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|Year and Month||April, 2012|
|Number of Days||4 days (three nights)|
|Crew||8 (Two families, Three females and five males)|
|Activities||Visiting ancient archeological sites, Wildlife, Dolphin and Whale watching|
|Weather||Heavy rains on first day morning only|
|Route||Gampaha -> Divulapitiya -> Giriulla -> Dambadeniya -> Narammala -> Katupotha -> Panduwasnuwara -> Wariyapola -> Padeniya -> Thambuttegama -> Nochchiyagama -> Vilpaththu -> Puttalam -> Kalpitiya -> Puttalam -> Chilaw -> Negombo -> Home|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
We started around 5.00 am on old new year day and arrived at Dambadeniya around 7.00 am. Our plan was to visit Dambadeniya Raja Maha Viharaya and the kingdom. But it was raining heavily and we gave up the idea andproceeded further and came to Panduwasnuwara around 8.30 am.
King Parakramabahu 1, set up his temporary capital in this city during the 12th centuary. At the entrance to the site is a six meter wide moat(A canal filled with water which ran around the castle, protecting it).
There were more ruins scattered around the area. The circular area of ruins ‘එක් ටැම් ගේ’ are believed to be that of the high tower. Some believe that the princess Unmada Chithra was imprisoned here.
From Panduwasnuwara we headed through Wariyapola and Padeniya to another ancient kingdom, Yapahuwa. The last king of Dambadeniya era, King Buwanekabahu moved from Dambadeniya to Yapahuwa for security issues, during 13th century.
Yapahuwa is a huge rock fortress similar in concept to Sigiriya. This fortress is protected by two sets of moats, the outer moat and the inner moat.
The ornamental stone stairway is the most attractive show piece of Yapahuwa. These steps are narrow and very steep. This was a form of defense, the steps can neither be ascended nor descended hastily.
‘Yapahuwa Lion’ stone sculpture, the only ones of its kind in the country is seen on this stairway.The only other place where you can see this lion is the ten rupee note.
From Yapahuwa we came back to Anuradhapura road and proceeded towards Thambuttegama. Traveling about 4 KM from Galgamuwa junction we came to another ancient temple named Buduruwakanda. There were several caves and most interesting one was the huge Buddha statue which is 84 feet tall.
The trap rock is an evident of having a kingdom in this premises.
From Buduruwakanda we proceeded to Rajanganaya. The dam which is 4093 meters long was built across the Kala Oya in 1950
From Rajanganaya we headed to Wilpaththu through Thambuttegama and Nochchiyagama. We stayed at LLT Tourist INN
Next day early morning by 6.15 am we were at the park entrance.
After passing the Nelum Vila the driver stopped the jeep suddenly to see a leopard coming out from the jungle. It seems he preferred the road as he walked along the road for about twenty minutes with us. But never turned back for us to get a good capture. We went behind him keeping a fair distance.
From there we proceeded to Kudiramale. After passing Kali villu we met the old Mannar Road at Maila Villu where there was a Navy check point.
Few meters travelling on Old Mannar road we crossed to reach the new Manner road. It is sad to see the massive destructionscarried out by authorities in the name of ‘development’. Even a helipad had been constructed on new costal road.
From here we straight away proceeded to Kudiramale where King Vijaya landed to Sri Lanka, who was banished from North India. Vijaya has named this place as Thambapanni due to the peculiar red colour of earth in this area. The colour of soil is due to high content of Ferric (iron)
After spending about one hour at Kudiramale we started the return journey. We visited Kuweni’s palace and there wasn’t much ruins except for few pillars.
After about ten minutes drive from the Kuweni’s palace the tracker stopped the jeep as he spotted another leopard hidden inside a bush.
We switched off the engine and stayed for about fifteen minutes but he was unmoved. Our tracker said that it may be the same leopard that we saw in the morning, although the locations were different.
Then we came across a giant, but the moment he saw the jeep, started charging towards us and we quickly moved out. While the driver was raising the jeep we turned back to see the giant and he was still chasing furiously and his target was something else.
It was almost 6.30 pm when we reached the park entrance.
Next day morning we started moving to our next destination, Kalpitiya.
Anuradhapura/Puttalam A12road was in excellent shape. We stopped at two places on our way to Kalpitiya. The first stop was the Holcim Cement Factory at Palavi. You need to get prior permission to visit this place.
This is one of the largest factories of the country and it produce 70,000 bags of cement in a day. But still fulfills only one third of the country’s requirement. We had a full tour inside the factory and they demonstrated all processes, until a 50 Kg bag of cement comes out and loaded into the lorry. Photographs were not allowed inside and we managed to take few pictures from outside the factory.
From Palaviya we turned towards Kalpitiya and on our way we made a brief stop at Thalawila St. Anne’s Church. This is the oldest Catholic church in Sri Lanka.
Then we proceeded to Kalpitiya and stayed in a private houseat Kandakuli. Having a late lunch at 5 PM, we went to Kandakuli lagoon for a cool dip.
Next day we went on whale and dolphin watching. Owner of the boat was Francis, very helpful guy. But only weakness is he tries to get very close, whenever a whale is spotted. With great difficulty I managed to keep him at a reasonable distance. We sailed from Kandakuli lagoon.
Few interesting videos of Dolphins taken during this tour