Tag Archives: #AccessibleTourism

DEVELOPING PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Traveling involves broadening the horizons of the personal universe, thereby increasing the ability to connect abstract concepts, such as experiences or situations that, when applied to everyday life, provide the solutions to many of the problems encounter every day. Therefore,  creating the “Self-managed Trips” programmes in which persons  with disabilities are actively involved in the entire organisation and decision-making process required to plan a trip, regardless of its duration, be it a month or only two days.

#Manique Gunaratne created the opportunity for a group of persons with diverse #disabilities to visit the Hatthikuchchi Vihara in Anuradhapura district in November 2021.

#Hatthikucchi Viharaya is a ruined ancient temple complex situated on the northern border of the North Western Province (Wayamba), in Sri Lanka.

The name ‘Hatthikucchi’ is a pali word meaning ‘Elephant Stomach’ This names has been given because of a large rock inside the temple complex which resembles an elephant.

There are more than fifty rock inscriptions have been identified on the vihara rock and its base, dating from 2nd to 9th centuries AD. Among them several inscriptions, called Vaharala, mention the freeing of slaves from compulsory service.

The Temple complex is considered to have been built by King Devanampiyatissa (307–267 BC) and one of the oldest Buddhist temple complexes in the country. Later for various reasons this complex was forgotten and by the time of king Sirisangabo this was covered with jungle.

It has been taken into consideration that this was the location where King Sirisangabo (251–253 AD) offered his own head to a peasant. Previously it was widely considered that this incident took place at Attanagalla in Gampaha district now most scholars have raised the argument that this must be the place that it really took place.

Main reason for this idea was that, in the story it says the peasant walked half a day from Anuradhapura towards the south where he met the former king Sirisangabo. Since Hatthikucchi Viharaya is only 38.5 km from Anuradhapura rather than Attanagalla which is 170 km from Anuradhapura there is a better chance this is the actual place the incident took place.

Supporting this facts there is a tomb which is considered to have the ashes of the king Sirisangabo. In this tomb the tombstone which is built from bricks resembling a human body have a granite sphere as the head piece since it was missing in the dead body.

Excavations are still under way at the site and more ruins are yet to be found which are covered with the jungle.

Way to the Entrance
Way to the Entrance
Stupa
Stupa
Description of the Temple
Description of the Temple
Group Photograph
Group Photograph
Surrounding Environment
Surrounding Environment
Ruins around the Stupa
Ruins around the Stupa
Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock
Ruins
Ruins
Entrance to the Stupa
Entrance to the Stupa
Description
Description
Stupa
Stupa
Surrounding Environment
Surrounding Environment
Environment
Environment
View from the top of the Rock
View from the top of the Rock
Environment
Environment

MANIQUE GUNARATNE
E-mail –
maniqueg@empfed.lk    
manique.g@gmail.com  


IMPROVING SELF MANAGEMENT SKILLS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Travel seeks to improve the self-management skills of people with disabilities in their daily routine, since the travelling and its planning are used as a tool to practicing in collaboration with the travel team to take a step forward. For example, emphasis is placed on the management of the finances available to the team for each trip, the creation of concept maps about “what, when and how to decide to participate in a leisure activity during the #travel ”, the preparation of materials adapted to people with diverse #disabilities. 

Manique Gunaratne created an opportunity for a group of persons with disabilities to visit the Ibbankatuwa Cemetery in Dambulla of Mathale district May 2022.

Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Cemetery (also known as Ibbankatuwa Proto-historic Burial Site) is an ancient burial site situated in Dambulla in Matale District, Sri Lanka. Extended in an area of about 13 hectares, the site comprises a large number of burials in cists made of stone slabs dating to the 7th century B.C. The cemetery is considered the biggest and the best-preserved proto-historic burial site in the country. 

The cemetery site is located on the left bank of the Dambulu Oya, a tributary of Kala Oya. It generally consists of stone cist type burial graves of the Megalithic tradition. The burial chambers are square and rectangular in shape and have been constructed by placing granite slabs vertically erected Several chambers were covered with capstones and some of them were visible on the surface even before the excavations. In 1984, surface explorations performed at the site exposed a few non-Brahmi symbols (pictograms) inscribed on three separate cist capstones 

Large and small clay pots containing human ashes were found placed inside the chambers. Certain clay pots were cylindrical in shape and smaller containers were discovered inside some of these clay vessels. Some tombs consist of multiple urns. A few pots contained minute bone fragments but none of the tombs contained complete or partial skeletons.

During the excavations, a large number of beads made of minerals such as clay, carnelian, onyx, agate were found inside the chambers. A majority of beads discovered in Ibbankatuwa are said to be exotics that originated hundreds of miles away in peninsular India. Cloth pins, bangles, leaf-shaped diadem, and metal objects such as iron, copper alloy, and gold were among the other findings of Ibbankatuwa. 

Pottery discovered from the site
Pottery discovered from the site
Burial garden
Burial garden
Inside the cemetery
Inside the cemetery
At the cemetery
At the cemetery
Team Members
Team Members
Group Photograph
Group Photograph
Items discovered from the site
Items discovered from the site
Direction name board
Direction name board
 Beads discovered from the site
Beads discovered from the site
 Beads discovered from the site
Beads discovered from the site
Pottery discovered from the site
Pottery discovered from the site

MANIQUE GUNARATNE
Blog: http://efcnetworkondisability.employers.lk/