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|Year and Month||April-May, 2011|
|Number of Days||Two Day Trip|
|Crew||4 (between 25-27 years of age)|
|Accommodation||CEB circuit bungalow – Laxapana|
|Transport||Car up to Laxapana and double cab from there onwards|
|Activities||Relaxing, Photography, Scenic driving, Exploring|
|Weather||Day 1 : Extremely Rainy
Day 2 : Rained whole day with small patches of brightness
|Route||Day 1: Kalutara -> Colombo -> Avissawella -> Karawanella -> Kalugala -> Laxapana
Day 2: Laxapana -> Luccombe -> Rawanagala -> Mousakelle -> Laxapana -> Kalutara
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
|Related Resource||Related Discussion: Connections to the Rama – Rawana Legend|
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
I believe many of you have heard about the airport of the legendary king Ravana situated at Wariyapola. Even though there exists no archeological evidence to prove as such, the name Wa+Riya+Pola (වා+රිය+පොල) suggests that this was a place for the air planes to land in the olden times.
According to local belief there exists another such airport right in the Maskeliya hills called ‘Rawana Gala’ (රවනා ගල) and we decided to find it. We heard that there exist tracks similar to that made by airplanes landing and taking off on a large flat rock which has given birth to this legend. Excitement got the better of us as we embarked on a quest to find this relatively unknown place.
Even though it was not raining in Colombo we had to face extremely rainy conditions while passing through Yatiyantota – Kithulgala area. The main road itself was like a river and visibility was not more than a few tens of feet. Still, we were glad of the rain as it would give birth to many seasonal water falls which makes the mountains even more beautiful. Specially, the Gerandi Ella right beside the road from Kithulgala to Laxapana becomes a fascinating sight during the rainy season and disappears during the dry period. Sure enough we were not disappointed…
After a hearty banter and a sound sleep (while the rain lashed outside) we awoke to another wet and misty day but it did not dampen our spirits to explore the legendary “Rawana Gala”. Since we had to go through many tea estates and with all the rain the roads may not be in good condition, a 4×4 was made our vehicle and later we thanked ourselves for that decision as we encountered muddy and washed away roads.
To reach Rawana Gala, you must proceed along the B328 from the double cutting junction (where the 0km post is) and proceed towards Maussakelle reservoir. This is the same route that runs up to Nallathanniya from Norton Bridge.
As you travel about 10kms from the junction towards Nallathanniya, you will find a small bazar called “Luccombe Bazar”. From here, a small gravel road leads to your left which goes upto a tea estate called “Nyanza”. This is the road which will lead to the ‘airport’.
Locals seemed to know it by name so finding the path was not too difficult but there are many estate roads along the way which could lead you in a wild goose chase unless you ask the way. There were many instances where we had to go and knock on some doors to simply find the road. Please see the attached kmz for the exact route.
The roads were terrible with lots of mud and broken rocks. To compound the problems we encountered many hair pin bends and the ascend was quite steep in some places. About half way up we came to this junction with a big tree. From here one could see the Moussakelle reservoir as well as the surrounding waterfalls.
After a short breather, we continued upwards after getting directions from villagers. From this point onwards there are no houses so need to get exact direction from here. Fortunately the road was motorable all the way up to the Rawana Gala. After travelling a further 1.5-2kms we suddenly appeared on top of a large flat rock with strange markings on the rock surface.
Situated at an elevation close to 1400m this rocky surface has long parallel lines carved on the rock with each about an inch in depth. These according to the legend are wheel marks of planes that have landed and taken off from here during the age old times.
Since it was only Ravana who was known to have planes (Dandu Monara) people call this place as the airport of king Ravana. The geography of the place also could have contributed to this story due to a sudden drop on one side and long flat land on the other. Planes are said to have taken off towards the drop and have landed from the other side.
Obviously there could be a fully natural explanation to all these and since there are no archeological evidence to back up the legend this would remain only as a myth. But just for the sake of excitement lets all believe that this indeed was such an airport of the great king Ravana. It was a truly magical feeling to just lie flat on the rock and close our eyes and dream of an airplane landing right there while the mist rolled in around us.. 🙂 I am sure I heard a buzz too 🙂