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|Year and Month||2016 April 17th
2016 March 15th
|Number of Days||Two seperate days|
|Crew||Three-Indranatha, Nuwan and My self|
|Transport||Bus, Three wheel, Motor bike and climbing|
|Activities||Hiking, Sightseeing, Photography and Archeology|
|Weather||Excellent but ended up with heavy rain|
|Route||Polonnaruwa->Peradeniya->Paradeka junction (පාර දෙක හoදිය) in A5 road-> Doraboda (දොරබොද) Tea Factory-> Peacock Hills->Back to same route to Doraboda Tea Factory->Kadadora (කඩදොර) ->Kotmale (කොත්මලේ)|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Related Resources||1. Trip report on Scenic Peacock Hills (1518m)+ Kadiyalena and Galboda Falls
2. Travel with Chathura-Kotmale-For Historical information
3. Travel with Chathura-Mahaweli Maha Seya– For Historical information
4. “Kotmale Purawurtha” (කොත්මලේ පුරාව්රtත) -P.B.Kehelgamuwa-පී.බී. කෙහෙල්ගමුව
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
Peacock hills/Moneragala-මොණරාගල (1518m)
Moneragala (Not Moneragala in Uva province) is clearly visible in your right hand side when you travel from Peradeniya to Nuweraeliya at Pussallawa area. It’s the northern margin of the area called Kotmale which has cultural differences compared to other Upcountry population. This mountain has a historical value as Prince Gamunu-ගැමුණු කුමාරයා (later king Dutugamunu) has lived in Kotmale for 12 years in his life. He lived as a herdsman in this area and has gone to Moneragala Mountain with his poultry.
I have been there 3 years ago and this was kind of a revisit.
We started journey from Peradeniya around 7am. The mode of transportation was motor bike and had breakfast on our way from a Rotti stall. At Paradeka junction we turned to right hand side and drove towards Dorabada. The road towards Doraboda was bumpy over large area and Moneragala peak was visible with transmission towers in left hand side.
There was a Museum of tea pluckers but it was closed on Sundays. We reached Dorabada tea factory and got the road next to tea factory. Just before the end of the road we found the actual trail head which goes through Pinus patch.
Climbing of Moneragala Kanda is nothing. As you can drive up to great extent and rest of the hiking is about 20-30minutes uphill through Pinus plot.
Summit is occupied with transmission towers.
They have planned to build a stupa on the summit but it was not successful yet.
You can have panoramic view from top of Peacock hills: Ambuluwawa with Nawalapitiya town in a clear day, Dolosbage range with Kabaragala, Pussallawa town, A-5 road, Ramboda Falls, Garandi Falls, Kotmale reservoir, Piduruthalagala range etc.
After enjoying the view from Peacock Hills we drove back to Doraboda tea factory. Then turned to left hand side. Our next target was Mahaweli Maha Seya which was visited by me in two times before.
Mahaweli Maha Seya (මහවැලි මහා සෑය)
Kotmale project was initiated in 1976 and this stupa was made to commemorate all temples and stupa submerged by Kotmale project. (Around 18 temples were drowned under the project). They started constructions of this massive stupa in 1983 March 23rd but stopped in 1992. Again it restarted in 2000 and unveiled on 20th June 2016.
Kotmale Mahaweli Maha Seya is 289.5feet tall (4.5feet lesser than Ruwanweli Maha Seya) and second largest stupa of Sri Lanka.
This was built with the idea of former Mahaweli Minister Hon. Gamini Dissanayaka and chief engineer was Dr. Kulasingha. Mahaweli Maha Seya is built on 32 concrete bars and special feature of this stupa is the cavity inside it.
Then we went down towards Kotmale dam and view point and on the way we visited Dehadu Kadulla as well.
Dehadu Kadulla (දෙහදු කඩුල්ල)
Ancient Kotmale had four entrances: Kadadora-කඩදොර, Watadora-වටදොර, Niyangandora (නියන්ගන්දොර) and Galdora-ගල්දොර. Kadadora was the entrance from Ruhunu Rata and Prince Gamini also entered Kotmale via this gate. He hid his royal sword in the giant Nuga tree of Dehadu Kadulla.
Nowadays renovated Dehadu Kadulla can be seen there.
After viewing Dehadu Kadulla we entered the road between Ulapane and Thawalanthanna via Kotmale. The view point of Kotmale dam was just in front of there.
Kotmale dam and view point
The Kotmale project is one of five major head works projects undertaken under the accelerated Mahaweli River scheme. The rock fill dam created a reservoir having an effective storage capacity of about 174 m.cm. (141,000 acre feet) enabling regulation of a large proportion of the recorded mean annual flow of the Kotmale oya at the dam site. About 3000 families lost their homes and lands due to the construction of the reservoir. The Dam Crest Length is 520 m and the dam height 87m.
