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|Year and Month||January, 2016 (7,8,9)|
|Number of Days||3 days|
|Crew||3 ( Amila , Rangana & Me )|
|Accommodation||Foresrt Department Cabin at Kudawa, Weddagala|
|Transport||Me by bike, Others from double cab|
|Activities||Hiking, walking in the forest , Waterfall hunting, Photography & Relaxing|
|Route|| Battaramulla -> Horana via Kottawa -> Bellapitiya -> Govinna -> E galoya -> Gawragiriya -> Ayagama -> Nikagoda -> Kalawana -> Weddagala -> Kudawa Entrance to Sinharaja and return on the same route
Malabe -> Kaduwela -> Ratnapura -> Kalawana -> Weddagala -> Kudawa and return on the same route
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Related Resources||Trip reports : On Sinharaja|
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
Most of the Sri Lankan’s are connected to the names derived from “Sinha” The race Sinhalies, Areas like Bulathsinhala etc . Surnames such as Jayasinha, Ranasinghe 🙂 etc and of course we have a forest called by that name. “SINHARAJA” origin of this sinha term is not from the carnivorous animal “Lion “or lion centered fictions concluding half humans. Those were myths put in to our minds forcefully. It’s truly because of the four superior races who lived in sri lanka commonly known as SIV HELA who gave birth to one nation .Those were called Yakkaha, Naga, Deva & Gandharwa. They all had unique & superior powers but lived separately in their own regions. They had lived in harmony with great respect and power for more than 5000 years.. But due to one mistake in history of believing an Indian Deportee called “Vijaya”, some areas of Sri Lanka were owned to Indian deportees. But it was for a short period. The King Pandukhabhaya who had the pure genes of Hela(yakkaha) defeated the foreign rulers and brought sri lanka under one flag .Importantly great king invited those four nations(Hela ) to come and build a great nation called Siv Hela. With the time siv hela become Sihala . then due to various reasons it converted to sinhala. who ever go through this story will understand terms connecting with Sinha is not used to indicate a mammal but to indicate the origin, greatness and the superiority, Oh am I diverting from the track ..Lets come to our own topic The forest Sinharaja. There can be such stories about a warrior killing a Lion etc etc…But for me Sinharaja is to indicate the king of the forests . origin of the other forests and the forests which still hides the mysteries of Great nations called Hela .Although the boundaries of it are now limited to some districts, there are evidences that it was connected up to Sri Pada , Galle district and all the way up to Kaluthara .even now it stands majestically defeating all other forests from Bio diversity .
My first encounter with Sinharaja was in 2008 from Kudawa(weddagala side ) with two of my friends . I was a new comer to nature trails then and Sinharaja gave me a damn tough time for attempting sinhagala . heavy showers with thunders, muddy slippery foot paths thousands of blood suckers, fear of getting lost as the guide was rocketing in front of us ( even he couldn’t bare the leach attack so he ran as fast as he can ). and never ending distance and extremely steep climb at final part made my mind to GIVE UP nearly 300m before the summit. One friend of mine stayed with me and guide and the other person went till the summit. Then return journey was also very awful purely because of leeches .because of the tiredness we didn’t even think of attempting other trails except pitakele duwili ella in next day. although our journey was unsuccessful by means of completing trails it gave me very good lessons .also resting three days in a forest ( except the sinhagala day ) gave me a holly experience . so i said good bye to sinharaja in 2008 at that way Time was changed, I came to know about the best nature forum in the world and the online university ” LAKDASUN”. Things did change drastically. from that i learned so many tips and got so much of knowledge and experience travelling with master hikers in this country… Leech Barrier is a peanut for me. Now i feel discomfort if i was not holding two three leeches on my feet . in the meantime i knew how to handle extreme leech attacks learned to tackle rain, mud or steep ascends smoothly Importantly with the time i knew how to handle guides as well. If you stick to guides speed you’ll get exhausted quickly . Normally by studying all the facts I make a plan and inform the guide about it..this is the par time i reach summit . this is the par time i come back . “unless i go below par don’t press me with a damn word to upset my rhythm“…
Because of Lakdasun I came to know that there are three more entrances to sinharaja. (From Neluwa-Lankagama side, Deniyaya- Pitadeniya side, and Morning side at Rakwana ) And i successfully covered these trails and enjoyed to the fullest with my friends…. But after that my mind was itching as Kuwawa,kudawa…Kudawa.. “the failed attempt” ..this was bothering from a long time and finally i decide ok I’ll re do it this year as the first trip of the year…..so i planned using various resources of Lakdasun etc. in fact i was over planning due bitter experience faced last time, first i booked the forest department cabin which can accommodate four persons. Then I faced usual unavoidable problem , finding the proper hiking partners ..since i couldn’t find any confirmed partner until the previous day of my journey i decided to go alone…Yes go alone with my faithful bike . sometimes it may be a result of my deep drown desire of inner mind to have an isolated tour..
