Let me ask you something. When you’re on a work-related trip, do you feel a little guilty for wanting to sightsee? I know I do. But it's amazing how quickly I manage to get over the guilt.
Fortunately, I had arrived in Sri Lanka on a Sunday and had the whole day at my disposal, plus a half-day on the last day of the visit. And everyday, as soon as the meetings were over for the day, I would leave the hotel and hop on a tuk-tuk for a view of the sights. However, it rained sporadically and light conditions varied, so not all my photos turned out good.
It was very interesting to watch an amalgam of Buddhist, Hindu, Tamil, Christian and Muslim traditions and cultures in Sri Lanka. Hinduism and Buddhism flourished peacefully side by side in the country, as did Islam and Christianity. Indeed, I found temples, churches and mosques in close proximity, often sharing a boundary wall! Also, when I paid a visit to one temple, nobody bothered me. No offers of help to show me around, no asking for donations, it was the most serene environment ever.
The Ganga Rama Temple in Colombo is 115 years old and houses a vast collection of Buddhist art and scripture. It has the most exquisite wood and stone carvings and paintings.
(I had to lie down on the wooden floor to take these last two photographs.Sigh, the things I do for blogging!)