Nil Diya Pokuna Cave

mapCrew : 12 + 3 guides

Transportation : Car, Some members used Train (Colombo – Ella) and Public Buses (Ella – Colombo)

Duration : Two Days

We had early plans to visit a place called Nil Diya Pokuna, which is an underground pond in a cave near Ella, Sri Lanka. After many considerations we fixed a date in the last week of December, 2016.

I browsed about “Nil Diya Pokuna” but information available was very little. It is said to be a pond inside a cave or a tunnel complex built by king Rawana and most of it is still unexplored. Many people have mistakenly visited the place marked as the “Rawana Cave” in Google maps thinking it is the location of Nil Diya Pokuna, but it is just a very small cave compared to this. Even villagers tend not to give clear directions to this place because of the recent attempts to grab media attention by some people claiming they have special powers and going to awake the king Rawana back! Whether this is built by king Rawana or another human or created due to natural causes is still to be discovered. Until then keeping this intact is our responsibility. Karandagolle Sugatharansi Thero of Karandagolla Temple and “Meththananda” (0726 108 392) are few of the people who knows the place really well.

Participants for this journey came from all over the country, so many chose the famous transportation medium Colombo – Badulla Train. But me and another two of my friends had some other plans so we used a car. Two of my friends Started their journey from Kandy around 4 pm and it was about 6.30 pm when i joined them from Mahiyanganaya. One of my friends had reserved a home-stay called “Tree Cold Resort” and it was around 8 pm when we reached Ella. We made a call and asked the Owner of the place for dinner on our way and he arranged a delicious meal within 30 minutes. After having dinner we had a little chat with the home-stay owner. He told us that he is going to Ella rock early in the morning with two foreigners and we could join with them. But we were not sure about our next day waking time, so we kindly declined the invitation. The place was good comparing to the price and we all went to sleep early as we were bit tired.

We woke up around 6 am (earlier than we expected) after a good night sleep. We spent some time just breathing in cool fresh air while enjoying the surrounding. Then we changed and had a heavy breakfast (which was delicious) and tried to figure out the day’s plan. As Ella Rock hike will take more than 5 hours we had not to consider it. So we went to Demodara to see the famous Railway loop first. Vehicles can access the Demodara Railway station and have to walk along the railway for around 1 km from there. You have to be very cautious as the railway is bendy, that one can’t see an on coming train until the last minute. It is mentioned that the railway is initially planned as a 11 km stretch to overcome the large elevation barrier, but Late Eng. D.J Wimalasurendra (Who was a Civil Engineer and considered as the Father of Hydro Electricity in Sri Lanka) redesigned this as a loop reducing the length to 3 km.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2448dscf2468………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2452dscf2453………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2460………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Next we went to Demodara Tea Factory for a Visit. They Charge you 250 LKR per head for a factory visit. It was very informative, but sadly they don’t allow to take photographs inside the factory. There was this old majestic writing table.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2476………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

As it was about 12 noon, we thought of having lunch before visiting the famous Nine Arches Bridge. So we went back to Ella town and had our lunch in “Cafe Chill”. We felt like we were in a foreign country  as we were the only Sri Lankan customers there. Food was good and we enjoyed it very much.

There are two ways to reach nine arches bridge. You can use a vehicle to reach there via road or you can walk along the rail road from Demodara Railway loop. We chose the main road as we had to come back all the way to Demodara for our car, if we walked along the rail road. You can easily access there by a tuk tuk and can reach almost there by a car. (Last part of the road was under maintenance at the time we went, so we walked the rest of the distance). Nine arches bridge was constructed without using of Steel and concrete and it is wonderful how it bare the weight of a moving train. We spent some time there taking photographs but weren’t lucky enough to capture a train crossing the bridge.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2479

