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

Advertisements

Uthuwankanda

map1Crew: 7

Transportation: Two Cars

Duration: Half day (May need one day if you are visiting Saradiel Village too)

 

There was a sudden suggestion to climb Uthuwankanda, which is famous for being the hideout for a local bandit, Saradiel. Since it is a few kilometer drive from Kandy Uthuwankanda was perfect for a mini hike and i too decided to join. But before the hike i thought of refreshing my memories about the stories of Saradiel.

Dekirikewage Saradiel AKA “Uthuwankande Sura Saradiel” is a bandit who later became a gang leader. People refer him as the “Robin Hood of Sri Lanka” as he used to rob from the rich and distributed them among the poor. He was born in 25th of March, 1932 as the eldest of a family where father was a tobacco merchant. His father was from “Haldanduwana” (in Dankotuwa area) and mother was from Uthuwnkanda (Mawanella Area). It is said that he studied in Illukgoda temple which was ended by Saradiel assaulting a boy from a rich family who was related to the Vidane (A hereditary leader post in colonial system who usually is from a wealthy, influential family) and being arrested. Young Saradiel had formed a gang to kidnap a wealthy merchant in Kandy, called “Bawa” and robbed him after cutting half of his mustache. Saradiel managed to escape to Colombo after distributing the things he robbed among villagers.

He then joined the Ceylon Rifle Regiment cantonment in Slave Island as a Barrack Boy and learned to used weaponry from soldiers. Later he was dismissed after caught in act of theft from the Barracks. Even then he managed to come back to Uthuwankanda with some stolen weapons from the barracks and continued his work of crime as a highway robber. It is said that Saradiel killed a Man called “Natakoti Chettiyar” during his robberies and arrested but then released due to lack of evidence. Then a warrant was issued for the arrest of Saradiel after a robbery in Molligoda Walawwa (Walawwa is a word used to refer the house of wealthy, which means mansion).  He thought to seek protection of his father and went to Chillaw. But his father was disappointed about Saradiel and refused to provide protection. So he came back but police arrested him near Pillawatte in Negombo after a tip off. Saradiel managed to stab the police informant during the arrest, critically wounding him to die after few days. Police produced him before the Justice of the Peace – Negombo on 3rd of July, 1962, who committed him to fiscal custody in Hulftsdorp Jail to be tried for murder. On dawn of 29th of November 1862, Saradiel climbed to the roof and jumped off the prison roof with help from a friend called Magiris Appu, who worked as a peon in the prison and later sentenced to six months for helping to a prison break.

Saradeil then returned to Uthuwankanda, but rearrested by the village police constable called “Baba Sara”. With past experiences with Saradiel it is decided to keep him pinioned & handcuffed at all times, to be escorted in the custody of a police constable and few fiscal peons and not to travel after dusk and only to stop at Police Stations. But the officials have underestimated him and un-pinioned at Balapane and also let Saradiel’s Step father join the escort party from Ambepussa Police Station onward. It is believed that his step father had supplied liquor to the escort party so that Saradiel could escape. Saradiel escaped again even with his handcuffs on this time, challenging the authority of English governors among the natives. Government then decided to put a five pound reward for his arrest.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
**Government Gazette Extraordinary of 10th January 1863 :

