Special Feature — THE FORGOTTEN TEMPLE: Dakkinagiriya & the Other Kaludiya Pokuna

A thousand-year-old ‘mountain monastery’, lost in the Kaludiya Pokuna Forest, east of Dambulla; forgotten by the tour guides, and seemingly by time itself. For the visitor seeking something literally off the beaten track, the Dakkinagiri Viharaya is an intriguing but serene detour away from the well-trodden sites of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle.”

The stupa of the 9th century Dakkinagiri Viharaya, with Erawalgala behind it.
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Lotus Eater

A tufted gray or Hanuman langur (Semnopithecus priam), supremely comfortable in his myth-straddling status, enjoys a floral tribute on the perimeter wall of the 2,100-year-old Mirisavetiya, in Anuradhapura. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines, in December 2016. My piece, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in February, the next year.

• 200mm • f/5.6 • 1/200 • ISO400 • 600D & EF-S18-200/3.5-5.6 • polariser •

Pelicans at Sunrise

The Beira Lake, Colombo. September 2022.

• 105mm • f/4 • 1/320 • ISO400 • Canon R6 & RF 24-105/4L courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.

Grouchy, Kumana

This chap wasn’t feeling very sociable on our visit to the Kumana National Park in May 2022. Seconds after I took this shot, he charged; our only warning, a turn of his head to look at us with both eyes. It took some quick reactions by our driver to get us away with no damage or injury.

• 200mm • f/5.6 • 1/800 • ISO400 •

Snake Eater

Crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) Wilpattu National park, Sri Lanka, May 2022.

• 200mm • f/5.6 • 1/60 • ISO400 •

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Two Little Peafowl Sitting in a Tree

A pair of Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) high up in the Welioya jungle. Northeast Sri Lanka, February 2016.

No Other Gods Before Me

Grey langur (Semnopithecus priam) in the ruins of the holy city of Anuradhapura. December 2016.

Safe in the Jungle

A Sri Lankan giant millipede (Spirostreptus centrurus) disturbed by my approach, quickly curls into a defensive ball on the rainforest floor. If anyone is wondering how big this chap is, if I had picked it up as it was (which I wasn’t even going to attempt), it would have filled my palm easily. Shot on assignment, close to Kuruwita, for Serendib, the inflight magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines. My photo story, ‘The Cave in the Jungle’, ran in the March 2016 issue.

Yam Hawk Moth #2-6

Yam Hawk Moth (Theretra nessus) #6 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com
Theretra nessus, on my window sill in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in July 2019. A couple of years ago, I posted photos of a much larger and more colourful specimen, but unfortunately that one was dying. I was lucky that this bugger was trapped inside my living room and was able to snap a few shots before he escaped.
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