Exploring Nuwara Gala – the second leg

2/24/10


We all were quite amazed to explore Nuwara-Gala when we saw it for the first time. I revealed about it in one of my past posts. We decided to have an excursion again in November 2009, after the terrorism problem is over in the area.

As usual we left Colombo very early in the morning and head to Pollebedda via Maha Oya. We were aware about the severe drought in the area and got prepared with necessary drinking water with us.

Once we stepped in to the village we saw a lot of changes. We spent our first night in the school (Pollebedda Maha Vidyalay) and it had been developed so much. Last time we saw only a couple of poor buildings, but it had been converted to a big school with an increased number of students. Even the village economy seemed to have gained some growth may be with the Rambakan Oya irrigation project. Such development projects occur with the villages could even make devastating changes to day to day lives of the people and their society.

We couldn’t meet the old Wedda chief Gomba this time, but we heard that he was so old and spending most of the time on a wheel chair.

Wijaya who guided us to the Nuwara-Gala last time, also joined us with two other experienced trackers, (Gunabanda & Dharmadasa) who are very friendly and experts in the subject as same as Wijaya. We started our hike following early morning and it was so hot and weather was as dry as could be. Forest hadn’t experienced rain for last 6 months and strong wind was quite unbearable when we go up the top of the rock. Spending the night in the cave where we used last time, seemed quite impossible with the increasing winds in the late hours. So we spent (mostly sleepless!) our second night on the rock surface. We time to time changed the locations to find safe places from the wind, but it wasn’t possible at all.

Forest was not with much difference, but as we explained in the previous post this forest is very much exposed to illegal timber traders and poaching. Positive change was, water in the pond on the top of the rock was bit more cleanly and we used them for washing.

Anyway, I guess, it is high time to take steps to conserve this historically valuable place for future generations. Under current condition, anyone can destroy the ruins and historically valuable entities.

It was as tough as last time but we managed to get the real fruit of the dry zone hike. Mostly we were better equipped with knowledge about the area and relevant surrounding through Dr.Spittle’s and Mr.Douglas B.Ranasinghe’s books.

Below are only few of the photographs taken by Uresh and Roshan.








It’s a good walk through the dry grassy lands


Only fresh water spring lie in this thicket








A lot of room for photography!


Man made pond on the rock surface on the top













Cave which we used to spend night last time.

6 comments:

Kirigalpoththa said...

Marvellous place! I'm surprised to see water in that pond. Is it rain water?

Lovely photos too. Some really good ones are there!

sumedha Obeysekera said...

Well..it is a surprise in deed. I can't say exactly whether its rain water or not, but unbelieveable fact is when whole jungle get dried this remains with a clear water without any problem...even Elephants are coming miles to this water..

This is a fortress just like Sigiriya..

Kirigalpoththa said...

Yep it is a real fortress!

Can any one go there? or do you need permission /guide of some sort.

sumedha Obeysekera said...

No Permission is needed. But it is recommended to find a local person who know the tracks as a guide.

Darshana said...

Good to see you guys....doing all the hiking and treking....:) Specially Uresh....and I got to read this blog now,,,,its really interesting Ibz....

sumedha Obeysekera said...

But it has been really challanging to find time with current conditions!
Thanks for the interest and comment.

 
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