Birth place: Uttoowankandy.
Residence: Uttoowankandy.
Trade: Boutique keeper.
Caste: Wellala.
Religion: Buddhist.
Age: 31 years.
Height: 5ft 3ins.
Hair : Long.
Eyes: Hazel.
Complexion: Brown.
Make [Build]: Well.
Read and Write: Both.
School: Private school.
Family: None.
Former convictions: None.
Distinguishing marks: mark of a mole on the right cheek.
Escaped: 29-Nov., 1862, from Hulftsdorp Jail.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
Saradiel came back to Uthuwankanda and used it as the hideout for his gang consisting Hawadiya, Bawa, Sirimale, Kirihonda, Suwanda and Mammalay Marikkar who is considered Saradiels best friend. This gang robbed 500 rupees (A big amount at that time) from an Arab horses seller at knife point in Galagedara area and killed another two vendors in the vicinity out of suspicion they could have been police informants. This incident again made a huge impact on the rulers which made them to send soldiers and police officers under the supervision of Chief Superintendent McCartney and assisted by villagers to raid Uthuwankanda. When Saradiel saw that there was no other way to escape, he rushed a herd of buffaloes through the thick human wall while hanging on to the neck of a buffalo hiding under its belly, avoiding the arrest. Due to this constant raids of Uthuwankanda, Saradiel moved towards Aranayake giving a severe headache to the European planters of that area. Government had to setup a new police Station in Aranayake due to their requests and strengthen adjacent Police Stations. They also increased the price on Saradiel’s arrest to 100 pounds and 25 pounds each for his gang members.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………utuwankande_sura_saradielarrest_warrant_reward_notice_ceylon_gazette_13th_jan_1864…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
In February of 1964, a police party headed by Head Constable Amat who was from Utuwankanda raided a house out of suspicion, but they could only find some stolen money and weapons. Again on 17th of March 1864, two police troops headed by Head Constable Amat and Special Constable George Van Haght raided Saradiel’s mother’s house after receiving information that Saradiel and his best friend Mammala Marikkar were hiding. At this time Special Constable George Van Haght was under suspension for not effectively assisting the arrest of Saradiel. This made him want to prove otherwise and suddenly ordered his team to storm the house. Saradiel’s mother saw them and had enough time to warn her son and his friend. Saradiel and Malmmala stormed out of the house shooting George Van Haght dead and mortally wounding Sergeant Christian Appu (Van Haght’s father in law) and injuring Sergeant Muttusamy and two others who were in the George Van Haght’s team. This made Chief Superintendent McCartney to raise the price of Saradiel’s arrest to 150 pounds but rumors said Saradiel fled to Mathale area and hiding in a jungle.

Sirimale, a member of Saradiel’s gang then became a police informant and arranged a two storied safe house on the Colombo Kandy Road owned by a person named Abdul Cader in Mawanella. Then he tipped off Sergeant Ahamath Mahat and Constable Tuan Saban about the hideout. Two policemen entered the house from the back door and Sergeant Mahat took a shot at Saradiel at the first sight, injuring him. That made Constable Tuan Saban to celebrate the victory too early and Mammale Marikkar fired, killing him on the spot. Sergeant Ahamath Mahat then hide near the stair case making it hard for Marikkar and injured Saradiel to escape without being a target to his revolver. Then Assistant Government Agent of Kegalle, F.R. Saunders arrived the location with forces from Ceylon Rifle Regiment and surrounded the house. Both Saradiel and his friend then surrendered realizing there was no way to escape. Saunders hit Saradiel hard with his cane during the arrest, causing a fracture in his right arm. Saradiel and Mammala Marikkar were escorted to Kandy on the same night.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………saradiyelfea7

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
Both of them were charged for the murder of Constable Tuan Saban and were tried by an English speaking Jury before Justice Thompson. Considering the history of Saradiel, Advocate Dunuwila who was initially assigned, refused to appear for the accused and government assigned attorneys Purcell and J. Van Langen. Both of them were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging and were hanged at Gallows Hill in Kandy on 7th of May 1864. Thousands gathered expecting to see a well built man but were surprised to see a slim man with a pleasant face. Mammalay Marikkar was out of his words before execution but Saradiel addressed the crowd and advised the gathering to take a lesson from his life and avoid such acts.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………** The Colombo Overland Observer describes the event as quoted by AC Dep, retired DIG of Police, in his book, A History of the Ceylon Police Vol: I (1795-1866) (Colombo: Author, 1982):

“All the available Policemen in Kandy formed part of the procession. The Roman Catholic minister, Rev. Duffo, went with Saradiel from the jail and the Mohammedan Priest attended on the Moorman. It was quite clear that the prospect of death had completely unnerved the two unfortunate men. They were both pale and the Moorman in particular appeared to be greatly affected. Saradiel walked pretty steadily, reading out of a book, which he held in hand, but the Moorman was quite knocked down, and scarcely once lifted up his head during the walk. The procession passed through the town at a funeral pace until it reached the Hill on which the gallows had been erected.”
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………utuwankande_sura_saradiel_lakrivikirana_paper_06th_may_1864…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
Saradiel and Mammala Marikkar were buried at the Mahaiyawa cemetery in Kandy and a  Police guard was maintained since there was a demand for the bodies. Queens Advocate Richard F. Morgan who conducted the case, commanded the zeal and bravery of Constable Saban and Sergeant Mahat for taking part in the arrest of these two defied law and order, in his report to the Colonial Secretary. Constable Tuan Saban of the Kandy Police Station was the first ever regular Police Officer of the Ceylon Police to sacrifice his life in the course of duty. Later March 21st was declared to commemorate Police heroes in in Sri Lanka every year.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………sara-15the_prison_cell_of_utuwankande_sura_saradiel

