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|Year and Month||November, 2014|
|Number of Days||1 Day (Nonstop journey)|
|Crew||2 – My Self, Thivanka|
|Transport||Public Transport (Bus)|
|Activities||Hiking / Trekking / Photography / Scenery|
|Weather||Sunny / Hot|
|Route||Colombo -> Bibila -> Iginiyagala -> Vidyaraja Piriwena -> Inginiyalaga Mountain -> Wikramasheelaramaya -> Pallanhela mountain -> Senanayake Reservoir -> Iginiyagala -> Colombo|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
I still remember the day I visited Senanayake Reservoir for the 1st time in my life. It was a family trip to Ampara in 2001 & we reached Senanayake Reservoir in the evening around 5pm. Sun was going down. I was totally lost among the sceneries around me and looking at the top of Inginiyalaga Mountain I thought “If I go to the top how the sceneries will be”. Since that day, the idea was in a corner of my mind but due to the distance from Colombo and other various reasons I had to give up several times.
When it comes to hiking we always think of the hill country. Thanks to the heavy showers we experienced to the hill country (during Sep, Oct, Nov 2014), we tried to find out somewhere else to go. Inginiyagala just came to my mind & we started gathering details. Also we found out about “Pallanhela” while browsing lakdasun. So we planned to leave Colombo at night, reach Inginiyagala next day early morning, see the spectacular views & leave back to Colombo at night. And it’s a 2 man team.
On the day we are starting the journey, at around 10pm we were struggling to get in to a bus from Colombo to Ampara. Private bus was almost packed and they said they can’t assure on the next bus. At CTB bus stand there was a bus with seats available, but unfortunately all reserved. However we managed to convince the bus conductor and he arranged us a seat for 1 (Thivanka) and other has to sit on the engine cover which is next to the driver. They have arranged it for keep baggage & with me 2 other guys joined. It was not easy to keep sitting on it in a moving bus, after few hours even the bones start paining
At around 7am we got down at “Pansal Handiya” (Temple junction – to right “Inginiyagala”, to left “Ampara”) and took another bus to Inginiyagala. There is a shop at Inginiyagala junction & the gentleman there (Mr Bandara) is a knowledgeable person about the area. Food is also in good quality. He helped us to reserve seats in a bus which is leaving at night by calling to Kalmunei depot.
Inginiyagala Mountain has 2 peaks. 1st one is the “Punchi Sri Padaya” & to get a clear view of Senanayake Reservoir it is a must to go to the second peak. The trail starts at the “Vidyaraja Piriwena” premises & it was a 5 mins walk from the junction. Unfortunately the head priest was not there to inform. A worker in the temple told us the directions to trail head. Footpath was easily identified & not hard to tackle.
The path was becoming unclear but manageable. Climbing uphill was not that difficult. We stopped at one point to have a rest continued to the 1st peak. (Punchi Sri Padaya)
Then few mins of resting time & a session of photography, started heading to the next peak. We were unable to find any footpath but looking at the direction we made it to the 2nd peak. To see the “Spill of Senanayake Reservoir” we had to go to an edge before reach the peak. Also we came across with a huge cave while on the way to the top.
Descending was so quick because we had to go to Pallanhela & come back to watch the sunset at Senanayake Reservoir. From Inginiyagala junction there are several buses heading to Wadinagala & it’s a 10 – 12kms journey to Dewalahinda. There is a board placed aside of the road (Wikramasheelaramaya). Once got down from the bus we had to walk some more to reach Wikramasheelaramaya.
Climb starts with few ancient steps on a rock. Then there is a pond, a Mini Stupa and a closed room like a dewalaya. Have to turn left from there and enter to the tree line. At the beginning it was a steep climb under the trees. Climbing through the rock was bit hard because of the heat. Therefore we made several pit stops. It took some time for us to pass the rock walls & reach to the top. We came across with 2 rock walls one after the other.
From the top, sceneries were stunning & we saw some evidence of elephants. It is hard to believe how they are climbing to the top. Also there is a pond at the top. Descending was again slow since we were so tired. The head priest of Wikramasheelaramaya was kind enough to let us clean our self using their water source at the temple premises. We washed away all the tiredness and took a bus to the final destination for the day.
At Senanayake Reservoir we had a walk on the bund to the corner, met the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mr D. S. Senanayake (The statue). Everything went as planned but we were not so lucky to see the elephants. After watching the sunset we had a walk back to Inginiyagala junction & waited for the bus.
Unfortunately the bus did not arrive on time. However we were able to get back to Colombo by the early morning next day.