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Rajagala Kanda is the home to one of the great Buddhist monasteries of ancient Sri Lanka. No much archeological work has been done here, giving you a truly remarkable feel of nature and history entwined together as tightly as the creepers and trees in this heavily forested Kanda.
|Year and Month||September 2009|
|Number of Days||3 Day Trip|
|Crew||7 adults between 35 and 45 years of age and two kids 6 and 13. There is some serious climbing and walking so both the kids and parents have to have the correct temperament.|
|Accommodation||Based in Ampara town, a small guest house – Rajawawe Lake Resort|
|Transport||We were in a Land Rover, but absolutely doable in a normal car, you can only drive to the base of Rajagala in any case.
Very easy by public bus as its not a long walk from the A27.
|Activities||Mainly trekking, photography, of interest: species of trees, birds, butterflies etc. history and archeology. At the end of the day…tank bath!|
|Weather||Very hot and humid, but most of Rajagala is heavily forested therefore shady.|
|Route||Colombo->Kandyà Randenigala à Andaulpatha ->Bibile -> Nilgala -> (Inginiyagala )-> Ampara -> Uhana –> Bakkiella à Rajagala.
We came back from Ampara via Siyambalanduwa -> Wallewaya -> Udawalawe -> Colombo
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
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I had read about Rajagala Kanda, and my cousin had visited it in the company of a monk and Home Guard some years back. Soon after the war ended, we headed that way. It was a long week end with unprecedented number of visitors to Eastern Province. But the route we picked and the sites we visited were all deserted, waiting for those who take the risk of not being sure where they are heading!
In an attempt to beat the traffic we left Colombo after work before the week-end started. No point. The traffic was bumper to bumper all the way to Kandy. It was almost mid night when we got there. Early start next day was not so early! We took the route around the Randenigala reservoir and Loggaloya reservoir and down to Bibile. Not going to sing the praises of this stretch as its pretty well known.
What we were exploring was the Nilgala route that runs along the northern boundary of the Senanayake Samudraya. Worth it. Every single mile. Highly recommended. If any one finds a place to stay or camp in this stretch please post. We want to explore this area, very good hiking potential. There are lots of historical sites in the jungle and on hill tops that can act as the target destination. We ended up at Namal Oya Wawe at dusk. It’s a hard place to leave.
Camping at Namal Oya wawe have been a wonderful experience, especially given it was a full moon night. But we had booked accommodation at Ampara, Rajawawe Resort, right on the ‘wane’ side of Wawe. When we were there, the water level was very low. The early risers in our group did a bit of bird watching.
Next day we set out for Rajagala.
We had asked around from a number of sources whether we needed to be accompanied, needed some kind of pass/ clearance. Some said yes, some said no, so we decided go and find out for our selves. As it turned out you are free to enter and explore.
[Map coming soon]
Turn off at the black Archeological Department sign near Bakkielle. The gravel road ends in a space that you can park your vehicle. Take the path to the right leading into the trees. I am sure there are many ways of doing it but we followed what seemed to be the clearest path up
The water source is under the large rock where the ferns are growing. There is no way you can access it directly. Someone has simply placed the metal pipe at the source and rested it on the ancient carved ‘jala pihilla’. The plastic bottle is ours. It was kept there for the photograph purely to complete the story. We blessed the ancient Sri Lankan who built this wonder in stone and the modern Sri Lankan who was thoughtful enough to add just a bit of modernity to get it functioning again but not destroy the feel of the place.