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
It is said that Sergeant Mahat was promoted to Head Constable and received a price of 35 pounds. Sergeant Muttusamy received a price of 20 pounds and the son of late Constable Tuan Saban received 30 pound for his father’s bravery. Also Saban’s wife was awarded with a monthly pension of 2 pounds and 6 shillings for life. Christian Appu’s family also received a pension. It is said that Special Constable George Van Haght’s family never received a pension, considering he was on suspension at that time and did not even considered his heroic death as a death of a police officer in the course of duty. Though Saradiel caused terror among the rich, he was a provider for the poor. There is a story of Saradiel once stole from a person who was collecting money for his daughter’s dowry and came to know that later. Then he asked the man to meet him at a certain place and returned the stolen money and another amount as a gift from. There is also a story which says Saradiel was sentenced to death after receiving a letter from the Queen saying ‘kill him, not let him go’, when it was supposed to be ‘kill him not, let him go’.

All that being said, i was interested to see the place which sheltered Saradiel during many raids. I was thinking there must be a special reason for Saradiel to always come back to Uthuwankanda despite it was constantly being raided. Our initial plan was to take a Kegalle bus from Kandy and get down from Uthuwankanda and climb to the peak and follow the same route back home. But then we decided to use two cars considering the flexibility of traveling time and locations. Two cars left Kandy around 7.30 am and it was about 8.00 am when we reached Pilimathalawa to pick another friend. The crew consisted of four males and three females of the same age. We stopped somewhere before Kadugannawa for breakfast and leisurely enjoyed it as there was plenty of time. But the roads bacame busy with travelers realizing us that it is a long weekend and the place can get crowded as we getting delayed.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf146814079831_10154250365855412_5282322985360371620_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14141505_10154250389170412_7779326844464549353_n14141590_10154250385735412_3055562668016582453_n

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf1470…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

We reached Uthuwankanda and turned to “Uthuwana” road. The road was under construction but was manageable to travel by cars. There were many people and we were wondering what might attract such a big crowd for a hike. Seeing many old people in the crowd made us rethink of the idea about the “hike” but then realized all that crowd were visiting the new attraction “Saradiel Village”, a private owned resort with live size statues resembling the life story of Saradiel. We wanted to visit there but we decided to postpone it considering the crowd. Uthuwankanda is a small mountain with a rocky peak and the access road was even concreted for most of the length. Considering the crowd going to Saradiel village, the hiking part was deserted. It was not hard to climb and half way through we met another team climbing down. They directed us towards the caves which is believed to shelter Saradiel.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf1447dscf1462

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14102191_10154250371705412_4546592963934683409_ndscf1451

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14064247_10154250369430412_1816727543501405849_n14067520_10154250368770412_8874080417484338246_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf145514102753_10154250372755412_2068463233639966599_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
Climb towards the caves is not hard and we had to go through a small passage between two rock to enter the caves. (Nothing much to worry about, but thinner you are it will be better 😀 ). We entered the caves with our mobile phone flash lights on, as we were not prepared for a cave expedition. For couple of meters we had to crawl but then the passage got taller enabling us to stand up. Then we came to a small room like place and didn’t went further as the cave got smaller and we were not prepared. (Total length of the passage we travel didn’t exceeded 50m). Then we came out and had a small rest there. The caves were hot and it was hard to breath as there is no proper ventilation inside. Almost every inch of the outer cave walls were scribbled by travelers and  polythene and plastic/glass bottles were dumped everywhere. It was a very disturbing and sad scene to see, what people do to harm nature without considering the effects on their own lives.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14191969_10154250416750412_5769417366419768784_ndscf1478
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf1473
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14079507_10154250391675412_2332125505488740896_n14079480_10154250433160412_4719798674277573484_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf1487dscf1492
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14192746_10154250397720412_7211958668994266185_ndscf1490
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf1493dscf1511
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14191975_10154250411970412_2717744997963131190_n14192034_10154250400760412_1245265114776384530_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14102602_10154250403700412_3819207675578247464_n14095840_10154250412060412_4589154543154401714_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14141649_10154250418440412_993191146152901578_n14102715_10154250423520412_2500867342219583553_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14183670_10154250433905412_8245144337666142044_n14102753_10154250429170412_6036379105504603372_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf149514183762_10154250389925412_3788707427863047939_n

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
We couldn’t identify the exact path on the way up, but reached the rocky part without much trouble as the mountain was small. Then we started to climb the rocky peak. Me and two others decided no to climb the peak and helped other four to climb. The first part was almost 90 degrees climb and then the middle became easy. There is a kind of square shaped rock on the top and my friends even climbed it. After many photographs and eyes full of scenic view from the top we came back down around 11 am. The crowd towards Saradiel village was then doubled and we decided to have lunch before planning the evening stroll.

