hot. But, I did tour the complete temple.
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I also climbed to the top from where one can see the whole city. It took me good 10-15 minutes to reach the top but I loved it there. I stood there for a while till my body regained its strength.
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While I was getting down, there was a family climbing up. Looking at my agony, they asked me why I was limping. I narrated the whole incident. They asked if they can see my knee. I said yes. Later, I found that 3 people in that family were orthopaedics. What Luck! They checked my knee movement and the prescribed me some medicines. They believed that I had suffered a ligament tear. I thanked them and headed to my last destination of the day.
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The tuk-tuk driver left me outside the Royal Park - Ranmasu Uyana. This place gave me shade from the scorching heat of the sun.
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This place has a rich history of the Senegalese empire. The ruins were once an ancient play area for the kings who ruled the country. Depicting the luxurious facilities and technology used in that era.
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If you are really keen in knowing the history of this place. I would suggest you take a guide.
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After all the roaming around the ancient city. I asked the tuk-tuk driver to drop me at a pharmacy near the hostel. I purchased the prescribed medicines and returned to the hostel.
In the evening, I left for the Anuradhapura Railway station to purchase tickets for my travel to Jaffna and a return ticket to Colombo from Jaffna. The ticket counter operates from 4 AM till midnight.
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While returning from the Railway Station, I went to this Chinese Restaurant for dinner. Had noodles and ginger beer. Returned to the hostel, did packing for the next day's travel. Then, went off to sleep.
Day 13 Expenses - 2850LRK (19$)
(a) Accommodation Lion Rest - 1500LRK
(b) Tuk-Tuk for going around the city - 1000LRK
(c) Entry Fee Isurumuniya Temple - 200LRK
(d) Dinner - 150LRK

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