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|Year and Month||April, 2011|
|Number of Days||One Day|
|Crew||9 including the boat rider (between 25-30 years of age)|
|Transport||Public Transport up to Aluthgama, then by Boat up to the Temple|
|Activities||Wildlife, Photography, Boat Riding and Trekking|
|Weather||Excellent – Bright Blue Sky|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
One of my friends, Kamal gave me this fascinating idea of visiting Pavuru Kanda Temple, which is located in Aviththawa, by boat and being always the travel and adventurous guy, I was immediately hooked.
Then I got 6 others and planned our journey on a Sunday. 3 of us set off from my hometown Nugegoda and reached Dehiwala around 8.10 am.
On the way we met one other guy in Panadura. Together we all reached Aluthgama around 9.30 am and joined 4 others.
Then we bought some bread (our friends had bought Fish and Polos Curry with them), plenty of water and some biscuits. They had also brought packets of boiled Jack with coconut sambol for lunch on my request. We called Kasun and met him at the pier of his hotel very close to Benthota Bridge.
We set off around 10.30 am which was a little too late for my liking. Along the mouth of the river and under the bridge we maintained about 20-30 km an hour.
On the way we saw fishermen and their temporary shelters.
We also passed a ferry service which runs across the Benthara River as there was no permanent bridge constructed as yet.
It was so hot and we had to put up the canvas roof and the cool breeze comes through mangroves kept us sane all along the journey together with some beautiful views. The mangrove looked simply gorgeous.
We also passed a tree with a very strange root coming out of the water.
We came across cormorants and monitors. Unfortunately however might Kasun tried, we couldn’t see a crocodile. (However we were lucky to see a little croc which is owned by a person who shows it off near the edge of the river on a different tour we went around the mangroves – That report to follow later on)
We kept nibbling at loaves of bread and pieces of Polos (my favorite) and fish. It was so humid and we drained most of our water nearly halfway.
Up the river we came up to the huge Bridge built across the river to make the Southern Expressway. At that stage, the highway was still being built so we came across some friendly-Sinhala-speaking Chinese workers who kept calling us “Hallo මචන් කොහොමද?”
From there we turned left and along a somewhat narrow canal like waterway, went further up and came reached our destination Mathugama-Aviththawa Road around 12.00.
We had to leave the boat there and walk about 1km up to the Entrance of the Hill which holds the temple and the famous cave complex.
The surrounding area was so picturesque and very remote even though it belongs to the Western Province. We reached the entrance to the mountain around 12.30 and immediately began our ascend.
At the entrance there was a Veralu tree and we managed to pick some ripe one and munched on them on the way up. It’s not so known and there weren’t any others except us.
The pathway was almost in ruins as there hadn’t been any renovation work done.
All around the thick forest can be seen. We saw a small cave and on the was was written in Sinhala “පරිසරය සුරකිමු”.
Up and up we went and finally reached a big rock with steps carved in it. It was so steep; there was a railing to support the people to climb up.
We met one of the monks who stay there. (There are only two and the chief monk was away that day). He was very friendly and told us that you there are snakes, hares and other animals live around the temple in the forest.
We reached the temple entrance and the board which gives you a description of the history of Pavuru Kanda and how the name Punchi Sri Pada was given.
We went it to the Pilima Ge Entrance, whose entrance has a pair of built Tuskers.
We saw a very old Bell tower and besides that the historical stone with the famous foot print and some lettering carved on the stone. This foot print was the reason for this temple to be called the Little Sri Pada.
The entrance to the interior had typical Makara Thorana like design and a Buddha Statue inside.
Behind that the Stupa can be seen.
There’s a communication tower a bit further towards the edge of the hill and the view beyond that was magnificent.
Then we went to see the cave complex which housed nearly 400 people.
We left the temple around 2.30 and came our way back to the boat and started our return journey. It was still very hot but we didn’t want the canvas roof to be put.
Around 4.30 we reached the Pier and came back to Colombo by 7.00 pm.
It was such a marvelous journey coz it was the first time I went on such a long boat ride.