We had our lunch in a place near Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and decided to visit “Asupini Ella” (Read my last hike to Asupini Ella) in the evening. It took us some time to reach Asupini Ella via B172 route. The road was good and even the final bit towards Asupini ella is concreted. We stopped our cars near to the top pool of asupini ella and waked towards the observation point. The waterfall was on its full blow making a very beautiful scene. Old memories were recalled seeing the path we climbed few years back and  realized how much a risk we took in that hike. It was dusk when we took our eyes out from the waterfall and came back to Kandy around 7.30 pm.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………14183838_10154250443675412_9041190984900588322_n14079903_10154250444820412_4021490920639528328_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf1584dscf1543
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf1551dscf1540
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf1547dscf1556
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………dscf1563dscf1581

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

Photo courtesy
Chamitha Rathnayake

Reference
* Saradiel – The Robin Hood of Sri Lanka by W.T.A Leslie Fernando

** Uthuwankande Sura Saradiel – The Robin Hood of Sri Lanka – උතුවන්කන්දේ සූර සරදියෙල්
by M.D. (Tony) Saldin

*** Uthuwankande Sura Saradiel – wikipedia

Off Season Sri Pada

MapCrew : 7

Tranportation : Train (From Kandy to Hatton)
Van  (From Palabaddara to Rathnapura)
Bus (From Rathnapura to Kandy)

Duration : Two Days

One of my friends suggested that we should climb the Adam’s Peak (Mostly known as Sri Paada even among foreigners). There were stories of few locals who climbed Sri pada during off peak and had met elephants, wild boar and even leopards. Keeping all that in mind, I too agreed for the adventure. I was bit busy with exams just before the trip, so that i didn’t even knew who else are coming and what are the routes we are planning to go on.

Sri pada means the “sacred foot print” in sinhala. Buddhists believe that it is of Lord Buddha. It is said that also Hindus believe the foot print belong to Shiva, Muslims and Christians believe it belongs to Adam, but have noted only Buddhists visits Sri pada to worship the sacred foot print. Others do visit, but not with the religious aspects. This 2243 meter high mountain is located in central hills and it is said that all four of the major rivers (Mahaweli, Kelani, Kalu, Walawe) of Sri Lanka starts from this mountain (But actually only one starts from here). It is said that the area was ruled by Saman,who later became a god, hence the mountain was refered “Samanthakuta” earlier. Then “Saman Deviyan (god)” invited Lord Buddha to set the sacred foot print during the second visit to Sri Lanka. There are three famous routes to Sri pada peak.

1.Nallathanni in Hatton (6 km)
2.Palabaddara(Sri Palabaddara) in Rathnapura (8 km)
3.Erathna in Kuruwita (14 km)

Other than that it is said that there are another infamous hikes from Murraywatte, Mookuwatte and Malimboda (which i haven’t traveled in). Normally the season for Sri pada pilgrimage starts from January (Duruthu Full moon Poya) and ends in May (Esala full moon Poya). Usually the routes get flooded with pilgrims during the season. Most of them visits Sri Pada to Worship the sacred foot print and get blessings while hoping to see the Sunrise from top of this mountain.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSC_5744…………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………

On the day we planned the trip, I went to the Peradeniya Railway Station to catch the Colombo – Badulla Train. As it was during the Kandy Perahera, there were many tourists waiting for that train to continue their trips after watching the perahera the day before. Few of my friends were already on the train, who got in from Colombo and another three waiting in the Kandy railway statiion. The train arrived and i couldn’t believe my eyes, it was flooded with people which i guessed might be coming to Kandy to see the Perahera. The train goes to Kandy from Peradeniya and come back to Peradeniya to continue the journey to Badulla. So i thought of waiting until it comes back, hoping most of the crowd will get down from there. Few minutes later my friends who were at Kandy called and said they were coming back but still it will be difficult to get in with the crowd. I rushed to a carriage and got in with few German tourists and hold on to a spot near the door as it was difficult to go in over the stacked baggage of the tourists and also there were no space for me inside the cabin. There were few phone calls from me to my friends and from them to me before finding out that they were in the same carriage as me and near to the window next to the door i was in. So i gave my backpack to them and sat on the train floor facing the misty mountains next to the railway. After passing few Railway stations, the human shield got thinner so that i went to my friends. Then only i realized that i actually know four of them. There was another three who were friends of friends.
😀

