Adam's Peak through Kuruwita-Erathna Road (Off Season) - 2
In fact, that became an annual tour to warshipping 'Sri-Paada' mountain with our friends each year. The proposal is from Dimuthu, this time to climb via Kuruwita trail and back through Ratnapura trail making this my fifth time to warship Sri-Paada. With the flavor of Sinhala-Buddhist cultural values this sacred climb is generally known as 'Sriipa Karunaawa' in local language, Sinhalese.
Starting our journey we -four of us- get on to a Badulla (long distance service) Bus from Colombo and planned to get off from Kuruwita city junction and our team was consist of 5 members with the friend who joined with us at Kottawa, for the same bus. But we have to alter our plans and get off from Ahaliyagoda city (before Kuruwita) with a welcoming request from one of our friends stay there. After having our lunch there, our friend facilitates us with transportation (from his Cab) to Erathna, Kuruwita. So from Erathna we started our climb (Siripaa karunaawa) around 1400h facing disordered rainy climate. After considerable time we reached to 'Seeta-gangula river' and we thought it's best time to have a coffee and a little refreshment. Only until that no one knew, we are there with no Sugar & Cups. But after making alternative Cups (Cutting plastic water bottle and making it to two cups) we had a coffee without sugar; but with 'Aggalaa' (a very specific local Sweet (but with pepper sometimes) to have when you're on 'Sripaa Karunaawa' ). But as a matter of fact I will say it was a nice coffee.
By that time few of our friends had a swift bath from the river stream even in that so cold temperature conditions while others just cleaned their face and hands from river. The environment around us was getting dark and rain also becoming steady and heavy.
We were waiting at a rest place nearby the river almost an hour and crossed the river to enter the conventional site of Sri-Paada then after. It was bit risky to cross the river because of unsteady and fast moving water streams through the crossing.
We have to light up our electrical torches to clear the road, due to lack of natural light at that time. The inclined road in front of us was also getting hard to climb. Not only that, because of the continuous rain, a resistive water stream towards us was also there through the trail we climb. Making us scared and paying special attention, there were clear evidences that troops of elephants are dwelling in that area, such like elephant foot prints, their feces, broken leaves and bulldozed land area because of foot walks of elephant troops.
In fact the Darkness in the night, hard slope towards us, Forest around with the threat from elephants makes it an odyssey.
By 2000h we were able to reach 'Indikatu paana' rest place. Though we planned to reach the top terrace before to the next day, we thought it's better to spend the night there and start our journey back on next day morning, considering the current situation.
After changing our wet garments we took our dinner with bread and cracker biscuits. We made our simple bed (simplicity at its best) laying just a polythene on the floor. As a security precaution we block one of the two entrances of rest place with a big barrel available there. Unbearable low temperature, Heavy rain and fast wind made it so bad night. None of us had a continuous sleep though that night. Even though the rain faded, mist came with the wind in the morning.
We woke up in the morning around 0600h and had our breakfast, a hot tea, Aggalaa and Biscuits. Around 0645h we start our climb again.
Through the mist, Sun was shining to the Sri-Pada site across the forest. Soon after, we can come in to the place where 'Kuruwita-Erathna trail' meets 'Rathnapura-Palabaddala trail'. We had a simple morning wash from there and back to walk. On our way top terrace, we met another team whom on their back journey after worshipping the Top Terrace.
Mist + Tree
We came to 'Dragon pandol' (Makara Thorana) then after and pay our warship to The Lord Buddha. Again after passing a hardly inclined part of the trail, we came in to 'Andiya Mala Thenna' rest place. Having a short break we had a little refreshment also there.
The thrust of wind was very strong enough to oppose our climb to front; in 'Mahagiri dambaya' (This place is very steep and hard to climb). The steps which are used to be covered with thousands of pilgrims in the Sri-paada Season were totally covered with moss and small bushes. But it just brought us different feeling, not a thing to worry about. Finally we came to top terrace of sacred Sri-Paada sanctuary around 1045h in the morning.
We met the person staying there who is responsible for security and practices and duties to sacred foot-print of Lord Buddha, in the off season. With his support we rest for few minutes, then after having a enough wash we changed our dirty garments and ready with clean suits to warship the Sacred Foot Print, Srii-Paada.
One of our friends took a vey useful booklet with all relevant gatha (Buddhist's worshipping stanzas). So we practice our religious activities there with the help of that book and then pull the bell in sri-paada temple. (As per to the tradition you have to pull it equal to the number of times you warship to srii-paada terrace.) Then we travel seven rounds around the terrace as per to the tradition.
As we are lagging our planned schedule by four hours, we decided choose Hatton trail for return. So we started our back journey around 1200h noon. On our way back, we were able to see Sivil Security Soldiers were engaged in repairing the Hatton trail. Heavy rain and Mist were just adding fun and experience to our return, not an obstacle like we felt in climb.
In the season time, this was a small shop
As we experienced and as there was, the Sri-Paada Site was receiving heavy rain from few days at that time. So that we were able to see so many large water streams, small and medium size waterfalls confirming the mountain is the best in feeding rivers with water as per to the Sri Lankan general acceptance. (It is believed that all Mahaweli, Kelani, kalu and Walawe rivers all start from top of Sri-Paada mountain.)
Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Stupa
Gradually we came to 'Nallathanniya' around 1510h in the evening. Then took two buses to Hatton. The bus was travelling around the 'Laxapana reservoir Tank'. It was a nice view too.
After coming to Hatton City we were able to catch a bus to Colombo, but without availability of seats for us. So that we had to travel standing up in the bus more than four hours to Colombo. Anyhow we came to Colombo 1030h night. The End.
|Place||ARRIVAL TIME||DEPARTURE TIME|
|Erathna||Saturday, 14:00||Saturday, 14:00|
|Sitha Gangula River||Saturday 16:45||Saturday 18:00|
|Indikatu Pahana||Saturday 20:00||Sunday 06:45|
|Sripadasthanaya||Sunday 10:45||Sunday 12:00|
|Nallathanniya||Sunday 15:10||Sunday 16:00|