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|Year and Month||June, 2012|
|Number of Days||One Day|
|Crew||2 (between 28-30 years of age)|
|Transport||Public Transport / By foot|
|Activities||Photography / Sightseeing / Archeology / Amusement|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
After Yapahuwa trip I was so agitated to go see Dambadeniya too. Even though I’d been there before maybe 15 years ago, I still wanted to go and take some pics and see the place again.
So I hastily arranged to go there even though the www.accuweather.com (you can trust this website to give a fairly accurate report, I always use this) website forecast was slightly rainy.
We left Pettah around 6.10 am in a private bus and it’s really irritating as it crawls along the road and stops at every possible place. However, after all the entire hullabaloo we managed to reach the Dambadeniya junction and bought short eats to eat on the way. It’s about 500 m from the road to very famous Vijayasundararamaya.
Since it was a Monday, the temple was fairly quiet and hardly anyone was there. The old Dalada Maligawa was under renovation as its roof and the walls are almost tumbling down. So we were not lucky enough to see inside and the paintings.
The Stupa was built on a stage and it’s very rare to see something like that in our history.
There was a small Museum too and it had some wonderful sculptures but it’s prohibited to take pics so we couldn’t take any.
After about half hour we started our journey toward the Maliga Gala which is about 1 km away. As soon as we came out of the temple premises, there’s a Bo tree which is bent like an arm.
The sky was overcast and looked as if it might rain at any minute. I was even toying with the idea of not climbing as there’s no shelter there. However my friend insisted rain or shine we must continue with our journey as all our efforts would be in vain.
So we dared the weather and went on. We could see the Rock from a distance away above gorgeous looking paddy fields.
There’s a big garment factory near the rock and you need to take a left from there (this is a short cut which goes through some cashew trees). It will lead you straight to the entrance of the rock. There’s an office of the archeological department and apparently you have to go with one of them to the top. (I guess it’s so that those guides can make some money off you).
However we didn’t know this and went straight up. The steps were carved out of the stone and placed nicely. The climb was not so demanding but the halfway through you can see the lush greenery of the nearby paddy fields.
Around halfway through, the pathway is very suddenly at one point becomes so narrow, only one person can squeeze through it at a time. It’s said this was a safety measure in case of an attack.
Then we came on to a somewhat flat area which used to house the palace. The foundation and the marks on the rocks are clearly visible.
There are two ponds one is very small. The village people said when they work on the paddy fields, the water in the ponds gets muddy. Apparently it’s a sign that the water was pumped up to the pond on top of the rock.
Afterwards we climbed right on top and again the signs of a former building were visible. The view was breathtaking and we sat and had our breakfast there. (We brought every paper and polythene bags back)
After about half hour we climbed back and walked to the Dambadeniya town and just missed a bus to go to Pettah. So after about another 20 mins there was a bus which took us up to Jaela. From there we had to take another one to come to Pettah.
Air Force Museum – Ratmalana
As it was early afternoon, I asked my friend if we could go see Air Force Museum in Ratmalana. He as usual consented with no hesitation. Then we had one of the worst lunch I can remember from a place near Pettah Gunasena Book shop.
We took a 100 Moratuwa bus and reached Ratmalana around 3.00 pm. From there we had to walk about another 1.5 km to the entrance of the museum along the airport runway. Remember you can’t take pics of the planes taking off from the runway or the runway itself.
It was 3.30 pm when we reached the gate and bought our tickets (100/- each). As the museum closes at 5.00 pm we had very little time to see all of the displays. So we kinda hurried through the first bit, which had old helicopters and airplanes.
The collection was enormous; they had almost all the aircraft SL Air Force and Airlines used since World War II.
We even had a chance to get inside some of the big planes which in 1950s and 60s used as airliners when Ratmalana was our main airport.
It also had different types of engines used to power different aircraft. Some of them were for small turboprop aircraft and some of them were for jet aircraft such as Kfirs and Migs.
There was a nice area specially created for Kids and a walking area bordering a man made lake.
The LTTE aircraft which was shot down was on display along with some of the artillery and equipment damaged by air strikes.
Venerable MI-24, Bell 206, Kfir, Antonov-32B and Mig-27 were also on display.
They have converted a former Avro aircraft into a makeshift airliner and give an inside-an-airliner experience to the visitors.
Again you are not allowed to take pics of the air base which is next door separated by a grill fence. But you can take as many pics as you want inside the museum.
Inside one of the hangars, there were old vehicles such as armored cars, Benz cars and other motor vehicles which they used in the past.
They had also put up UAVs and other weapons such as bombs, rifles, machine guns, Anti-aircraft artillery, etc.
This is a place very close to the heart of Colombo yet not visited by many as they haven’t given enough publicity about this.
We left around 5.15 pm and dog tired having walked million miles from the morning. It was a hastily planned but very memorable journey.