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|Year and Month||April, 2012 (2nd – 4th)|
|Number of Days||Three days (Two Nights)|
|Crew||2 (between 28-30 years of age)|
|Accommodation||Siddhalepa Hotel, Gangulthenna (052-5671964 Contact Person – Ajith)|
|Transport||FTrain (from Fort to Hatton) / Bus (from Hatton to Nallathanniya) / By foot|
|Activities||Hiking, Photography, Sight-seeing|
|Weather||Excellent (however it rained a bit on the 2nd evening but when we started our journey on the 3rd moring, it was really good)|
|Route||Colombo -> Hatton -> Nallathanniya and return on the same route.|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
As usual, this was another all-of-a-sudden-I-wanted-to-go trip. For some reason or the other, beginning of March, out of nowhere, I felt that I must go to Adam’s peak as soon as possible. I still have no idea how that notion came upon me but I was pretty much obsessed with it.
So all of a sudden, I made early arrangements to visit it and came across this hotel which is around 1/3 of the way to the top, Siddhalepa Hotel at Gangulthenna. So I called and booked it for the last week of March and booked the Observation saloon too.
However, the other two guys who were supposed to come with me couldn’t make it so I had to cancel all the arrangements and boy, I was so disappointed and depressed. Then when I called one of my very good friends, he understood how badly I wanted to go there and we decided then and there to make it on 02 April. We chose it coz it was a Monday and Ajith at Siddhalepa recommended that we avoid heavy crowds at all costs and his advice came really true and helpful at the end. So it’s always good to listen to them as they know the situation better.
So on 02 April, early morning he and I met at the Fort station and as predicted, it was not so crowded. We bought some short eats and water and managed to get 2nd class tickets and two window seats which is a must coz the view is breathtaking.
The upcountry train journey is the best I’ve ever seen and it still is. We saw the famous Ambuluwawa Stupa around Gampola Station.
The journey was wonderful as always and we were passing lush greenery and beautiful sights.
Unfortunately, when we reached Watawala around 10.30 am, the train suddenly stopped and didn’t start. Then we realized that there’s a technical fault in the engine and it simply won’t power up.
Those M6 engines are nearly 40 years of age and made in West Germany.
Naturally they tend to break down due to lack of maintenance and thankfully we were at the station itself. Imagine if it was a steep part of the way, and the train didn’t have the power. The situation would’ve been unthinkable.
However, we were lucky enough to avoid all that. We made the most of the delay which was about 2 hours, by taking loads of pictures.
We could also take pictures inside the engine and I climbed up to the engine, which was a rare occasion, and took pictures.
There was also a Dakkuwa (Rail car) stopped at the station and I took some pictures with some funny poses too.
Around 12.30 pm, the replacement engine arrived and we once again set off and reached Hatton around 2.00 pm.(Canadian Built one, SL railway has 14 of these imported between 1954 and 1966 and they are the most successful so far. All the engines are still operational nearly after 50 years)
Nallathanniya buses are parked just outside the station (they usually run according to the Train arrival times) and managed to grab a seat just in time.
So without having time for lunch, we set off along another beautiful but badly in need of repair road uphill.
We could see the Adam’s peak on the way partly closed due to mist. Finally we reached Nallathanniya around 3.30 pm and went in search of “Mama Kade” as Ajith asked us to get the directions from them. It was around 3 km to Gangulthenna from there.
We had a coffee and some biscuits and started our journey uphill. We worshipped the huge Buddha Statue at the entrance.
Since I’m a light traveler, the journey was not so difficult. On our way, we saw a notice which is very gives some useful advice.
Then we reached the stone written Adam’s Peak (Sri Padaya). I felt so peaceful at once and content that finally I managed to make it happen.
So up we went with the blessings of Lord Saman. We reached the famous “Makara Thorana” around 4.00 pm.
Then passing a bridge, we reached the Hotel at last around 4.40 pm feeling ravenous
Unfortunately, Ajith had had to go to his hometown due to a funeral and his assistant Uditha was there to meet us. The hotel is just a very short distance away from the “Sama Chaithya” which we visited the following day.
He was really good and immediately offered to make lunch for us while we changed and had a wash. The room was welcoming, cozy and very comfortable. It also had hot water which was great after the tiring journey.
It started raining and I was wondering what to do if it would continue. We slept a few hours and got up around 8.30 pm and had dinner too (we didn’t have fish or meat throughout the journey).
Again back to sleep and got up around 1.00 and had a hot water bath. We didn’t want to carry a lot of stuff so we packed a bed sheet (coz I know it can be very cold on top and there’s hardly any shelter inside the halls), a water bottle and a biscuit packet (both my friend and me are not so worried about food that much).