We all reached Hatton around 11.30 am (which is bit late than expected) and did some shopping for gloves, water bottles and Lunch. The friends who came from Kandy have brought  many loaves of bread for the rest of our journey. We hired a van from Hatton to Nallathanni for about 2000 rupees. It was after our normal lunch time when we reached to Hatton through the bendy roads surrounded by misty mountains with tea estates and glamorous waterfalls. All of us were been there to Sri pada during the season previously, so we were surprised by the calmness of Nallahtanni during the off season. Almost every boutique was closed but Nallathanni Police station is in operation as usual. We just went in talked to them and they offered one of their huts (which are being used in the season for people to rest) to have our lunch. They warned us that now it is not allowed for visitors to spend the night near the Sri pada maluwa (peak where the sacred foot print is), and offered us to stay in their police posts located bit downward in the Nallathanni Route. The lunch didn’t taste much, so we started our climb soon with half filled tummies and with an uncertainty about a place to spend the night.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSC_5747DSCF1318…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSCF1320DSCF1321…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSCF1331DSCF1332…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSCF1333DSCF1334…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSCF1343DSCF1340…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSCF1346DSCF1338…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

Initially there are not much steps in Nallathanni Road, so the walk was easy and we had many breaks to capture the beauty without any human distractions. All huts which were functioning as gift shops and cafes during the season were deserted. After a queue of those huts there is this giant “Makara Thorana” which was an offering from the “Ceylon Electricity Board” during the days of constructing Laxapana Hydro Power Station and a statue of lord Buddha. The actual climb started from the Peace pagoda and it took us a while to warmup. The environment was calm and quiet other than the voices of us. It made me realize that large portion of the Sri Pada experience is ruined by the massive crowds climbing it during the season.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSC_5749

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSC_5748

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSCF1352DSCF1359…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSCF1365DSCF1368…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSCF1369DSCF1377

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………………… 14021508_10154227194625412_881091194923593446_nDSCF1373…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

We found one hut cafe was operating and a Russian couple resting there on the way down from the peak. We ordered us hot cups of plain tea and started to talk with the Russians. They were planning to visit Sri Lanka for few days and then explore India without knowing that they need separate visa to enter India. It was too late for them, so they were hoping to make the best out of the remaining days of their stay in Sri Lanka. They were very friendly and took few tips from us to decide their next destination in Sri Lanka. Then the owner of the hut cafe started share his experience with us. His home was nearby so he decided to keep his shop open even during the off season, but selections are limited only to Plain tea, Tea or Coffee. According to him there are more number of foreigners climbing Sri Pada than local during the off season. When we were leaving the place he advised us to never let any dogs join the climb with us, we were wondering why he said that until he gave an explanation which we never thought of. Leopards are very frequent in Sri Pada forest reserve, but comparatively there are not enough other animals for them to use as their pray. Therefore Leopards tend to hunt the dogs. Though Leopards try to avoid and normally don’t attack  humans, there are few instances where Leopards attacked the stray dogs who were climbing Sri Pada with human. There is no such danger during the season as the path get crowded with people bu as this is the off season we had to take precautions. So whenever we met a dog we gave it something to eat, but stopped them following us (for safety of the dog as well as ours).

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSCF1410DSCF1411…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
13719641_10208491530659271_1395904685124659071_o14045639_10154227226130412_7648148271863442106_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
13995529_10208491560100007_1017156209066176360_o13873111_10154227182210412_2447201791190621625_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSCF1415DSCF1380…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

13935151_10208491569940253_1088471816326548663_n14045728_10154227255060412_400102470182715619_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

14054016_10154227251385412_4470685941518443286_nDSCF1387…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSCF1390DSCF1392…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

14055011_10154227255220412_3092801052712469547_n
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