dscf2482………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2484………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2489dscf2501………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2480-001………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2496dscf2509………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2513dscf2515………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2516………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Rest of our friends supposed to reach Ella around 3.30 pm so we decided to have a snack until they come. We went to a place called “Ella Flower Garden Resort” just near the start of Mini Adam’s Peak trail and had some snacks and coffee. Our friends reached there around 4.15 pm, and we started to climb the “Mini Adam’s Peak”. It wasn’t steep like the “Adam’s Peak” trail and we reached to the peak within 45 minutes. There are many peaks after the initial peak, So we decided to go to them as well. we spent some quality time there with the views of Ella rock and Ella – Wellawaya Highway. Wind was high and surrounding misty mountains created a magical scenery.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2521dscf2525………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2527………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2534dscf2538………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2542dscf2544………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2552-001dscf2555………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2568dscf2581………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2585dscf2612………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2616dscf2619………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2631dscf2638………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2640dscf2645………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2647dscf2655

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15775123_10154626930190412_4496835046805634176_o15776714_10154626918225412_5243522021376090094_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15776951_10154626929390412_2886093238871187864_o15800566_10154626888345412_9176958323865059662_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15843935_10154626939765412_2746005533296606562_o15844033_10154626935315412_5423083643067567115_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15844516_10154626906795412_7313738263059006608_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15844140_10154626933920412_6937986756741673876_o15875523_10154626939530412_5173795649242400061_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

It was around 6.30 pm when we came back to Ella. Four of us stayed behind to buy dinner for the whole group and the rest hurried up to the bus stand to catch the last bus to “Karandagolla”. As it was a busy day, we had to wait until 8 pm to buy dinner and it was around 8.30 pm when we reached the 16th km post in Ella – Wellawaya highway by the car. One of my friends contacted “Meththananda” (0726 108 392) , The guide for our underground journey well before, so he had arranged us a place to spend the night in his home. All were tired and rushed to take a shower and there was a queue for the washrooms!
😀
We had our dinner as soon after we all took shower and went to sleep with the excitement for the next morning journey.

I woke up around 7 am and all others were awake then. We took our turns in the wash rooms like the last night and “Meththananda”‘s wife prepared us a delicious breakfast. One of our team members from Monaragala arrived then by his car. Meththananda lead us to a by road and we parked our cars in a place he suggested. We started our hike around 9 am. It was roughly about one kilometer trail from the place we parked our vehicles.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2673dscf2677………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

We knew the hardships on our way, so we were well prepared. Every one of us had high intensity head lamps (150 Lumens and 250 Lumens) with extra batteries, Torches, Professional climbing rope, Face masks and two life jackets!

Meththananda said that we are not going to use the common entrance to the cave and going through the newly found entrance via a place called “Hulan Kapolla”. It only took few seconds to realize why it is called “Hulan Kapolla” after we reached the place. It was a tiny hole (approximately 2.5 feet diameter) in the earth and our eyes were blinded by the dust particles in the wind coming out of it.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15875326_10154626937900412_5200005655989113946_o

15776910_10154626897495412_4418978039831505997_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15799941_10154626940865412_1622397986695527458_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15774813_10154626914890412_5341408498247493980_o

15777099_10154626898160412_4109345312224498858_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Our guide tied a rope around a tree lied on the ground near the “Hulan Kapolla” and he disappeared in to the hole, keeping his other two guide friends with us. We had to use the rope to get down from the two initial stages and the guides helped us by pointing up the places they use to set foot down the hole. There was space only enough to glide ourselves down through  the hole in the first stage. Next there was another hole which was wider and had to use rope plus a wooden ladder placed by Meththananda. We were glad about our high intensity head lamps as they were serving really well in the thick black tunnel. After the second stage there was a steep rocky edge to climb down.

