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|Year and Month||October, 2015|
|Number of Days||One|
|Crew||Nirosh & My self|
|Weather||Sunny mornings and Gloomy evenings|
|Route||Monaragala -> Wellawaya -> Thanamalvila -> Mattala -> Hambanthota -> Thissamaharama -> Kirinda -> Yala -> Thissamaharama -> Kataragama -> Buttala -> Monaragala|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
**SPECIAL THANKS TO** Nirosh
|Related Resources||Trip report : Emerging city hambanthota and surrounding historical places|
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
In 2013 I did a grand tour around Thissamaharama and Kataragama and this year I thought of extending it further away towards Hambanthota. In this report I have focused on few places I haven’t visited already. As usual I left early morning and reached Bandagiriya to start off my day.
- Lanka Salt factory
- Martello tower and light house
- Leonard wolfs old quarters
- Hambanthota cemetery – Englebretch tomb
- Andare’s tomb
- Veheragala aranya
- Wilpita rmv / Nadigamwila rmv
- Dalada viharaya kirinda
- Talaguru hela
- Yala magul maha viharaya
- Maha naga rmv
- Kanda suridu gama cave temple
- Sella waturuwa RMV
Bandagiriya ( 6°14’26.56 “N 81° 8’41.37″E)
Few Km’s after passing Mattala I reached a turn off towards Bandagiriya tank. By the side of the road is a rocky plateau with two pagodas on top of it. The top provides some stunning scenery of Hambanthota area. There were few caged inscriptions in the vicinity too.
Yahangala ( 6°13’7.55″N 81° 9’55.81″E)
From Bandagiriya I took the road towards Pallemalala and few Km’s before Pallemalala junction I came across Yahangala archeology site. The site was well maintained and the two pagodas provided some lovely photographs.
Lanka Salt factory (6° 8’32.11″N 81° 8’28.37″E)
My next stop was at Lanka salt factory though I had been to the salt plant / factory in 2009 Nirosh insisted me to have a look around and I warmly accepted that offer. For me the most interesting artifact was the salt train which was used many decades back.
Martello tower and light house ( 6° 7’19.23″N 81° 7’37.16″E)
Martello tower is a short and unique defensive tower used by the British and to reach it one needs to take the rest house road. The old light house is also located few feet away.
Leonard wolfs old quarters ( 6° 7’21.02″N 81° 7’41.73″E)
From the Martello tower we headed towards the coastal line and came across famous Leonard wolfs quarters which is now a museum. We opted not to visit the museum.
Gallows ( 6° 7’18.37″N 81° 7’48.22″E)
From the museum we headed towards the pointed land plot adjoining the walking path where the remains of the Hambanthota gallows could be seen. As I heard only 5 convicts (mainly 1818 rebellions) were hanged at this point.
Hambanthota cemetery – Englebretch tomb ( 6° 7’38.37″N 81° 7’33.89″E)
Next stop was the catholic cemetery close to the bus stand of Hambanthota.
Henry Engelbrecht, the first game warden of Sri Lanka’s most famous Yala national park was a Boer Prisoner of War who tended the sanctuary for 21 long years with great devotion. It was in search of the camps where he and some 5,000 others like him who had been shipped here from South Africa had been interned that Britisher Robin Woodruff first came to Sri Lanka four years ago
Andare’s tomb ( 6°10’35.12″N 81° 9’49.83″E)
After saying good bye to Nirosh I headed towards Udamalala junction of Thissa road. There is a statue of Andare so it’s easily identifiable. Take the road until you reach Kuda wewa and get directions from locals. The tomb of the famous comedian of ancient sri lanka lies close to the lake where he fell dead.
Veheragala aranya ( 6°11’23.51″N 81° 9’2.28″E)
After visiting Andare’s tomb I headed further along the road until I reached a lovely hermitage where a pagoda could be found on top of a rock. There are lots of ruins scattered around and there were well refurbished drip ledged caves.
Wilpita rmv / Nadigamwila rmv ( 6°13’48.63″N 81°17’18.93″E)
From Weerawila I took the Debarawewa road and just before reaching the bridge across Kirindi oya there was a sharp acute elbow turn on the main road. I took the road towards the right and went parallel to the river until I reached Wilpita ancient temple which was about 6Km’s away from the main road. There was a huge restored pagoda and many ruins of ancient buildings in the temple premises. It is believed to be done by King Mahanaga
Dalada viharaya kirinda ( 6°13’14.53″N 81°19’52.24″E)
From Wilpita I headed towards Kirinda and just before reaching Kirinda – Thissa road I noted a name board of temple on the left and decided to pay a visit. At this temple there is a small restored pagoda and few monoliths scattered around.
Talaguru hela & Nimalawa Monastery ( 6°14’2.17″N 81°20’38.98″E)
From Kirinda I took off towards Yala junction and headed along Palatupana road until I came across Nimalawa road. 1.5Km along Nimalawa road one would come across the entrance to Nimalawa aranya. But unfortunately no one is allowed to head to the monastery other than 11am to 1pm period. Somehow I got permission to visit the nearby rocky Thanaguru hela where a pond, few steps and caves could be seen. More ruins were in the vicinity but was covered by shrub forest.
Bembawa ( 6°17’16.94″N 81°23’11.64″E)
Next I went towards Yodakandiya and took the Kirinda – Sithulpauwa forest route until I came across the wild life gate of Yala. The DWC gate and the office lie on an archaeology site with an ancient pond and some ruined buildings.
Yala magul maha viharaya ( 6°18’14.39″N 81°24’0.28″E)
Few Kilometers after entering the park the Sithulpauwa road goes through a vast archeology site called Yala magul maha Viharaya. This hermitage is a branch of Sithulpauwa temple and it’s believed to be the site where King Kavanthissa & queen Vihara maha devi tied the knot. The pagoda is a restored one and one cave has been modified as an image house. There are many caves in the vicinity but didn’t have time to explore. An interesting shadow of Queen Vihara maha devi could be seen on the huge rock in the premises. The lovely caretaker was very kind to offer me a tea and some biscuits at the temple. (Kaluarachchi is the caretaker at the site (0779733239))
Maha naga rmv/ Yodakandiya temple ( 6°15’34.99″N 81°18’34.87″E)
After returning back to Yodakandiya I came across a road side temple at the eastern edge of the Yoda wewa tank. There are some ruins in the temple but the most interesting finding was the two cobra headed guard stones. Close to the temple gate one could get down and reach below the bridge which the B422 runs. I accidently noted the ancient sluice gate of Yoda wewa. It’s really surprising to find such a structure just below a bridge which millions of devotees pass by.
Kanda suridu gama cave temple (6°23’27.15″N 81°18’32.95″E)
From Thissa I took the Kataragama road (B259) and on the way at Kanda suridu gama I came across a road side cave temple. There was an inscription pillar at the site too.
Sella wathuruwa RMV (6°26’25.62″N 81°17’27.12″E)
Next stop was Sella Kataragama, passing the Sella kataragama maha vidayalaya we came across a road to the left which took us towards Wathuruwa temple. There were ruins of many buildings and an inscription pillar belonging to King Nisshankamalla era.
After enjoying a hectic and extensive traveling day I headed home via buttala to plan my next trip to Ambalanthota.