Fortunately, Uditha had already asked one of the staff to make us some hot coffee just before we left. So after a refreshing start, we started the climb-up around 2.00 am.
The rain had stopped and there were a few puddles on the path but nothing too difficult. We climbed at a leisurely pace and stopped like every 500m for a very short break. You shouldn’t stop too long coz the muscles get cramped and it can be very difficult then.
Always keep the body warm and take very short breaks like 5-10 mins. The route was not so crowded and there’s plenty of light thanks to some charity work done by certain companies. There was hardly any chance for a picture as everywhere else was plunged in darkness, it had to wait till we started climbing down.
We reached “Seetha Gangula” in no time and the “Mahagiri Dambaya” started just after. It was really hard coz the path is very steep, at certain places about 60 degrees. Once we came across a nice butterfly some people call them “Salambaya” at a shop when we stopped for a coffee.
Passing “Indikatupana” up and up we went and finally we reached just below the “Uda Maluwa”. There’s a shop there called “The last hotel” (they rent out mats if you want to take with you to the Uda Maluwa halls to rest) and stayed there for about ½ hour as we had plenty of time to kill till the Sun Rise.
Actually the weather can be very misleading coz all the way up, it was not cold, may be we kept climbing up and didn’t feel the cold. However at the last hotel, we started to feel it really strong and took our time reaching the top.
Around 5.30 am, we climbed the last bit and entered the “Uda Maluwa”. Gosh what a feeling it was. I was overwhelmed by just being there.
This was my 3rd time so I went and rang the Bell for 3 times to mark the number of times I’ve been there.
Then we had to find a place where we could see the sun rise. The top was fairly crowded and all the waiting halls were full. So we went just below and found a corner where we could see the east.
However, I wanted somewhere more comfortable and I left my friend there and came up looking for a place to find the steps where you climb to the very top to worship the Buddha’s foot print was also crowded.
Fortunately, around half way up there was a bit of space, as I’m not big-made, I managed to excuse myself up there which had a marvelous view.
Then began the waiting time for the sun to appear. It was so cold but my attention was focused on the sunrise and I hardly felt it.
There for the firs time around 5.55 am, we got the first glimpse of the sun through clouds.
I was lucky to picture it step by step and at the end I had taken 35 pictures of the sunrise.
The sky turned into deep reddish orange and the view was magnificent.
Then the sun appeared slightly through the clouds.
You could hear a hairpin dropping to the ground as no one made even the slightest of noises.
Bit by bit the sun appeared.
Finally, the full sun came out. Dear me, what a marvelous sight it was.
Then they started the morning rituals (Buddha Poojawa) and then we sat and worshipped.
Then only the cold hit me. I was practically shivering and had to stand in the sun for a bit to make myself warm. Uda Maluwa was looking wonderful in the morning sun.
Then I took a pic of the shadow of the mountain itself.
The Sama Chaithya also was visible from the top and I managed to zoom in and take a pic of it too.
Around 7.30 we started to climb down. Then we met a special visitor who was on his way for breakfast. A beautiful bird (can’t remember the name, hope you’ll know with the pic) coming up the stairs. I managed to get a beautiful close-up of him too.
We then came down to “Bhagawa Cave”, where people in the old days used to shelter from strong winds and rain. It’s just around the last hotel.
Then we came down to the Buddha Statue at the Indikatupana.
I could see a very small waterfall on the way down too.
We reached the hotel around 9.30 am and had nice warm bath and Uditha had already arranged the breakfast. They also have foot massages and head & shoulder massages which are ayurvedic and herbal.
After about an hour’s rest, we went out again. There’s a big waterfall and a waterway behind the hotel. But there was hardly any water due to lack of rain.
There was a special Bell built close the the Stupa.
Then we went to see the Sama Chaithya. There was also a monument with Japanese letters.
After that we went back to the hotel and had lunch and got ready to come back. Around 2.00 pm, we left the hotel and came down.
We were initially planning on coming back to Colombo on 03 April. We reached the Nallathanniya Town and could see the Uda Maluwa and the mountain beautifully.
I wanted to stay one more day coz I saw a waterfall on the way about 2 km from Nallathanniya.
So we found a room nearby for Rs. 800/- and turned in for the night.
We got up early and left for the waterfall named “Mohini Ella” and on the way saw a small powerhouse built by a near by hotel.
Then we reached the waterfall and it was so beautiful.
The water goes under the Hatton-Nallathanniya road and joins the Maskeliya Reservoir.
We took a lot of pics and headed back to the hotel.
We left hotel around 11.30 and took a bus to Hatton. On the way, we saw the beautiful Maskeliya Reservoir.
From Maskeliya town, I again saw the Sri Pada Mountain.
We reached Hatton Station around 1.30 pm just in time for Colombo-bound train and got to Fort around 8.30 pm.