After few minutes of sliding and crawling we entered to a large cave with more than 20 feet height and width (It is definitely more than 20 feet, exact dimensions were kept hidden under the blankets of darkness) . There were few places we had to crawl but generally there was enough space even to play a cricket match!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15844081_10154626959235412_1921147082265465015_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15774822_10154626950730412_881388896018102936_o15844071_10154626970525412_3752797607520450041_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15844581_10154626952515412_3052959201958673328_o15844678_10154626972955412_7251970449689729553_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15874796_10154626975935412_6481931970815284750_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

We were enchanted by the views and the size of the cave and walked forward on the rocky and muddy floor. There were few places where my legs went about a foot deep in the soft soil. Walls were with very sharp texture, and we had many bruises just by touching them. Few hundred meters after the floor became steep again. There wasn’t a wall on our left side and all we could see was an endless darkness below. I was in the middle of the group and suddenly my head lamp reflected on something blue. As we knew there must be a “Nil Diya Pokuna”(meaning Blue Water Pond), I stopped and observed again.

Yes! It was crystal clear water which had a bluish touch when reflect. We all hurried down on the rocky floor and stopped just before the pond in an awe of the scenery.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2686-001© Amila Dananjaya De Silva………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

© Amila Dananjaya De Silva© Amila Dananjaya De Silva………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

© Amila Dananjaya De Silva………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15776840_10154626967815412_2499381760021658780_o15875293_10154626971625412_4988155609897669372_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Water was cold and calm. There was no visual movement at all unless we made ripples just to reflect the light in order to take photographs. For the first few feet we could see the bottom of the pond, but after that there was only an endless darkness though the water was crystal clear.

It is said that the water is drinkable, so we had a sip and we are still okay!
😛

As we were prepared to swim in the pond, we switched to our swimwear and put on life jackets. We only took two life jackets so we had to take turns. One of us tied the rope in to a rock and put the other end in the water, just in case we needed it. We swam to the opposite end of the pond (the deeper side) with our goggles and head lamps on, but still couldn’t able to see anything below the water surface. That end had an inclined wall which ended below the water surface, which made creepy sounds when ripples collided against it. Most of our group members were regular swimmers (except a few who can’t swim at all) but all had this strange uncertain feeling about the pond, so we were careful not to do anything stupid and risk our lives. It is suspected that there is an entrance to another cave under water but still haven’t confirmed.

As the water is clear, once we aim a torch at the water surface it doesn’t reflect (we had to create ripples even to take photographs). But when we have an open light source or when we aim the torch at the walls / roof of the pond it creates a perfect reflection on the water surface. Most of the people mistake this reflection as the bottom of the pond (Which seems somewhat shallow), but definitely it is deeper than 40 feet in some parts (Some say its 80 feet, but no one has officially reached the bottom). As water is cold and using extra energy to be cautious, Two of the team mates had cramps in their legs. Therefore be careful if you are swimming in “Nil Diya Pokuna”and it is advised always to wear life jackets (We bought life jackets from Pettah for about 1500 LKR each and they served well).

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

© Amila Dananjaya De Silva15875576_10154626955915412_6404957699794976841_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15844505_10154626967290412_7909112204687677316_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15844633_10154626963760412_6312062734183954699_o15875026_10154626942790412_4189204041531157185_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15874687_10154626946955412_7392061976909088405_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15776993_10154626950405412_4236329890517839721_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

After spending about one and half hours in the pond, we changed back and started our journey to so called “Rooms” like formation in the cave. We had to use the same path as we came in for a certain distance and then take a detour to a side which was on the dark end of the cave. For the first few meters it was hard to walk on the slippery and sharp rock floor, but had enough space to walk. But then we came in to a part where all we can see was a small wedge like space between a large rock plates. It was scary as someone could get stuck in the middle!
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 15826761_10154626971560412_1662786121503596145_n………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15875014_10154626955125412_6512855157089961379_o

15875199_10154626953505412_113225506241479209_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Then it again opened to a small path which we could crawl. I was relieved but it only remained for few minutes as  we reached a place where, literally there is no place to set foot. It was kind of a fallen rock over the cliff we were crawling on, so one had to stretch the legs while hanging on to a tiny sharp edge on the wall to reach the other end or to rely on their fate and make a step on the fallen rock which was slippery and the only thing we could see above the endless darkness beneath us. Five of the team decided to stay there (including me) and the rest of the (thin) fellows continued crawling. We went few steps back to a place with enough space to stand up and decided to observe the surrounding. We observed a small amount of graphite in soft spots of the cave wall. Mineral deposits were also observed in some places of the cave roof.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2710dscf2709………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2707………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

That was the moment we had to actually use the masks we brought due to the infinite number of insects attracted to our head lamps. So we turned the head lamps in to kind of a sleep mode, which had a red LED. After getting rid of that insects, we decided to have a little rest until others arrive. We had to wait about an hour before we could hear their voices from far far away and another 10 minutes before see the light from their head lamps through the rocky barrier.

