Archive for the ‘Hinduism’ Category

My trips to Trinco and Batti in August were quick so I was only able to snap some pictures, not really enjoy my time there.  The beaches in Trinco are beautiful, and the city also has a special charm about it.  I’ll be glad to go back to explore more.  Similar to Jaffna, Trinco was also heavily impacted by the war, but is in the midst of making a recovery, in large part thanks to all of the tourists coming its way.

Koneswaram Hindu Temple


Nilaveli Beach at Dusk


Trincomalee Bay


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The predominant religion in Jaffna is Hinduism, but thanks to the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British, Christianity is also very prevalent.  There are some Muslims in Jaffna, but most fled as a result of the war, and they are only now slowly returning to the North.  There are some Buddhists, too, but most of the people who visit the main Buddhist temple in town are either Sinhalese Buddhist tourists or members of the Sri Lankan police and army who are stationed in Jaffna.

Large Hindu Kovils are everywhere.  I didn’t make it into any of the kovils in the North, primarily because they were closed when I was going around town, but I hate to admit, that kovils have become like most churches in Europe for me–you’ve seen a few, you’ve seen them all.  But they’re still fun to take pictures of because they are so different from what we experience in the United States.

New Section of the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple

Behind Nallur Temple

For a much better picture of this scene, take a look at the Al Jazeera photos from a few months ago.

At a Purity Ceremony

There are pretty churches all over Sri Lanka, but I think the ones in Jaffna stand out because there is often little development around these churches.

St. James

Inside of St. John the Baptist's

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Dance Trance

No, I’m not talking about Dance Trance–one of the latest fitness crazes–but along the way from Sigiriya to Kandy, we did stumble upon a random Hindu festival in a random city in Sri Lanka.  I wonder if this was a local festival just for this town as I wasn’t aware of any particular Hindu holiday?  But it was a cool site to come across, particularly the women who had danced themselves into a trance.

Dance Trance

White Hindu Temple. It's ornate simplicity is beautiful.

Pulling the Hindu priests to the temple.

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Before coming to Sri Lanka, I assumed Buddhism would be a theme that would dominate the country.  And it is.  But I have been struck by Sri Lanka’s religious diversity, too.

According to this Wikipedia page 70% of Sri Lankans are Buddhist, 15% are Hindus, 7.5% are Muslim, and 7.5% are Christian.  The page also says that a 2008 survey declared Sri Lanka the 3rd most religious country in the world “with 99% of Sri Lankans saying religion is an important part of their daily life.”  Interesting and I would say, fairly accurate.

I was in Hatton many months ago.  It’s a relatively small town close to Nuwara Eliya, but it’s got all four major world religions packed in next to each other.  This is not that unusual for many Sri Lankan towns, but the proximity of these institutions next to each other did strike me.

Buddhist Temple

Next to a Church

Across the street from a Mosque

Down the street from a Hindu Temple

On the way to Mosque

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Bali: Kuta Beach

Wrapping up Ubud, we made our way to the beach, specifically Seminyak and Kuta.  We had one night in Seminyak and one night in Kuta.  Rock Star in Dhaka appropriately compared Seminyak to Miami’s South Beach and Kuta to an Australian spring break.  I would say these descriptions are fairly appropriate, but it also doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy my time there.  Bali just knows how to do tourism.

Also, a shout out to the place we stayed in Kuta: Danny’s Homestay.  It is not too far from Kuta beach and it’s new (which means it’s clean!) and generally lovely.  You should go before too many other people discover it.  Right now, there is not even a sign to advertise it.

Keep Bali Beach Clean

White Sandy Beaches. But the sand is HOT!

Kuta Sunset

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Bali: Mount Batur

Also around Ubud is an active volcano: Mount Batur.  Fortunately, it wasn’t active while we were there.

Mount Batur. The volcano is on the left. Check out the lava on the sides.

Pura Batur Temple


Rice Paddy Terraces. Sarongs for sale. Luwak Coffee.

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And the tour of Bali’s temples in the Ubud area continues…..

First, Gunung Kawai.

Rice Terraces....And a long walk down to the temple. Which means a long walk up hill to get back to the car.

For some reason, this temple reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, even though I think that was filmed somewhere in the Middle East. Go figure.

Goods for sale.

Second, Pura Tirta Empul.

A Natural Spring that produces crystal clear water.

Praying in the Water

Sneaking a glimpse at me when he should be praying.

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