Towards half of the climb I and one another friend slowed our phase as we realized our stamina was less than we expected. Sooner the misty clouds surrounded the path and we barely could see something 5 feet away. We turned our torches on and kept walking closely. Temperature quickly dropped from few degrees that we had to put on our jackets and gloves to keep warm. The closer we got to the peak, steps became high and slippery forcing us to take more breaks to catch our breath. One from the other five called me and and said they almost reached the peak, so they will meet the Buddhist monk and ask permission to stay over the night there. We had to jump over few fallen tree branches on the stairs but could reach the peak around 8.00 pm, 30 minutes later than the other five.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSCF1399DSCF1400…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSC_5754DSCF1395…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
13962747_10154227257085412_1614244672246694356_nDSC_5758…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
We searched the peak but couldn’t find any trace of a human other than the weak light through a closed door nearby. We guessed that must be the place where Buddhist monk is residing but wondering where were the rest of the team. I tried to call them few times (I was glad to find that i had mobile signal on such location, but my friend didn’t as he was using another service provider) but no one answered. Few minutes later, the door opened and a head of my friend appeared. We went in to meet Three Buddhist monks and three boys who were helping them. My friend directed us toward a stair and a passage after greeting the monks. Other teammates were their unpacking the bread we  we brought. They were lucky enough to convince the Buddhist monk to give permission to stay the night on the peak, but even luckier as we found a roof and walls to cover us from the freezing mist and dew. It was a separate part from the “Awasa geya” (name used for the place where Buddhist Monks reside) and was using to prepare “Daane” (name used for the meals offered to Buddhist Monks). As it was a full moon poya day the kitchen was fully functioning and the pilgrims washed and cleaned the floor (which obviously hadn’t enough time to dry). We put some old polythene over the wet floor and few cardboard provided by the boys who were there to help the monks. Then we put another  polythene over and made our beds for that night. There were two (brave) girls and five boys in our crew. While five of us boys tried to wipe the water droplets collected on the ceiling to prevent out sleeping area getting wet, the girls started prepare the bread (as sandwitches) with “seeni sambol” whitch we brought. As Buddhist monks are not having a dinner we offered the first portion to the boys who were there to help. Then we prepared our dinner and tried to sleep.

We all tried to be closer to one another to avoid the freezing air (but also the polythene was so small that we had to avoid touching the wet floor) but still it was cold. We realized that why it is not allowed to stay the night on the peak. Outside must been closer to 5º C that we would have been frozen. After spending many long hours trying to sleep i finally fell in to sleep. Suddenly i woke up with a cold sting on my foot and realized it was my food touching the floor. I looked at my phone and found out i slept for 10 minutes!!! After many cold  stings and looking at phone it was my phone alarm going off at 5.45am to watch the sun rise. We all rushed to the door but it was locked from outside (as the Buddhist monk told us in the night). We waited until it was unlocked and ran to the view point with our cameras. Unexpectedly the peak was crowded (there were around 50) with foreigners but Sun was hidden behind the thick mist curtain.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

14034906_10154227262170412_2145738494626908252_n14079558_10154227265775412_680922514589375269_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
13996128_10208491577940453_4193182954498518478_o…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
Then the Buddhist monks came out for the Sri pada “Maluwa” and started “Buddha pooja”. We too participated in that while cold mist making water droplets on our hair and face. It took around 30-40 minutes and then we came back to where we spent the night and prepared offerings for the Monks as “heel daane” (Breakfast) and then we had ours. We started our day two on Rathnapura (Road divide to  Palabaddara and Erathna after few thousands of steps) route around 9.30 am. Still there was no sign of the sun and mist made sure that we don’t see more than few feet away. We decided that it is better to go down from the Palabaddara route as it is 6 km shoter than Erathna route. As we went down the mist got thicker and it made water droplets that we could literally see the origin of some small water flows which was added to bigger streams later. Again me and my friend who was lagging behind the previous day, started to go down the steps slowly as our knees and all leg muscles were aching. It was a great experience with no other humans to interfere and all we could hear was the birds chirping through the whistle of the wind. There were few trees fallen here and there and streams of water flowing on the steps making them even slippery.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………………

14079723_10154227269285412_8521033441299145592_n14089323_10154227269235412_213788918428304498_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………………

DSC_5784DSC_5776…………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………………

DSC_577914088639_10154227274985412_4582038244413890556_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………………

14100511_10154227274095412_1602339016778834388_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSC_5807DSC_5799…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSC_5793DSC_5788…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

14088432_10154227273340412_4461013742950995232_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

14066457_10208491582220560_2454050388513818550_o14064231_10154227272780412_631836335673792449_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

