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|Year and Month||August, 2010|
|Number of Days||Three Days|
|Crew||9 (2 to 60 years age) 2kids + 7 elders including 2 senior citizens|
|Accommodation||Kataragama village @ Kataragama & Little Rose Inn @ Wellawaya|
|Transport||Van (Nissan vannete)|
|Activities||Pilgrimage, Photography, Natural bathing and visiting historic & archeological sites|
|Weather||Sunny but little rain on last day|
Colombo/Veyangoda -> Talduwa ->Avissawella -> Ratnapura -> Tibolketiya -> Tanamalwila -> Lunugamvehera -> Kataragama
Kataragama -> Buttala -> Wellawaya
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
To celebrate their Ruby anniversary, my parents requested me to go on a pilgrim to Kataragama, with all the family members. Since they had already covered the long costal belt from Colombo to Kirinda recently, we decided to choose the shortest-cut bearing the risk to be “Ikman-Kotai”.
It was 7.30 am. Having less than an hour of drive we had stopped for the brake-fast beside a stream at Amithirigala, a village town in the western corner of the Kegalle District.
Our first travel location of the journey was not so far from Amitirigala. It was the tomb of the King Seethawaka Rajasinghe, located 2km before Talduwa.
At Talduwa itself, we met our second travel location of the day. It was the Berendi kovil. To reach there we had to travel nearly 100m along a narrow road, starting from Talduwa. The kovil was identified as the only evidence of rock buildings remaining in Kotte era. It was believed to be built by King Mayadunne (1520~80) and renovated by his son, King Seethawaka Rajasinghe since it was looted & burnt by Portuguese in several times. Since the kovil was dedicated to God Genie (Bahirawa), it was called as Berendi Kovil.
By 11.30am, we stopped at a popular bathing place where “Sudu ganga” met the A18 road in between Pallebedda & kolombage ara. Our crew had a great bath in the cool river water as like as willing to be dissolved there. As a result, it was 2.30 when we took our move leaving the river along.
The third travel location of the day was the historic temple at Sankapali. Because of the existence of the charismatic Devalaya (believed to be added in Kandy era) it was also known as “Kuda Kataragama”. Folklore said this temple was built by Fussadewa, one of the famous ten- giant heroes in the army of King Dutugemunu, hoarding his lucky conch shell.
In Kandy era, this temple was popular again due to Rev. Karathota Dharmarama Thero who was the author of the Bharatha Poem, an unmatched creation in Sinhala literature.
Our route was assigned across two sanctuaries. As a result, we were lucky enough to observe many wild elephants at the boundary of the Udawalawa sanctuary, and many small animals & peacocks at the Lunugamvehera sanctuary. The important thing was the road along the dam of the Lunugamvehera reservoir was opened for public then.
We were able to reach our destination by 6.30pm and could visit Kirivehera & Devalaya in night.
Day 2 :
This day was assigned as the leisure day of the journey. There were neither tough schedules, nor traveling long distances.
We reached Buttala after visiting Sella kataragama. In the next 20 minutes, we were at Yudhganawa, the next travel location of the day. This place was claimed as the place where the two battles of princes Gamunu & Thissa met each other, after the death of their father king.
The Sthupa at Yudhaganawa was holding a higher rank among giant pagodas in Sri lanka. The circumference of the pagoda was said to be 317m (1038ft).
Previously this pagoda was miss-identified as a Kota vehera. (Having a small pagada on a half bonded giant pagoda is the layout of a Kota vehera.) Most of the ruins at Yudhaganawa were belonged to 2nd Centaury. But “Chulanganee Viharaya”, the small pagoda existed close to the present car park was said to be built later, in 12th Century.
Since that was our leisure day as I mentioned earlier, we had time enough to have another cool dip for hours in the Manik River located in a distance of 500m there. Since the river was young, water of the same was clear and cool beyond our expectations.
It was almost 6.00 pm when we reached our destination of the day, the Little Rose Inn at Wellawaya. As we planned, it was a leisure evening for all the members of the family tree.
Use the following link for the balance part of the travelogue: – Journey from Wellawaya to Kaltota through the forgotten part of the A4 route.