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|Year and Month||September, 2009|
|Number of Days||One day trip|
|Transport||Public Transport up to Gewilipitiya and a three-wheeler to Hathgampala|
|Activities||Scenery, Photography & HIKING!|
|Weather||Cloudy day with a on and off drizzle|
|Route||Colombo -> Mawanella -> Gewilipitiya -> Hathgampala -> Bibles rock ->Hathgampala-> Hathgampala-> Mawanella-> Colombo|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
Photograph courtesy: Crew members
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If you love Sceneries and want a one day hike Bible’s rock is a good place to be, we did climb this special rock few months back. It took us only 12hours to climb it and return back to Colombo.
Batalegala Kanda, situated in Kandy, and visible as you reach Kadugannawa Pass is shrouded in thick jungle from time immemorial. Today it is being transformed into a Buddhist place of worship. To the traveler proceeding from Metropolitan Colombo to Kandy, the magnificent spectacle of the rock stands as a colossus dwarfing the surrounding landscape. Batalegala Kanda rising to a height of more than 1688 feet is surrounded by its satellites such as Devanagala Kanda hallowed by the visit of legendary God Alutnuwara deiyo in the north east, Kaithankadagale and Urakanda hillocks and Montane Kanda, Wakirigala Kanda and Uthuwankanda from the north. Image Nature has gifted Batalegala Kanda with the panorama of cascading water-falls, luxuriant meadows and intriguing scenery. It is popularly referred to as the ‘Bible Rock’ by the westerners because it resembles an open book. Legendary Caves, old devalaya dedicated to god Suniyam and a drought-proof water spring in the mount seem to be god-given treasures. The proposed dagobo is to be modeled on the famous Kalutara Chaitiya. The access to Batalegala is from Mawanella. A right turn before the narrow Mawanella Bridge brings visitors to the rock.
We started from Colombo & went to Mawanella town packed ourselves with essentials and took a Aranayaka bus, after about 45minutes we reached Gewilipitiya town from there we needed to go towards Hatgampala(the road to the right from the 3 way junction).
There is a bus on that route but it would take a while to catch one so we got a 3 wheeler and went to Hatgampala, from Hathgampala there is a road to Bathalegala with a board saying 2.5Km to the rock (this road is motorable for about 1Km as I remember (they were laying concrete to the road & it was been repaired).
On the way we got our water bottles re-filled from nearby residents who were living on the side of the rock. After the last house that we came across the path was a steep 800m journey. First we had to pass a deforested area then there were few steps, from here onwards we had to climb on the rock surface to aid that there were steps carved on the rock. Last bit was a foot path that was not so tough.
We were at the top of the mountain and we were not alone when we visited. There were villages cutting “Mana?” to be selld to tea estates, as they said those are planted prior to planting tea to make the earth fertile!!!! After having a chat with them we were on the flat rock and we were joeys with the spectacular 360 degree view and the mind blowing breeze which almost blew away one of our friends who was 85Kg++ . Bathalegala also brought back memories of Pidurangala which had similar windy conditions.
The view on the top of the rock was awesome, you can see “Ura Kanda” (Where Minister Ashref had crashed his helicopter/Plane), Ahu Pini Ella, Ambuluwawa, Gampola town, Kadugannawa & etc. Simply the view was breath taking and the views of the paddy fields in the valleys were memorable once too. There is a small Sthupa and some caves for the monks on top of the rock, which were unoccupied. When we walked around we came across some remnant pillars of an abandoned cable car project.
There is another way to climb down (Towards Lambutuwa) but since we didn’t have time we came through the same route! I all most forgot we had a great four legged guide who showed us around. We did share our food items with him and at last said good bye to him and returned back with some great memories.