Around half way down me and my friend got a bit hungry but all biscuits and the rest of the bread were with others. So we increased our phase  and was able to catch three of them resting to get a packet of chocolate biscuits before they started going down again. We (the lagging two)  took frequent breaks and met two sets of villagers climbing up from that route. Around half way down we met that three friends again to find out two of them were really exhausted. We called the leading two and found that they were almost at the end of the trail. So we five decided to stick together and count the steps as we went down. Though we didn’t came across any leeches on our day one (Nallathanni route) day two wasn’t that lucky. We got attacked by leeches even less than 1cm of length every where we weren’t moving. At that stage our legs were kind of out of control so that we had to take breaks after every 100-200 steps. The steps are high on that route which made the walk more difficult.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

14045827_10154227271915412_5066839044998393454_n

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

There was an “Ambalama” (place built for people to rest on the way) near the 3000th step (those steps were numbered once in 100 from the bottom and there more than 11000 steps from Palabaddara route). There we met two old people and talked with them while we were resting. They asked us whether we saw a Buddhist Monk Traveling up on the step and we said yes as we saw one even without slippers calmly walking upward few hundred steps before. They said that Monk is residing in a cave inside the forest reserve among elephants and leopards. I have heard few stories about that earlier but didn’t realized until the villagers explained. We stayed there for around 15 minutes and started to go down again. We realized that we are not able to reach Palabaddara before 3.30 pm to catch the last bus to Rathnapura at the phase we were going and weren’t in a position to go any faster. Then our friends (the two who were leading) called that they reached Palabaddara around 2.30pm and now going to Rathnapura for Lunch. We agreed to call them before reaching Palabaddara to discuss a method of travel for us to Rathnapura.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
14040132_10154227255880412_7205988521774406898_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
DSCF1405…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………
14040135_10154227275185412_7015071778675241627_n14045827_10154227271915412_5066839044998393454_n…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

After many breaks we passed 1000th step (so there was steps less than 1000 remaining to Palabaddara!) and decided to hire a vehicle to Rathnapura as it was already around 4pm. We talked with one three wheeler (tuk tuk) driver nearby and realized the price was bit higher. So one of friends who already reached to Rathnapura called to his contact and arranged a van for 3000 LKR. We waited near the place called “pavana ella” around 700th step where there was a dirt road near the steps for the van to reach us. Only then, we had a proper break after two days of adventure and time to think about soaked shoes & socks with blood patches from the leech attacks and the Clothes smelling of dirt and our own sweat.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSCF1433DSCF1432…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

DSC_5817…………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………

It was around 7pm when we reached Rathnapura and one friend just hopped in to a leaving bus to Panadura as his home is there. Other four and the two who reached there early had a meal (both  lunch and dinner) in a nearby cafe. Three of us were going to Kandy and other three to Colombo. So we had to take separate buses and we went to the Long distance bus halt which is a bit far away from the Main bus stand. Colombo bus arrived early so they went early. As we heard, there is a Trincomalee bus from Hambantota which we can travel from Rathnapura up to Kandy-Colombo road and then had to take another bus to Kandy. Then the Trincomalle bus arrived but stopped few yards passing the bus halt. We collected all the energy left and ran to it as it was our last chance. Gladly we made it before the bus left there and even found empty seats to sit on. We talked with the bus conductor about the route and found out that this bus goes through Kandy.
🙂

PS: It was around 1 am on the Day three when i reached home and needed support from another to go from ground floor to the first floor. It took me a week to fully recover from the muscle pains.

Watch highlights of our Off Season Sri Pada Hike :

 

Photo Courtesy : Chamitha Rathnayake, Akhila Rangana

Loolecondera Tea Estate

MapCrew : 5

Transportation : Car

Duration : One day

Loolcondera, mostly known as “Loolkandura” is the place where the first ever commercial tea estate in Sri Lanka is located. The road we used is (B364) Peradeniya>Galaha Junction>Hindagala>Mahakanda>Deltota>Loolecondera. There is around 35kms to Loolecondera tea estate from Peradeniya and you need to go a nother few kilometeres inside the estate to reach the ruins of James Tayolr’s Log Cabin. If you are planning to use public transport, you can find Deltota Buses in Kandy town. But i must say that these buses get really crowded most of the time.

