Aukana Buddha Statue in Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Carrying evidence of the ancient glory of Sri Lanka, with its sophisticated culture that was nourished with Buddhism, the city of Dambulla has become one of Sri Lanka’s most frequently visited destinations. The idyllic environment and the soothing climate of the city make it a preferable stay for any tourist. Searching for a hotel in Dambulla, you will come across some good options ranging from village resorts to hotels such as Jetwing Lake. During your stay, you will have the opportunity to visit some famous attractions like the stone caves at Dambulu Raja Maha Viharaya, Namal Uyana, and Asia’s largest natural rose quartz mountain range.

One of the fascinating nearby attractions is the Aukana Buddha Statue in Dambulla, located in Kekirawa. Standing tall and gazing at the rippling waves of ‘Kala Weva’ lake reservoir with an eternally peaceful expression, this Buddha statue is an epitome of ancient Sri Lankan sculpture. It is carved out of a single large rock with a concentration so deep, and a determination so intense, that the rock has come to life in the hands of this unknown artist. It is seen that the delicate pleats of the robe have been arranged with such care that not even a real robe made of cloth can match its neatness and order. The posture of this standing statue is uniquely different from many of the other Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. The body is straight with the left hand touching the robe at left shoulder, and the right hand held up in Buddha’s ‘Asisa Mudra’ to indicate a blessing to the world. The statue is not entirely separate from the rock, providing a natural support along the back of it. At the bottom is placed a separate pedestal carved out of stone, representing the petals of a lotus flower.

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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Wong Tai Sin Temple – A Cultural Wonderland

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By Chong Fat (Own work (Self took photo)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Wong Tai Sin Temple is the most popular religious shrine in Hong Kong and is easily one of the most renowned religious shrines in all of Asia. The temple is devoted to three main religions in China including; Confucianism (confucious). Buddhism (Guanyin) and Taoism (Wong Tai Sin).

Located in the north of Kowloon towards the southern side of Lion rock, the temple is a major tourist destination of the country due to its magnificent depiction of Chinese heritage and as it is within the easy reach of most tourist resorts surrounding Kowloon or neighbouring hotels in Wan Chai, Hong Kong such as the Cosmo Hotel Wan Chai Hong Kong.

With a land extent of 18, 000sqm, the temple dates back to the year of 1915, when it was constructed in commemoration of the Wong Chupping. Legend has it that Wong, who embraced Taosim at a very young age, achieved enlightenment after years of intense practising and following the noble teaching. He is said to be immortal and to use his power and mercy to heal the wounded and the broken, rescue the dying and punish the evil.

The temple features a grand hall, the nine dragon wall, the Taoist temple and the three-saint hall. The main hall is adorned with imposing and colourful Taoist drawings and carving. It is built with traditional Chinese architecture and has a majestic golden roof festooned with blue bands, giant red pillars, and beige latticework. A manmade garden similar to summer palace in Beijing was built in the temple premises to celebrate its 70th anniversary in 1991.

The temple is often thronged with visitors enthusiastic in Chinese cultural heritage and worshippers seeking spiritual peace. Most worshipers bring offerings such as fruits, chicken, pork and incense for noble luck. The temple is festive with lion dances and fire dragon dances during new year, it is also considered good fortune to offer incense to Wong Tai Sin first in the new year, so you will often find worshippers lined outside the temple on new year’s eve.

The temple is also famous for Kau Cim, a method of fortune telling where you shake a bamboo bottle with numbered bamboo until the sticks get loose. Producing this at the fortune teller, you are able to get your desired advice.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.

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Sky Terrace 428 – Hong Kong’s Highest Viewing Platform

Hong Kong is often referred to as the New York of the East. A city that never sleeps. A breath taking sky line that lights up the night skies and even during the day the view isn’t too shabby. A great way to enjoy the vistas of the city from levels above is to go up to Sky Terrace 428. Located in close proximity to most hotels in Wan Chai Hong Kong it is a key tourist attraction in Hong Kong. Hotels such as Cosmo Hotel Wan Chai Hong Kong are located within easy reach and offer shuttle bus service to the Peak where Sky Terrace 428 is located.

On a pleasant clear day due to its height, which is just under 500 meters above sea level one can enjoy a great 360 -view of the magnificent city of Hong Kong, Kowloon and Victoria Harbor in between. This is a hot tourist spot as well as a great place to spend time with family. Sky Terrace 428, which is a platform located on top of the Peak is one that is great to watch all the skyscrapers shooting into the skyline of Hong Kong. Regardless of the time of visit, the views from the platform are mind blowing.

To make the most of the experience, the best is to purchase a Peak Tram Sky Pass. This allows you to enjoy the panoramic views from the Sky Terrace ad well as enjoy a ride on the famous peak tram. The pass also allows you to enjoy more of the peak experiences at a discounted rate. The tickets are sold at the tower itself or through appointed travel agents as well as at Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminal at a discounted price.

Even more, if you decide to have a party while in Hong Kong, the Sky Terrace also takes booking for parties. A great place to host social gatherings, businesses events – could be the highest party in town!

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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