They described what was there while catching their breath. They had to crawl for around half an hour and pass another slippery obstacle to reach the “room” like formations. They have observed limestone formations. Some of them were with sharp edges. The mysterious part is there was a passage further and even “Meththananda” claims he haven’t explored it up to now.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15800181_10154626975525412_3785293936078948740_o15800278_10154627078655412_2728202091184601931_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15874724_10154627076325412_4685450464204531073_o15875071_10154627062160412_4998940329941088484_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15875169_10154627060700412_841837784967799716_o15875590_10154627045840412_7268001121090323375_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Then we started our journey back to surface of the earth and it was harder than descending. Each step was risky as there were nothing to stop us if we were falling. We had to give our total body weight to the arms at the last part, where we had to climb back on the rope. We were so glad that everyone came back safely and our cameras, head lamps, Life jackets, ropes & masks. Then only we realized that our cloths were totally covered in mud and our cameras were brown in color!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2727dscf2729………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2723dscf2734………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15844085_10154627008485412_6940701869089112451_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15844265_10154627011320412_7938446812476772745_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

We took 10 minutes to catch our breath and walked back to the place where we parked our vehicles with a huge satisfaction in mind. We decided to clean ourselves before getting in to the vehicles after eating jambu, which “Meththananda”‘s friend provided. Suddenly three Buddhist Monks and few lads arrived there and they wanted to talk to our guide, Meththananda. They were with Karandagolle sugatharansi Thero and also willing to visit the cave complex. So we took that opportunity to discuss with Sugatharansi Thero and learn more about the cave. Then we came to back to Meththananda’s place and had a long bath in a near by “Peella”. It was about 5 pm when we had our lunch. Me and another three of my friends had to leave as we had to go back to work in the morning. Others had plans to climb “Kurullangala” and then visit Karandagolla temple next day. So we said our goodbyes and came back with the sadness of missing another great hike.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15875398_10154627003880412_2032816382847268089_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2754dscf2744………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15799948_10154627006205412_5771521623758351626_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Chariot Path

sattelite-imageCrew : 11

Transportation : Bus (Kandy – Pussellawa), Hired Van (Pussellawa – Perettazi (Frotoft) Division), Hiking (Frotoft – Chariot Path – Mooloya Estate) , Bus ( Hewaheta – Kandy)

Duration : Two Days

(Please note that the path marked on the map is not a GPS track but only a graphical representation, Red triangle is the place we put our tents but i recommend camping on the place marked by a green triangle)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Day 1day-1

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Day 2day-2-1

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Me and my friends wanted to go on a bit simpler camping trip with less hiking and less adventures. After considering many locations a place called “Chariot Path” on the Piduruthalagala Mountain Range was decided as the final destination. This year the monsoon patterns were bit odd, so it wasn’t raining on December 2016 to “Chariot Path”.

“Chariot Path” is believed to be the path that King “Rawana” took Princess “Seetha” from the Capital “Lankapura” to “Ashoka Vatika” (now Nuwara Eliya). Some say they traveled by “Dandu Monaraya” (The wooden airplane) but the common belief is that they traveled by a “Chariot” and for some reason the path remains “treeless” while all surrounding is covered with  montane rain forests. It is said that there is a pond created by fallen tears of Princess “Seetha” on top of the hill.