Big day came . I left home around 7.00 a.m. although it was a working day i was not bothered by road traffic because of the route i took..beautiful misty paddy fields at Horana, Smell of Rubber cropping and tea cultivation around Bulathsinhala area… road constructions but not so disturbing around E galoya to Gawaragiriya Beautiful Ayagama village and the unique symbol of it ” Toranagala Mountain” isolated narrow path till Nikagoda, well carpeted road till Kudawa were blessings for my journey . It took four hours for me although the meter reading was 115 km from my home. As i did enjoy nature had few stops for breakfasts , sightseeing and of course for some banking at Ayagama
I came to the Kudawa entrance sharp at 11.00. but i was too early . Here the check in starts at 4.00 p.m . so i kept my bag in the office and asked the directions for Pitakele Duwili ella. In 2008 we had to walk all the way to Duwili Ella . But now you can ride or drive with a 4WD for all the distance (2-3 km ). Don’t mix-up with a summer hut you see on the way. The foot path from there is leading to a private camp sight . you have to pass the summer hut and ride for another 1 km or so till you find the foot path going down at right side of the road
It was around 12.00 p.m. when i came from Duwili Ella. since there was no proper eating place around Kudawa forest office i rode six km back to Weddagala and had rice .in fact fried rice. Huh! Don’t worry.. now you can have fried rice next to Sinharaja..I think village facilities are developed drastically compared to 2008.May be to catch up with expanding tourist’s desires . After a sumptuous meal came back to Forest office at around 1.00 p.m. Officers were kind enough to hand over the keys of the cabin before the usual time. for my luck there was no body in the previous day.
This was the exact place where we stayed at 2008. I still remember the open veranda besides our cabin where one can involve in relax chatting viewing the swiftly flowing river and hearing the shallow waters and birds signings . I went to the river and had a cool dip in the water. on the way i met a friend called “HAL DANDA ”
After coming to the cabin i laid on a chair of the veranda and enjoyed nature . by looking at photos one can get a very narrow idea of nature. One must come and experience it by his five sensory organs. One must see the beauty , hear the beautiful sounds of birds and flowing water, embrace the smell of flowers. taste the pure water, feel the breeze and water to his body . then his sixth sense ( spirit ) will fall into deep meditation. I too felt nature for a while..But it was disturbed by my phone ringing…..that was Amila my hiking partner who wanted to tell me that he’s going to join me in this journey . He had accompanied another friend from Rathnapura and now they are coming here….oh that’s his nature .Typical Forces guy. One way i was bit worried about losing my solo journey but nine out of ten times i was so happy to accompany them in my upcoming tough journey” Sinhagala“….History repeats . I stayed same cabin in 2008 with two other friends. this time too its same..Last time also we did pita kele duwili ella on the first day and Sinhagala on second day . This time also my schedule was like that….only thing i was failed in 2008 but i don’t want to happen it again in 2016. No ..by any means..
They came around 4.00 and they also had a bath in river. In the evening we went to nearby boutique and purchased goods for our meals. then we handed over the items to the caretaker and gave the food menus what we wanted. evening we had a nice chat and after having diner and went to sleep early .
On 08th at sharp 5.00 a.m. we woke up and got ready by 5.45. i had instructed the caretaker that we needed packed lunch and some curry to eat bread for breakfasts. He had done as I requested and we went to the ticketing office by Rangana ( Amila’s friend’s cab ) around six. after all registration and payments we purchased of leach socks for Rangana.We started the journey at sharp 6.30 a.m. with our guide Premachandra ( 0717318996)
As you may have bored with my long descriptions i ‘ll let pictures to talk most of the times hereafter.
from here we walked somewhat deviated trail than 2008. I remember we had to pass a mud pit in that time . i was so happy that it was not there in this trip.
Instead we crossed few streams and reached the last but strenuous bit of the journey . It is strenuous because you have to tackle this steep ascend with tired legs .
Finally we reached the summit around 11.45 a.m. then we rested for 15 minutes and had some snacks . Then we observed the view from the top.
No sooner we return it began raining. I was frighten remembering the mass leech attack we faced in rain in 2008. But to my utter surprise we didn’t come across a severe leach attack. We reached research centre within 2 1/2 hours. then we did the circular tour to Nawada tree
we reached the ticketing office around 4.45 p.m. I was so happy of doing this journey within 10 hours
Then we came to the cabins after purchasing few more goods. After getting refreshed we celebrated our victory in the veranda and made the plans for next day Journey “Mula wella ”
we all went to sleep after having early dinner
Next day we left the cabins little late and reached the ticket office. we didn’t pack the lunch as we planned to come for lunch to cabins. As discussed earlier we employed the same guide ; “calm and quite Padmasiri ”
Mind you that Mulawella trail is much scenic than Sinhagala and Mulawella peak gives you a better view than sinhagala. Sinhagala is the target and Mulawella is the attraction.
We walked through the same path till protected area. After walking about 1 km from there we met the mulawella trail to our left
after spending nearly one hour at the summit we return back
we came to the cabin around 2.00 p.m. then we had lunch. After settling our dues and thanking to the staff we left sinharaja around 3.30 p.m.
My friends traveled with their cab an me with my bike. after a peaceful ride i reached home around 6.30
SO TILL I MEET YOU WITH ANOTHER ADVENTURE BYE FOR NOW