The Currency of Faith

The Currency of Faith by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com
Coins glitter at the bottom of an ancient well built into the base of the Medirigiriya Vatadage, a 7th century Buddhist relic house in north-central Sri Lanka. Shot for my May 2018 Serendib cover feature, “Circles within Circles“.

Land for Water

Land for Water by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com
Downtown Colombo from above looks like something out of Waterworld. The marine incursion of the Beira Lake in the foreground is reflected in the reclaimed land that will soon become the Port City. To the right is the Colombo Port. Shot from the top of the 350m Lotus Tower in March 2018.

Prayer Flags, Medirigiriya, Sri Lanka

Prayer Flags, Medirigiriya, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com
Buddhist prayer flags hang from the Medirigiriya bo tree in north-central Sri Lanka. The prayer written on one flag in Sinhalese asks that the individuals mentioned be protected from bad planetary influences. Shot for my May 2018 Serendib cover feature, “Circles within Circles“.

The Mysterious Medirigiriya Stupa

Brick Stupa at Medirigiriya, Sri Lanka #5 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com
This ruined brick stupa, sitting on the highest point of the Medirigiriya complex, is of indeterminate age. While the rest of the structures have been dated to the 7th century, and linked to King Aggabodhi IV of Anuradhapura, the origins of this dagaba remain unknown. Medirigiriya is believed to be the site of the lost Mandalagiri Viharaya, created in the early Anuradhapura Period, but if this stupa belongs to that era, there is nothing to indicate it. Several other unidentified dagabas still dot Sri Lanka, their origins often obscured by later constructions. Shot for my May 2018 Serendib cover feature, “Circles within Circles“.

Sigiriya from Pidurangala #8

Sigiriya, from Pidurangala #8 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com
Rising 200m above the plains of north-central Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is a volcanic plug, formed when hot magma shot to the surface of the earth and cooled, blocking the volcano’s vent. The resultant pyroclastic rock is much harder than the surface rock around it and, when erosion breaks up this surface rock over time, the volcanic plug is often left exposed in the form of a rocky hill. The neighbouring Pidurangala, from which this photograph was taken, is also a volcanic plug. Shot for my photo story on “Sigiriya and Pidurangala“, which ran in the April 2018 issue of Serendib magazine.

Sakkarai Pongal #4

Sakkarai Pongal #4 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com
A celebratory breakfast dish from southern India and Sri Lanka, rice and mung beans are cooked in coconut milk, sweetened with jaggery (sakkarai), and flavoured with raisins and nuts. Colombo, Sri Lanka. May 2018.

The Pidurangala Dagaba, Sri Lanka #4

The Pidurangala Dagaba, Sri Lanka #4 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com
Stairs lead up to one of four altars arranged around the stupa of the 5th century Pidurangala Viharaya. Built by King Kashyapa I of Anuradhapura when he moved his capital to Sigiriya, the monastery is also believed to be the site of his funeral pyre. Shot for my photo story on “Sigiriya and Pidurangala“, which ran in the April 2018 issue of Serendib magazine.

The Headless Buddhas of Medirigiriya #2

The Headless Buddhas of Medirigiriya #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com
Of Medirigiriya’s four image houses, only one still has its statues intact. In the others, every image has been beheaded, though whether this was by treasure hunters or foreign invaders is unclear. The heads of the statues are nowhere to be found; either carried away or smashed to bits in the search for hidden treasure. In front of the statues is a stone receptacle with compartments to hold different forms of offerings. Next to it is a small wooden replica of a stupa or dagaba. Most of the Medirigiriya complex dates to the 7th century, part of the late Anuradhapura period of Sri Lankan history. Shot for my May 2018 cover story, “Circles within Circles, for Serendib magazine.