Scenic hike to Bathalegala(Bible Rock) 2461ft
|By : Dinesh Deckker|
|Contact the Author : email@example.com | 0716- 818740|
|Year & Month||Number of Days||Crew||Weather||Transport|
|Colombo -> Mawanella -> Gewilipitiya -> Hathgampala -> Bibles rock ->Hathgampala-> Hathgampala-> Mawanella-> Colombo|
|Travel Tips, Travel Notes and Special remarks|
This travelogue is dedicated to my team Members and My lovely Wife.
Although Bathelegala been seen many times on my way to Kandy, for many years I believed this was an impossible hike considering the shape of the rock. As a member of lakdasun nature forum I was privileged to see a very valuable trip report written by our dear colleague Ashan Geeganage. What a coincidence Ashan also climbed in September last year(2009).The report it self encouraged me to do the hike as soon as possible and was on my priority travel places list.
Yet, I waited….
After arranging two successful trips using lakdasun as the platform I get to know few adventures that were like minded as well as interesting and hardcore characters as the crew for Bathalegala. Although many interested only four (Nirmal Senadeera, Darshana Sumanasekara, Viraj Rathnapriya begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting and My Self) were able to join the journey.
The date was scheduled as 22nd September, but the rainy season started as expected and the night before the journey it rained and continued till the morning. We planned to use public transport and gathered in Pettah bus stand 7.30AM. Luckily we were able to get on to a Mawenella bus around 8AM and one crew member (Viraj) joined us from Nittambuwa. It took nearly 2 hours to reach Mawanella. When we reached Mawanella we were surprised to see blue skies and Mother Nature blessed us throughout the journey.
Though we saw Mawanella – Aranayaka CTB bus in the bus stand we used a 3 Wheeler to get to Bathalegala. Three wheel driver promised to drop us the closest place possible yet he dropped us 500M after we passed Bathalegala sign board. Though we felt cheated while walking up hill we understood the scenario. It was a steep climb and with four people in a tuk tuk it was nearly imposible.
(So if you are planning to climb Bathalegala better use public transport till Gewilipitiya and there is a bus towards Hatgampala and from there take a 3 wheeler. If your vehicle has good ground clearance you will have the chance getting as near as possible. )
The road was concreted till we met a small boutique on our way. We stopped there for a while and had some fresh banana. Beyond this point the road was in very bad condition and there was around 750M to the trail head from this point. We were able to see the side view of Bathalegala after some time and some breathtaking scenery.
Later we came across a rock bed where we relaxed a bit, which was a part of the base of Bathalegala. As we continued along the road we were exited to see the top of Bathalegala which was our final destination. There were lots of houses either side of the road until the trailhead.
We walked all the way till the last house and that was the trail head and we were able to see the trail through a deforested area. We started the climb 12.30PM and from the start it was a steep climb. We were tired as we started the climb after 2KM uphill journey. Around 12.50PM we entered the forest patch. Our 3 wheel driver advised us to be care full in this section of the trail as there are Wasp nests. So if you are going to climb Bathalegala in the near future please be silent and careful in this section of the trail. By the way we hurried in this section as we were very excited to go up.
We met another resourceful group while we were on the summit of Bathalegala and luckily there were from that area and one girl who was in the group was “the sister of the Bathalegala temple high priest”. They were very nice people and we were able to learn lot from them about Bathalegala and surroundings. We walked towards the most North end of Bathalegala. The views in one word the “WoW”…
The other group and our selves discussed a lot about Bathalegala. According to their information there was a rock just before the edge on the North side of the rock which was damaged due to lightning strikes. He said it is very dangerous to do this climb if there is any sign of rain. Because lightning struck Bathalegala often and recently struck 16 strikes in one day.
So if there is lightning or rain PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB!
We get to know some unknown facts about Bathalegala.
1.) Bathalegala is directly under the World Magnetic Field Line.
2.) Lightning has a special attraction towards Bathalegala.( If there is lightning at least 2-3 will struck Bathalegala.)
3.) Bathalegala get rain without rain clouds on top of Bathalegala. (It has some kind of attraction towards water. It attracts water from nearby clouds.)
Explanation I got for that
4.) Bathalegala Temple was once destroyed by Muslim Extremists (No offence). But villagers have given them a punishment and they are always on the watch for suspicious activities.
5.) Bathaegala has a cave on the summit and once “Loku Hamuduruwo” was a victim of a lightning strike and luckily survived.
6.) Basically we see Bathalegala as a single rock yet it is not.
Explanation I got for that
7.) There is a water supply and electricity on the top of the summit.
8.) There was a cable car project proposal from Kadugannawa to Bible rock which was 7.5KM cable car ride but it was cancelled.
9.) Also we were able to see a rock which was early a part of Bathalegala and 50 years ago people were able to jump to that rock from Bathalegala but now its apart and its called “Idiri Gala”. Basically the rock is going down!!
Anyway after 1 hour we walked towards the temple which was a very small stupa with a “Gantara Kuluna” and from the southern end of the rock we were able to see “Ahupini / Asupini Ella clearly. The view was totally different than the northern end of the rock and yet very interesting.
We experienced lovely views for around half and hour and returned back to Hathgampala( Although there is a easy descending route towards Aranayaka we had to use the same route as Viraj left some belongings in a house on our way )and we had a bath in a public well in Hathgampala before returning home. It was a remarkable yet easy to do hike with best 360 degree views of the country. I can honestly say, it was one of the greatest hikes I have ever done.
Bathalegla, remain in a special place in my travel journal.
Have a Safe Journey!