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|Year and Month||August 2016|
|Number of Days||2 days|
|Crew||5 People – Kanchana, Devinda, Sameera, Rukshan & Myself.|
|Accommodation||Camping at Pilkington View Point (Elevation: 4600 Ft)|
|Transport||4 W double cab|
|Activities||Camping, Hiking and Photography|
|Weather||Sunny, Windy at night|
|Route||Colombo -> Beragala -> Koslanda -> Punagala Estate -> Bandarawela -> Colombo|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Author||arwindshift (Amal Rajapakse)|
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have to taste our experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
After went through some trip reports in Lakdasun forum, finally we decided to visit this remarkable estate which locates in Banadarawela area. There are three ways to reach to this estate. First if you are coming from Colombo side, starting from Beragala junction on A4 road -> Koslanda Junction -> Punagala estate which is about 35 Km distance. Second if you are coming from Haputhale town on Dambathenna Road, via Lipton Seat -> Nayabedda -> Punagala estate which is about 21 Km distances. Third one is starting from Banadarawela town -> on Punagala – Koslanda road, to this estate it’s about 27Km distance.
-History of Punagala Valley-
This was established in 1890 by late Sir George Pilkington, the first Managing Director of Poonagala Valley Co. Ltd. It was consisted of 34 acres of tea, 118 acres of coffee and 80 acres of tea & coffee making 232 acres of cultivated land out of 289 acres in the whole estate. By 1895, Punagala appeard as a Group including Udahena, Lunugalla, Nahavilla (Koslanda), Diyaluma and Kitoolkellie with a total acreage of 2755 acres of which 1237 acres planted with tea.
The original Manager’s bungalow was situated in Punagala division and the 2’nd bungalow was built as lower Lunugala division. The present Manager’s bungalow was constructed in 1925. The original tea factory too was in Punagala division and in 1925 the new factory was built at the present site.
Punagala Group was we see today is well reputed, prestigious and the largest estate in the Uva district. Due to its recognition, the entire valley starting from Craig Estate on the Punagala/Bandarawela highway up to Punagala Group has been identified as PUNAGALA VALLEY.
– Places to Visit in Punagala Estate –
1. Nature Resort
2. Diyaluma Water Fall
3. Pilkington View Point
4. Millennium View Point
5. Manager’s Bungalow
(1) Nature Resort – Punagala Estate
This place is ideal for a family or group visit, where you can go with your people and enjoy your leisure time. This place consists with dining area, kitchen, bathroom facilities and with a natural swimming pool which can be accommodated for 20 people. This place belongs to Punagala Estate. You can do the reservation of this place by contacting Punagala Estate manager (Please check for contact details in this report). You can reach to this place by travelling 5 Km distance from Koslanda junction towards to Punagala side on Koslanda – Punagala road.
(2) Diyaluma Waterfall
Diyaluma water fall is 220m high and the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 361st highest waterfall in the world. It is situated 6 km away from Koslanda junction towards Naulla side on A4 road. This falls are formed by Punagala Oya, a tributary of Kuda Oya which in turn, is a tributary of Kirindi Oya.
You can hike to top of Diyaluma water fall from Punagala Nature Resort. This trail is a moderate one which has 6Km distance (up & down) from Punagala Nature Resort. In there you will be able see Diyaluma falls upper part too.
(3) Pilkington View Point (Elevation: 4600 Ft)
This view point was named by late Sir “George Pilkington”, the first Managing Director of Punagala Valley Co.LTD in 1898. This place has 200 degree of surrounding view towards to Wellawaya side. In a clear day you will be able to see Wellawaya, Katharagama, Kiri Wehera, Moneragala, Buttala & Udawalawe areas from this place.
There are two ways to reach this place. If you are coming from Colombo, from Haputhale on Dambathenna Road, via Lipton Seat, Nayabedda & Punagala, which is about 21Km distance from Haputhale. This is the most scenic road. Second if you are coming from Badulla side, from Banadarawela on Punagala – Koslanda road, to this place it’s about 27Km distance.
This place is belongs to Punagala Estate and currently it manages by Maskeliya Plantation. You need to a take a ticket from estate entrance gate if you are going to visit this place. But if you are planning to do camping or stay in this place at night, you need to take special permission in advanced before you go there and do it. Please see contact details in this report for more information.
There are wild Elephants roaming around in this area, those come by time to time at night. So it’s not recommended to go out & loitering around in this area at night.
(4) Millennium View Point (Elevation: 4700 Ft)
This is the highest view point in Punagala Estate. This place locates about 3Km walking distance from Pilkington Point. One can see 360 degree of surrounding view from this place towards to Wellwaya, Haputhale areas.
To reach this place you need to pass a small jungle where most of the time Wild Elephants reside in day time. So you have to be on alert on them. Do not attempt to do night Camping or roam around at night time in this place. It’s recommended to visit this place in day time.
(5) Manager’s Bungalow
We were lucky to get invited to see Manager’s bungalow in Punagala estate. This bungalow was built in 1925 consisted with 18 rooms in 3 acres of land area. Time to time this has been constructed and done renovation without damaging its original structure.
NOTE: You need to get special permission to visit manager’s bungalow prior to your journey. (Please see contact details in this report for more information)
As it’s mentioned in above in this report, if you are planning visit Punagala Nature Resort, do night camping at Pilkington view point, or planning to visit Manager’s Bungalow you need to take special permission prior to your journey there. Please be kind enough to contact Punagala Estate Manager –Mr.Akber Ahamed to obtain required permission. Mr.Akber is very friendly & helpful person for those who love nature. Please find his contact details in below,
Name: Mr.Akber Ahamed
Designation: Manager in Punagala Estate
Mobile Number: +94773026341
I hope this information will useful for you. Thanks for reading