Many of my friends confirmed their participation as it was a long weekend and we decided to start the trip from Kandy around 8 am as few of them had to travel long distances. It was about 8.20 am when all arrived, but NuwaraEliya Bus at the stand was full. As we had many bags to carry and had a hike ahead, we got in to a “Pudaluoya” bus which travels via Pussellawa. But then another NuwaraEliya bus came and it departed well before the bus we were sitting in. But as we already took tickets, we stayed and the bus left Kandy around 9.10 am. Most of us were meeting after a long time, so had many to catch up while traveling. The main bottle neck of our journey was the part from “Pussellawa” to Frotoft Division in Delta Estate as the road conditions were bad and buses were less. As our contact said we had to be there before 9.30 am to get a seat in the 10 am bus to Frotoft from Pussellawa. Therefore we decided to hire a van from Pussellawa to make the traveling times more flexible. We reached Pussellawa around 11am and had some short eats and tea as the brunch and brought some more short eats for the hike. We were able to hire a van for 3500 LKR and realized it was very reasonable price considering the road conditions and the distance.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

dscf2233

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15385376_10206524124855542_5115927853510107480_o15385528_10154563042215412_4991068779257120697_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578280_10154563054270412_255887961647420639_o15391370_10154563058985412_5427485688890088632_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15540803_10154562994260412_7695592329365219194_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The road was surrounded by a lush green tea plantation of Delta Estate, Pussellwa and the views were amazing. We saw Kothmale reservoir from Frotoft, way up on the bendy gravel road. We contacted a person (Christoper Nimal 0767189381) in Frotoft well before the trip by a number obtained by a previous group of travelers and asked his help to find the way to Chariot Path. As we reached the Frotoft Old Hospital, he came there and guided us with another friend of his.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15540829_10206524224738039_8701796078418380667_o15419739_10211043007419171_2019282995394611522_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15443041_10154563047000412_272860043048957997_o15493505_10206524076654337_8411459346224430125_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15493831_10154563044995412_8324668132046854330_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The first few kilometers of the path was on the dirt roads of delta estate and was comparatively easy to walk. Most of us had ordinary backpacks (for laptops) and had difficulties carrying heavy loads with back pain. The guides took us in to a small foot path towards a misty wall of mountains. It was a “one man” path along the montane forest for most of the hike and the climb was steep. As it was covered with thick forest, the steepness kept hidden to eyes but was feeling on our knees and legs. We took many water and Chocolate breaks to catch our breath. After about 2.5 hours of hiking we reached the top and was mesmerized by the scenery.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15540742_10154563008095412_6384170988135530900_o15418455_10211043017219416_6228597587335857180_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15440377_1578260165524183_1391199777759804478_o15493630_10154563029705412_8588243793196902565_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578304_10154563024300412_3103792330030152759_o

15391450_10154562974660412_5278687397943917408_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

It was over our expectations and we spent hours looking far in to the horizon and taking photographs. Our guides helped us to collect some firewood and showed “Seetha Pokuna” (Believed to be the tear pond of Princess Seetha). Water in “Seetha Pond” doesn’t flow, so it is said to have a certain saltiness. There is a spring nearby for drinkable water. The wind was strong and we had to put on our jackets and monkey caps. Then our guides went back home, leaving the whole mountain to us. Many of us took our next Facebook Profile pictures with this amazing background!

😀

Just after we finished collecting firewood, we saw some other group of hikers arriving the location via the steeper side of the mountain and later got to know that they were lost on the way but reached the destination after many kilometers of tiring climb.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15493266_10154563035330412_1834532671759162481_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15385383_1635748426438724_831416949878223175_o15403814_10154563018270412_4080080640248843416_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15385449_10154563066955412_8253825085535898985_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15493347_10154563064015412_2556079603001063864_o15419690_1635747449772155_8181761677228313703_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15443159_10154563024135412_6213803174216309792_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15419556_10154563058070412_2062184644552672672_o15419724_10154563032670412_701240514748441704_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15403727_10154563037390412_2446656649998834035_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578123_10154563029415412_5586818504145527301_o15578212_10154563055580412_833915728827695155_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15540628_10154563057865412_7887384599379225454_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15540815_10154563012540412_3795369054613074700_o

