7th December, 1935
Visited the ruins of Polonnaruwa – the original Temple of the Tooth. Here we saw the famous reclining Buddha (46 feet long and 8 feet high) hewn out of the rock face – of great interest to all Buddhists and archeologists. Then on to the Grand Hotel at Anuradhapura. Since leaving Kany we have left the hills and travelled about 110 miles through jungle – a decent road but single track and very narrow. Impressed by the poor quality of timber and the large number of ant-hills, three, four and five feet high. Throughout Ceylon the colour of the soil is light to deepest red. Our courier, Mr. Bell, leaves us tomorrow and we expect “Lala,” our Indian bearer, tonight, and Mr Beriff, the courier. After tea we visited the dagobas, “Mirisa Wetiya” and “Ruwanwelisiya”, built in 138 and 136 BC respectively. These dagobas are tremendous mounds of brick and earth peculiar to the Buddhist religion and in which are placed the treasures of the people as offerings to the gods. Then to the Sacred Bo Tree which was planted in 307 B.C and is still flourishing. The BO Tree is sacred tot he Buddhist, the leaf being heart shaped. Legend has it that Buddha wept and his tears created fertile soil, out of which grew the first Bo Tree. This was in Burma and all other flourishing Bo trees are said to have grown from shoots from the original tree.