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|Year and Month||May, 2012|
|Number of Days||One Day|
|Crew||2 (between 28-30 years of age)|
|Transport||Public Transport (6.10 am Train from Fort to Maho, then Private Bus to Yapahuwa)|
|Activities||Hiking, Photography, Checking Historical Values|
|Weather||Excellent – Clear Blue Sky|
|Route||Colombo -> Kurunegala -> Maho -> Yapahuwa and return on the same route.|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
I’d always wanted to go see Yapahuwa as it is a very historical place and that famous Lion’s statue made me want to go there even more. So I hastily arranged the plans to visit Yapahuwa and on 07 May, my friend and I left Fort Station by 6.10 am train which goes to Batticaloa. (You can also take 5.45 pm train to Omanthai)
It was pretty fast going compared to Bus, and we made it to Maho around 9.00 am. We bought breakfast and took a bus which goes through Yapahuwa and managed to reach the temple cum fortress around 9.40 am.
It was a beautiful day and sun was out full force. We went around what used to be the outer wall of the fortress and could clearly see the canal dug around with the high wall which was very wide you could easily walk on that.
Then we started our ascend along the famous rocky corridor on either side we can see the beautifully carved lions and other sculpture. As soon as we climbed that we come to an open area which shows the foundation of the former Temple which held the sacred tooth relic.
There was a person who sweeps and keeps the place clean and he’s acting like the guide also. (Actually there was two, one very old person too). He explains the value of the place and what it used to be like.
He showed us the secret getaway of the King (secret tunnel dug from there to a nearby hill which is about 2-3 km away). It is on the left side of the main entrance (under the lion’s sculpture) but only the entrance is visible and there are clear signs of a well used tunnel with metal rungs to climb down.
We had our breakfast (string hoppers, dhal and dhal wadei bought at Maho) afterwards under the shade of a tree and made sure we left nothing behind. Coz I’m frantic about not littering the nature with polythene and garbage.
Then we started our climb to the rock behind the main entrance which is somewhat difficult. However, it’s not a steep climb and the pathway is pretty much clear. Just before the top of the rock, there’s a cave complex which must have been used to house people or goods. All around there are clear signs of buildings.
Don’t forget to carry at least a 1 ltr water bottle coz it’s very humid and you need lot of fluids to keep your body responding. It’s very easy to get dehydrated coz there was a group of people and they were begging for water from anyone passing by.
On top has a larger area than one would imagine (maybe 2-3 acres) and consists of ruins of a Stupa, a Palace and a pond too. It’s said the palace belonged to one of the ministers who used to keep watch on any enemy approaching. It’s really hot and it was around 11.00 we made it to the top.
Then we started climbing down and visited the temple and the cave with art. You could also visit the small museum located in the public car park just 100 m down the road which has a complete rock window taken from the palace. But you can’t take pictures inside.
The famous Kondadeniya village lies 2 km down the road and the famous Kondadeniya Monk’s temple is also there. We started walking towards but had to stop halfway through as the sun was really getting to us. We got into a bus around 1.10 pm from there and knew we were gonna miss the 1.20 pm train.
However, by the time we reached Maho, it was nearly 1.30 pm and the train was still there. What a relief, we quickly bought the tickets and got in and reached Colombo around 4.30 pm.