15578291_1635748893105344_556458180547158877_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15540873_10154563049235412_1461478653904841690_o15577888_10154563155205412_9100032430063339125_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578078_10154563044570412_3306800590186197521_o15578262_1635747266438840_6940569007563583089_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15493743_10154562999165412_2781679725437927815_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

We decided to set up our tents before dusk and it was very difficult to find a suitable place due of heavy winds. Four of us had to always hang on to the corners of each tent to stop them from flying before pegging and then put our backpacks inside to make sure the tents wont fly. I have bought a tent for our Knuckles – Thunhisgala Hike but couldn’t use it as we stayed in KMP wadiya, so this was the first time it was being used. It was easy to setup and had ample space, only concern was the rain as it didn’t had a separate rain cover, which every other tent had. As we finished setting all four of our tents, another group of 12 hikers reached the Chariot path. 😛 (We thought this location was unpopular, but seemed it is not as another two groups camped there on the same day). Both other groups were enthusiastic hikers too and was friendly. We planned Instant noodles for our dinner, bread for next day breakfast and cream corn (canned) for lunch. One of my friends brought a Kerosene Cooker so we thought it will be easy to prepare our meals. But mist and heavy winds turned it around. When we looked, the lighting part of the lamp was missing and we had to tear apart a handkerchief and make one. Even then the gushing misty wind didn’t allowed us to lit the cooker so we decided to interchange the Breakfast and Dinner hoping we would be able to lit it in the morning.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15440317_10154563127895412_2276379886462762755_o15418444_10206524203377505_6060037070461920273_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………15443187_10154563069595412_1434106472806961466_o15540831_1635750116438555_2948073924027488679_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15540697_10206524202097473_6591688519556577262_o

15493590_10154563090645412_8167578870612565346_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578363_10154563052485412_3163187010769612308_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15540690_10154563136515412_8731652554313458461_o

15440510_10154563126520412_2723082973037101071_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578332_10154563096930412_8729397847970480030_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

One of the tents were big enough for all eleven of us to get and sit in. We have brought Jam and Seeni Sambol, so bread was tasty and then we had chocolates for dessert. We talked for a while and went to our respective tents to sleep. Luckily few friends remained in the large tent had tried and lit the cooker after a while. We only got to know that when they invited us to have a cup of coffee in the ice cold night. Any of us didn’t thought that it would be this cold and was great to have something hot to drink. We came back to the tents after the coffee and prepared to take a nap. The grassy mountain floor made the tent floor a bit comfortable and we laid a blanket over it. No one had sleeping bags but blankets saved us from freezing. I slept for a while and woke up hearing a sound. Wind was stronger than it was and the noise it made was loud. The  sound came again and I was relieved when I realized it were my friends in the other two tents talking to each other at 3 am!!!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15418434_10154563086850412_4889361789102987843_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578086_10154563095385412_7628840287403470377_o15578237_10206524020052922_6224723367028831604_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15493505_10154563125510412_2332933197892165309_o15440398_1578257092191157_3796716219361097002_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

After many roll overs to avoid freezing and find the perfect sleeping spot, I fall asleep and woke up around 8 am. Almost all others were then awake and preparing breakfast. We had instant noodles, Eggs, Sausages and Meatballs. It really energized us after a freezing night. One of the groups camped there, went back while we were having breakfast and the other group had trouble making a fire using firewood so we lend them our cooker for preparing breakfast. That group was planning to camp there for two days, so we gave them the firewood we collected and remaining “ready to eat” food. Then we had to take a vote for the route back home. Few said (including me) to use the same route we came up but most others wanted to try the longer route via “Mooloya Estate”. We came out of that tent and found out some feces of an animal! Someone must have visited the place in night but we didn’t hear anything. :O

