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This sweet woman always stopped by to welcome me on my visits to the village. Ever stately despite an obvious lack of worldly goods. On Puja days she would come to the temple accompanied by her two grand-daughters, all of them dressed from head to toe in pristine white saris.
From inside the east gate at Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya, Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was still pretty dark at 0630 but light enough to get this exposure without HDR.
As the sun continues to rise it bathes the temple complex in warming light. In the left background is the main image hall. The frescoes in this one, painted by Somabandu Vidyapathyare, are extraordinary. To the right is the stupa or chetiya, as they are called in Sri Lanka. The building in the left foreground is part of the monks quarters.
Across the road from the main entrance the flower stalls have started to open and prepare offerings for devotees to purchase.
The first worshipers begin to arrive and circumambulate the Bodhi tree making offerings of flowers, incense and water before departing for work or school.
After making an offering of light using coconut oil lamps, some will set beneath the Bodhi tree and mediate, recite puja, and ask for help with a work promotion, better grades, the birth of a child, etc. Many will repeat this every day.
On Sundays, many hundreds of children in their white garments set in neat rows under the Bodhi to listen to teachings and practice meditation. On holy days, grandmothers will remain on the temple grounds all day.