Strange co-incidences happen, don’t they? After leaving The Girls with Mr. P., I spent the rest of the day and evening with a friend rather than go home to an empty house. Still at a bit of a loose end the next morning, I called Athulla and his three-wheeler to take me home the slow way – stopping to take photographs of my neighbourhood, and the new parks that are sprouting up in my part of town. Colombo used to be known as a garden city – perhaps it will be again.
Crossing the narrows of the Diyawanna Lake – the lake created from the swampy marshland of the Diyawanna Oya to become the site of independent Sri Lanka’s new Bawa-designed Parliament building – we arrived back in Kotte – my neighbourhood, once the last lowland Lankan kingdom.
Hundreds of photographs later, and too hot and uncomfortable to think of anything but a long cool shower – I laughed when I saw that this week’s photo challenge was to do just that – albeit with my phone. Well, if you’d ever seen what pass for photos from my old phone, you’ll excuse me using my regular camera – anyway, that’s what I had with me!
Crossing the narrows (you can see the bridge, top left) my route described a “v” following the Diyawanna Lake down to the Parliament Building and then back up to my house (top right).
The new Waters Edge Park is still under construction though already becoming a go to precinct, especially on the weekend when the weekly Mal Pola – plant market tales up residence under the swish new tents ( next shot)
Once a muddy field of rubble and weeds, the new park opposite the Parliament Road Roundabout is fast becoming a showcase for all things floral in the city.
Beyond the Mal Pola grounds, walking paths and an informal picnic place is particularly popular and magical at night.
The walking paths converge and end in a sprung surface for the kids to play – the lake on one side, and moated islands on the other
Moated islands are fast being reforested and will be sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife
The girls had found a shady spot!
Looking in the other direction – to the west, the more established shoreline plantings indicate how the eastern shoreline will look. Two tiny specks of orange (centre left) indicate the location of the temple road (next shot).
From the templs – looking back toward the opposite shore and the narrows (obscured, right)
The young mango tree obscures the narrows bridge
Looking through the trees from the temple road
Since the Parliament precinct will be the subject of a separate post at some stage, we swing by parliament and back up to the new Buddha statue at the next roundabout – part of a new park and reclamation project that’s being undertaken on my road.
Beyond the Buddha Statue, two tiny islands
After dredging a large area of clear water up through the marsh, work continues to construct a weir at the bridge
The newly cleared ‘basin’ behind the bridge will be a magnet for water birds. I saw a herd of buffalo grazing on the grass the other day.
Channels criss cross the wooded areas
A little bridge to the big island
it was terrific to see the new seating area under the trees was already a place to get together with friends
It was charming to walk with nature
The fruit shop opposite my lane
The podi kade was closed on Sunday
Further up the road, beyond the swamp, another aspect of my neighbourhood: Peaceful Pools of Tranquility
Weekly Photo Challenge – My Neighbourhood.