There are few reservoirs of Sri Lanka which have view points for public. Kotmale reservoir is one of it. Apart from view point there is a small museum to display the progress of Kotmale project. You have to get a ticket from here and walk/drive another 1km to reach the dam along the main road towards Ulapane (උලපනේ).
I have visited thrice at Kotmale dam when reservoir has less water as well as filled with water.
The entrance of the dam is situated about 1km down to the view point. Same ticket is valid to enter there and you can walk over the dam.
After visiting Kotmale reservoir view point we have moved along Pussallawa road to visit Kadadora Priyabimbaramaya temple.
Kadadora Priyabimbaramaya temple (කඩදොර ප්රිaයබිම්බාරාමය)
Kadadora ancient temple was submerged by water of Kotmale reservoir and reappeared in 2016 March. This was kind of major tourist attraction among locals. I also visited there in early part of the session (Luckily didn’t have much crowd).
They started to build this temple in 1897 and finished 1st temple in 1905. This image house was finished in 1934. Paintings of image house belong to Kandyan style. It was merged under the water in 1979 and new temple was established at Brooke side area.
After passing Kadadora, next area is Morape.
Morape Katharagama Dewalaya (මොරපේ කතරගම දේවාලය)
This place is not directly related the stories of Prince Gamunu but historically important and situated at Kotmale-Thawalanthanna road. You can see two Dewalaya for God Katharagama and God Vishnu. Annual Perahara is held on July month.
Ambagaha Pihilla (අඹ්ගහ පිහිල්ල)
Few bends after passing Morape Dewalaya we were able to visit at Ambagaha Pihilla. This is situated closer to the main road. This is also an ancient water spring where Prince Gamunu has bathed and number of Mango trees can be seen closer to it. This is at the bank of Kotmale reservoir.
We turned at Mawela to reach Mawela RMW and Na Gaha Pihilla.
Mawela Yathurugahuliyadda RMW (යතුරුගැහූලියද්ද රජමහා විහාරය)
Prince Gamunu has put the winnowing fan-“Kulla”-කුල්ල from Galapitagala (ගලපිටගල) to find out a good place for Kamatha (කමත). This is the place where winnowing fan has fallen and later a temple was built to commemorate this incidence. “Yathura” (යතුර) is another name for winnowing fan. The image house of Mawela temple belongs to Kandyan era and a branch of sacred Bo tree also can be seen there.
Nagaha Pihilla (නා ගහ පීල්ල)
This water spring is situated closer to Yathurugahuliyadda RMW. We passed the temple and followed the road in front of the temple. This is also a water spring where Prince Gamunu has bathed.
After visiting Nagaha Pihilla and Yathurugahuliyadda RMW we came to main road and reached next place: Ranamune Pihilla and Rajathala Wela.
Ranamune Pihilla and Rajathala Wela (රණමුනේ පිහිල්ල හා රජතලා වෙල)
Rajathala Wela is the paddy field cultivated by Princes Gamunu. This small paddy field is situated closer to Moneragala. Ranamune Pihilla is a water spring situated at this paddy field used by Prince Gamunu for bathing.
Still this water spring can be seen there and it is kind of a tourist attraction at Kotmale. If you walk about 100m above Ranamure Pihilla you can visit it’s origin under a rock slab.
We wanted to visit Pusulpitiya RMV next and got directions from villagers.
Pusulpitiya RMV (පුසුල්පිටිය රජමහා විහාරය)
This is kind of a major tourist attraction in Kotmale. Pusulpitiya RMW is situated at other bank of the reservoir. There is a nice story behind the name Pusulpitiya but not related to Prince Gamunu folks. (Refer the book). Prince Gamunu has visited at Pusulpitiya RMV during his life at Kotmale. He was identified as the new king by royal tusker when King Kawanthissa has passed away at Pusulpitiya RMW.
The last Arahath Thero of Sri Lanka-Maliyadewa Thero has brought four golden Buddha statues from his mother land-Yonaka country and distributed to four temples including Pusulpitiya RMW. The image house with two stories where Buddha statue is placed called Maliya Maha Paya.
Other interesting places are ancient Bo tree (branch of sacred Bo tree), Dalada Hapuwa (දළදා හපුව), Slab inscription, small stupa and sacred foot print.
After visiting Pusulpitiya RMW we connected the road which goes over Kotmale dam and reached the road to Ulapane. Ulapane Fool’s bridge was our last place of visit of the day.
Ulapane Fool’s Bridge (උලපනේ මොඩයගේ පාලම)
The bridge built over Mahaweli River at Ulapane has a special feature. It’s iron frame was constructed upside down. This was built in British colonial period and it happened as a mistake. They said the British Engineer has committed suicide following this. Later another iron bridge was built parallel to this. The new bridge can be seen in between two iron bridges.
Nowadays there are three bridges at Ulapane.
Thanks for reading