James Taylor was born in 29th March 1825 in a cottage called Mosspark in Mriboddo estate in Kineordineshire, Scotland. He came to Sri Lanka by a ship called “Sydney” at the age of 17. He initially came to Naranghena estate (now it is a division of Lollecondera estate) which was a coffee plantation at that time. He then cleared 19 acres of land and started the first ever tea plantation in 1865 and 5 acres of this original plantation is remaining up to this date. It is said that he hand rolled tea in the verandah of his log cabin and sold one pound 1.50 rupees each in the local market at that time.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

DSC_0325DSCF6909

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The route From Peradeniya to Mahakanda is in fine conditions but from Mahakanda onwards the road gets narrow and should be driven carefully because of the bendy road.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSCF6870DSCF6875

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0310.DSCF6879

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSCF6869…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0312…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
We arrived thee Loolecondera tea factory around 11 a.m. and only then we knew that a special permission is required to go inside the factory, But the people there were kind enough to call management of the factory and give us the permission to go inside within few minutes of time. The factory is a four story building with a steel structure and wooden floors. This factory was built in 1923 (after James Taylor passed away).

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSCF6916DSCF6913
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0340DSC_0343

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0441DSC_0319

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

Then we went to see the ruins of James Taylor’s wood cabin, which is in middle of the remaining 5 acres of original tea plantation. There is a dirt road up to the mountain which is good enough to travel by even a car (but recommend to use a vehicle with good ground clearance). The only thing remains in the wood cabin of James Taylor is the chimney which is made of Stone. You can still see Stone foundations that cabin must have built on. On the way to the cabin there you can see the well (I saw it as a pond) which James Taylor used. On one edge of the plantation there is a Seat made of Stone facing the wide Valley of Knuckles mountain range (and Victoria reservoir).

We had our lunch near the James Taylor seat and then left loolecondera estate around 3 p.m. One of my friends who has been visited loolecondera previously said me that the tea estate covers in a thick white mist in the evening and the surrounding was magnificent. Since buses on B364 road is not very frequent, it is not encouraged to stay in the estate to see the mist unless you came from your own vehicle.
🙂

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSCF6957DSC_0356

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0366DSC_0365

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSCF6962DSCF6961

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSCF6990DSC_0352

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0378DSCF6989…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSCF6991DSCF6987

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0392…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSCF6988DSCF6986

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSCF6964DSCF6965

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSCF6969DSCF6972

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSCF6944DSCF6947

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSCF6959DSCF6918

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0431DSCF6963

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0429DSC_0383

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0350DSC_0373

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0358DSC_0357

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0349…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0348…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………DSC_0347…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

Semmbuwaththe and Hotel Hunnas Falls

MapCrew : 11

Transportation : Van

Duration : One day

 

 

 

This was my second time to Semmbuwaththe and you can find my first visit https://wayfarersnotes.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/sembuwaththe-lake/

Sembuwatte Lake is in the border of the Campbell’s lane forest reserve and it is a man made lake using a land which was a golf court earlier. The road to the lake lies through the Elkaduwa tea estate, Hapuwidde division which is belong to the Elkaduwa plantations. The road towards Elkaduwa starts almost in the Wattegama town and there is about 12.5kms to Elkaduwa from Wattegama. There is a bus service from Wattegama to Elkaduwa.

This time we used a hired van and the journey started from Piliyandala. It was around 7.30 when we passed peradeniya. We used Peradeniya – Gannoruwa road and then Gohagoda road to avoid Kandy town. Then we went to Madawala from Katugastota and then to Elkaduwa.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0177…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSCF6678DSCF6691

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

We went up to Elkaduwa tea estate by the van and had to walk around 1 Km to Sembuwaththe Lake. My previous visit to sembuwaththe was on a misty day but this time it was a bright and a sunny day. The view was breathtaking……

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_000001…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

We walked along th pathway which is around the lake. The only thing disturbed the walk was Photo shooting!
😀

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_000001-001DSC_0179

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0178…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_000001b6…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0182…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0183…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0186…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_0184…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSCF6656DSCF6721

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSCF6745DSCF6725

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSCF6759…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
There is a man made swimming pool near the lake which is filled by a natural stream, but at the time we visited the pool was emptied for some reason (Cleaning may be) and was refilling. The Lake is said 35 feet deep and there are warnings not to swim in the Lake. After a long walk around the lake we went to Hotel Hunnas falls for Lunch around 12.30 p.m. First thing we saw was Roberosia Trees with pink flowers near the hotel golf court. There is a large pond inside the hotel premises where many large Carps live. The food was tasty and we had a great time swimming in the pool and walking around. We left the hotel around 6.30 p.m. because there is a long way to come back.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_000001b10DSC_000001b1

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DSC_000001b8DSC_000001b9……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. DSC_0188…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….DSC_000001b13DSC_0216

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….DSC_0268DSC_0218

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….DSCF6798DSC_0269

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….   DSCF6815…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….DSCF6802-002…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….