We refilled our water bottles from the spring nearby and packed our bags. It was kind of a nice thing to see that all other campers were concerned about the environment and took back everything they disposed. We too took many garbage bags and dumped everything to them so we had extra bags to bring down.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578142_10154563087140412_3451324792545723097_o15392987_10154563121215412_7333302847015466369_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15577910_10154563121535412_7469819752852787560_o15403879_1578257095524490_5584983244934715601_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15403887_10154563120480412_21776578754736266_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15391355_10206524049573660_2236072131232961246_o15541082_10154563096025412_1009250341288112256_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15443116_10154563111515412_9208123857195424930_o

15418382_10154563132580412_155959206164113270_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The path from “Chariot path”to “Mool Oya” Estate lies via a thick montane forest but the foot path was clearly visible guaranteeing us a safe passage. There were many loose stones and slippery edges, but all managed to climb down safely. We crossed two small waterfalls on the way. Few kilometers after, we reached to a point where the foot path became an abandoned gravel road, with signs that those parts of the estate must have used for tea plantation a long time ago. With wide road, walking was easy and we came to an old concrete bridge with an overlooking hut. The hut was in good condition and we thought of having a break there. Many of us jumped into the shallow pond before the small waterfall and freshened up by cold crystal clear water. Then we had Cheese and Cream Cracker Biscuits as our brunch and started the walk again.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15123368_10154563157910412_4939454406700809083_o

15392978_10154563088975412_1767063473484265767_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15540764_10211042989618726_1112527420101767949_o15403639_1578262138857319_1546457505697419227_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

day-215493605_10154563150130412_4605090504300957442_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15391402_10154563172925412_461970190555035984_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15392794_10154563183160412_3492769139005096945_o

15392978_10154563088975412_1767063473484265767_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15419585_1578260162190850_2901884535058457533_o

15440451_10154563160645412_276189017409177269_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578307_10206524030653187_4773345401410174658_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15443053_10154563161155412_9143164400636824081_o15443073_10211042986898658_8783396784142654788_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

We reached to the tea plantation just few minutes from the waterfall and asked the ladies working there for directions. The views were amazing with the sun hidden behind mist over the mountains. After around 4 Kilometer walk from the top of the tea plantation, we reached to a carpet road and continued the descend. Next there was the Mool Oya Tea Factory and we luckily found a Van (Operating as a replacement to buses) to travel rest of the distance to Hewaheta. All 11 of us managed to get in to the already filled van and reached Hewaheta within half an hour. There was an empty bus parked in the halt which goes directly up to Kandy, so we happily settled in. It was around 5 pm when we reached back to Kandy.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15385288_10154563189995412_7935345695786023157_o15385335_10154563193420412_1873924198654727616_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15403825_1578263718857161_3232288456645566456_o

15385514_10154563169605412_1732110739721402093_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15492459_10206524099094898_3922095560971821436_n15391108_10206524180096923_2673506006147540580_n………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15391260_10206524205737564_3056869998746190474_o15391296_10206524206577585_3143501194852201436_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15392781_10206524189177150_6376197091559678746_o15403872_10206524174896793_6833749632012097854_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15384365_10154563221305412_1730262033766155502_o15385509_10154563205855412_5896303680451345321_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15380477_10206524180016921_5315461839903277500_n15390699_10206524169216651_1538392514297613689_n………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15418309_10206524190497183_91255652757086834_o15440362_1578263978857135_1099002538069470822_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15578183_1578263362190530_4939986831401182479_o15440348_1578258892190977_3645576649985710338_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15392944_10154563207310412_2571779518555174415_o15418536_10154563210985412_3160885738644424159_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15541009_10154563202035412_6527900457155017528_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15493319_10154563188670412_4165317828562488224_o15578242_10154563168860412_4280469677546228589_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15384494_10211043029219716_8771847723466134636_o15384631_10154563182260412_7483688179128329462_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15443267_10154563193480412_8600804001055248266_o15578327_10154563220220412_3653621777503690770_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15440412_10211043013819331_7941074837549583240_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15443122_10154563211610412_6973901505079999458_o

15443099_10154563221300412_2340567627027971754_o

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

15418595_10154563215955412_7373556569906074844_o………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………