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|Year and Month||December, 2011(16,17,18)|
|Number of Days||3 Day Trip|
|Crew||9 (28 – 40 years of age)|
|Accommodation||Knuckles View Holiday Bungalow, Goomaraya, Bambarella|
|Transport||By a hired van and car|
|Activities||Hiking & Trekking, Explore some uncommon waterfalls, Photography, Relaxing|
|Weather||Rainy, Windy, Misty|
|Route||Colombo -> Peradeniya -> Katugasthota -> Madawala -> Panwila -> Huluganga -> Goomaraya and Return on the same route|
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
As many of you know Knuckles is a collection of 34 mountain ranges which covers part of Kandy and Matale districts in central hills. Its name is derived from its shape of a clenched fist, which forms a scenic wonderland. In Sinhala it says “Dumbara Kandu”, since it’s always covered by the mist. Most of the mountains are in 3000 – 6500 feet in height. Since we have been to Knuckles from Deenston, Meemure side and Riverston Illukkumbura side, this time we decided to explore knuckles from another side which is ‘Bambarella’ and hike ‘Knuckles’ mountain in knuckles range. And visit several uncommon waterfalls in the same area. It was a rainy season and we heard all those waterfalls are in full flow these days when we inquired from the people living in that area. But during most parts of the year those are not scenic like what we saw and that might be one reason for those waterfalls not getting popular like the others.
We left around 9.00AM in the morning from Colombo and our destination is Knuckles View Holiday Bungalow at Goomaraya. After Madawala the road is narrow, but view is breathtaking. ‘Huluganga’ is the last town that we passed. Actually it is a very basic town.
The specialty of the town is that there is a waterfall underneath the bridge right in the middle of the town. We stopped there and that is the first waterfall we saw during the trip. You have to climb down a little to visit the fall and it is a very beautiful waterfall which starts from Knuckles range.
With several stops in between we were able to reach Goomaraya by 4.00PM (usually it shouldn’t take that much of time). It was a bit difficult for us to find the bungalow since there were several turns. When we reached to the bungalow it was drizzling. Location and view from the bungalow is breathtaking. Right in front of the bungalow you can see the ‘Gombaniya’(1906m) mountain. Behind the bungalow there is another rock called elephant rock. Caretaker was waiting for us and warmly welcomed us to the bungalow.
Then we had a bath and relaxed after the long drive. There is a Pool table and Table Tennis in the bungalow and we had a good time with those. During the night we planned a BBQ with our usual music session.
We had to be awake till 2.30AM on the next day, because 2 of our friends joined later. They left Colombo around 8.00PM due to some personal matters. We were upset because during that time no one is there on roads to ask for directions, heavy mist, etc. However they reached the bungalow by 2.30AM. Then we went to sleep.
We all got up around 6.00AM in the morning and by 7.00AM we all were ready for the great ‘Knuckles’ hike.
We had breakfast in the bungalow and packed our lunch. We left by 7.30AM and there is a 30 minutes walk before starting the actual hike. But the climate was not satisfactory. Other than our crowd we got the company of 2 dogs who were there in the bungalow who lead us to show the directions. Both of them are used to this track and they knew the route very well.
Our first view point is ‘Knuckels’ falls which is about 10, 15 minutes from the starting point. It is a small waterfall and most probably you cannot see that during the drought season.
Since it is rainy season density of the leeches was so high which we never experienced before in previous hikes. Every 10 minutes we had to stop and remove more than 20 leeches at a time. It was a massive attack and it took another 3 weeks to cure those wounds.
Worse come to worst the rain started to fall during the last part of the hike – not only the leeches. Towards the peak the rain fall is quite frequent. Suddenly the entire area got covered by mist. It was really difficult for us to climb because of the slippery track.
Almost all in the group fell down at least once. With all these obstacles two of us climbed to the top and others decided to stay. Even though they went to the top they were unable to see anything because of the mist.
Once they came back we decided to climb down. Time was 12.00noon. Climb down is more difficult than climbing up on wet soil. Then again the rain started and it didn’t stop until we come to the bungalow.
By 3.00PM we were able to come to the bungalow. When we finished the hike we were soaked in rain and mud with bleeding wounds due to the attacks by the leeches.
Once we came to the bungalow we had a hot water bath and it reduced the tiredness of the hike.
With the tiredness of the previous day’s hike we got a little late to get up. By 8.00AM in the morning we all got up. I was in a corner room which has a clear view of ‘Gombaniya’ & Knuckels range. When I opened the window I could see the entire area covered by mist. That view gave a feeling as if the bungalow is situated in the sky. Breakfast was ready by 9.00AM and some of us played TT since we had some spare time.
By 10.30AM we all said good bye to the bungalow. Even by that time there was a little rain falls. But still our trip is not over. We had another 3 water falls to visit on our way back.
First we went to the Bambarella junction which is 15 minutes from the bungalow to visit ‘Depath Ella’. Some people say ‘Jodu Ella’. The reason is that the water stream is divided to two and falls like two water falls. Unfortunately we couldn’t go close to the fall since it was heavily raining. We visited that from road side and it was really nice.
Next fall is another 5 minutes from Bambarella junction which is called ‘Saree Ella’ which I never heard before. It was amazing. The fall is like a Saree of a lady. Since it is the rainy season the fall was full.
We spent around half an hour observing the beauty and taking photographs. We can go to the bottom of the fall and the pool is not deep like in other waterfalls.
Then we turned back to come home and there was one more waterfall to visit. It is called ‘Thaliya Watunu Ella’. It is at ‘Allakolla’ Estate which is 4Km away from ‘Huluganga’ town. We came to ‘Huluganga’ and took right turn towards ‘Alakolla’ Estate. It is a state Plantations Corporation owned tea estate and the roads were well maintained. Driving on that road gave a feeling as if we were in some other country. We came about 4Km and from the town and then we had a 15 minutes’ walk to the Ella. Shape of the waterfall is more similar to the St. Clair waterfall. Other specialty of this is behind the waterfall there is a cave and we can walk through that. Like ‘Sera Ella’ or ‘Doovili Ella’ in knuckles.
But we couldn’t go there because road was not clear and thousands of leeches were waiting for us.
Taken from Dinesh Deckker’s trip report. Thank you Dinesh.
After enjoying these three awesome water falls we turned back and headed to Colombo.