RCPTA – Local Tour – 9th,10th 11th August 2014 – Somawathi Cahithiya, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Thalaimannar, Madu Church and Thanthirimalai.

The day dawned on the 9th of August 2014 to see a crowd of 92 people gathering at the main gate of Royal College Colombo. There were 56 members of the RCPTA and 36 comprising of their spouses and relations all set to embark on the local tour. The two buses took off from Royal College around 5.30am on that day. Mr. H.M.Dayaratne the busiest person on that day had all the work regarding the tour delegated to a group of committee members. Passing through the Katunayake expressway our first stop was at “Bravo 1” in Kurunegala to have breakfast. We arrived at Somawathi Chaithiya around 2.30pm. A kapruk pooja was arranged and all the people in the tour group participated in the pooja. A very late lunch was arranged for the group in Polonnaruwa at “Thidasa Arana”. As time was running out we decided to go direct to the “Hotel Miridiya” in Anuradhapura where we were to stay for both nights. After dinner we were entertained to a musical evening by our very own members who had a chance to exercise their vocal chords.

10th early morning after breakfast we started our journey to Thalaimannar. Polonnaruwa was not very much effected by the drought. But we saw that Anuradhapura as well as villages on the way to Thalaimanner was affected by the drought. On the way to Mannar we stopped by to see the Baobab Tree which had a diameter of 19.5 meters and a height of 15 meters. We arrived in Thalaimannar around 12.00 noon. The first batch of our tour group was taken by boat towards the Adam’s Bridge by the Navy. After lunch the second batch undertook the boat trip. Everyone enjoyed it. On the way from Thalaimannar we arrived at the Madu Church. As the evening mass was on we were unable to go inside the church. But it was a beautiful sight.

After overnight stay at the hotel in Anuradhapura a Kiripidu pooja was arranged in the morning at Sangamiththa Aramaya near Thuparamaya by our member Mrs. Anula Balasuriya. Everyone made donations in cash and kind to the Aramaya. Our next stop was Thanthitimalai. It was an experience climbing the rock to worship the bodhiya and the dagaba. It was amazing to see the skills of the work on stone by the ancient sculptors where a huge reclining Buddha statue and a seated Buddha Statue(Samadhi Pilimaya) had been carved out of stone. Our lat stop in Anuradapura was the Sri Maha Bodhiya and Ruwanwelisaya. After worshipping these two sacred places we came back to the hotel for lunch.

On the way home in the last lap of the journey we stopped at the Puttalam salterns where a tea was arranged for the group by our treasurer Mrs. Ramya Dharmawardana and her husband. After that refreshing snack and a cup of tea we started our journey back home and arrived in Colombo by 8.30pm on the 11th August. Everyone had a very enjoyable tour.