Sri Pada Mountain - Rathnapura-Palabaddala trail
I have been to Sri Pada three times. But, on any of those three occasions, we never took the Rathnapura trail. While I was waiting for a chance to climb Sri Pada mountain through Rathnapura trail, one of my friends (who work at the same company as I work) asked me to join with their family to climb the Sri Pada mountain through Rathnapura trail. We start our journey from Homagama at about 14:00, Saturday from my friend's vehicle. We came to Palabadhdhala (Starting point of Rathnapura Trail) at about 18:00. We ate bread with dhal curry & Sinisambal for our dinner and started our journey with pure and correct mind. It's been told that you have to keep your mouth and thoughts away from dirty, hatred, and grudge feelings and stay away from filthy words.
Sun Rise at Sri Padasthanaya
That day was little bit rainy. It was raining when we starting our long walk to Sri Pada. So, we had to use our Umbrellas. But, half an hour rain stopped. Rathnapura trail is in good condition till we reach 1/3 of the full journey. It is easy to climb Sri Pada mountain through this trail rather than using the Kuruvita-Erathna Trail. But, this trail is difficult than the Hatton-Nallathanni trail. Without any special difficulty, we were able to reach till the Mahagiridaba. During the journey, we stopped at few places to have a hot cup of tea to refresh ourself. It was at about 04:00 in the morning when we reached the Mahagiridaba. We took half an hour rest at that place so that we can reach the top of Sri Padasthanaya when the Sun starts to rise. After taking half an hour rest, we continue our journey at 04:30. But, since we were tired from the journey, we could not reach the top of the mountain as we expected. Sun rise has begun when we are still climbing the last part of the Mahagiridhaba. So, we had to put more effort to climb the mountain quickly. It was about 05:30 in the morning, when we reached our final destination, Sri Padasthanaya.
Sun Rise at the Sri Padasthanaya
Due to the Morning 'Buddha Puja', upper part of the Sri Pada Temple was closed. So, all the people came to Sri Pada that day was gathered to lower stage of top area (Pahatha Maluwa) to watch the Sun rise. The day we went to Sri pada was a Sunday. So, there were many people who came to worship the Sri Padasthanaya. As I said early, before to this I have been to Sri Padasthanaya three times. But, I was not fortunate to see the Sun Rise. This day, I was able to watch the fascinating Sun Rise that all the people talking about.
I could not describe the Sun Rise by words. It was one of few most beautiful thing that I have seen in my whole life. When sun rises from the clouds, all the sky is turned to red colour. Entire sky turned into different colours and different shapes. After sun rises to some extent, the shadow of the Sri Pada mountain is visible on mist making shadow Sri Pada mountain, because sun coming from one end of the mountain.
Shadow of Sri Pada Mountain
After all of us worshiping to the sacred foot print of Lord Buddhada, we started our journey back to down.
Return was very difficult to most of us. The main reason for that difficulty was the large amount of steps that we must pass. Even though steps made the journey up to the mountain easy, steps make the journey down to the mountain harder. We were able to reach our stating point at about 18:00. My friends father was waiting in the vehicle till we come. So, we get into the van and were able to come to Homagama town at about 11:30. We had a little snak while we come to the Homagama.