Ultimate hike to the Top of Saptha Kanya Mountain (Seven Virgin)

By : Sanketha
Contact the Author : sanketha@yahoo.com |
Year & Month Number of Days Crew Weather Transport
May, 2004 3 10 Misty in the morning and rain in evening Colombo to Ginigathhena by bus and then to by hiring van.
Trip Route
Colombo-> Awissawella -> Kithulgala -> Ginigathhena -> Koththellana -> Norton Bridge -> Dikoya -> Hatton -> Ginigathhena -> Kithulgala -> Awissawella -> Colombo
Accommodation
Camping at top of Saptha Kanya mountain

 

Travel Tips, Travel Notes and Special remarks
  • Accompanied a person from that area as a tracker
  • Do not carry Plastic items, Make sure you bring back everything you took.
  • Better to carry necessary amount of water if you are going to camp
  • Ropes are needed to climb
  • Be prepared for leaches attack
  • Leave only Foot prints

This is dedicated to My Crew Members.

This was a hike we did sometime back. Our main objective is to climb the Saptha Kanya mountain range and explore the area.

In the morning we got into a Hatton bus at around 9AM and reached Ginigathhena around 11:30AM. From there we haired a van to Koththellana. We had our lunch and started to climb from Koththellana area. First you have to go through tea plantation and then pine trees. After that there’s no clear path, you have to go by making a path trough the bushes. And that is the difficult part since the way is very steep. Some times you need ropes to climb. But on the way we saw some elephant dung.

We accompanied a person from that area as a tracker. That is the best way to do since there’s no clear path to the top. We started to climb around 2PM and able to reach the mountain top around 6PM. We harried to put our tent because it’s getting dark. There was no level surface for the tent. We put some grass under the tent sheet to make it somewhat comfortable.

On the following day morning the view from top of the mountain is fantastic. After having some noodles for breakfast we stared to move on to adjoining mountains. There is a foot path, but seems like not used much. On the way between 2nd and 3rd peak we saw the place where plane crashed. We stared around 10AM and able to reach 6th peak around 1PM.

Martinair Flight 138 Crash in December 4 1978
Martinair Flight 138 was a chartered flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The aircraft was operated on behalf of Garuda Indonesia. On December 4, 1974, the aircraft crashed into a mountain shortly before landing, killing all aboard – 182 Indonesian hajj pilgrims bound for Mecca, and 9 crew members.

The Douglas DC8 is said to have departed Surabaya, Indonesia at approximately 12.03 UTC heading to Jeddah planning a stop at Bandaranayake airport, Colombo, Sri Lanka. At around 16.30 UTC Colombo control cleared the flight. At 16.38 UTC another air traffic controller is said to have intervened and cleared the flight down to 5000 feet and reported clearing to 8000 feet. Colombo approach then cleared the flight down to 2000 feet at 16.44 and told the flight to expect a runway 04 approach. The crew aboard the flight were then asked to report when the air field was in sight. The crew then continued their descent until the plane finally crashed into “Saptha Kanya” Mountain at an altitude of approximately 4,355 feet and at around 4 nm east of Colombo. This air crash caused a 191 fatalities, 182 passengers and 9 crew members. This crash remains as the worst disaster in Sri Lankan aviation history.


Between the 6th peak and 7th peak there’s a water steam. Apart from that there are no water steams. And also I’m not sure that’s there in dry seasons (we went in a rainy season).

But after reaching the water stream we were unable to find foot path. We searched everywhere and unable to find. Our plan was to climb down from other side (the tracker said there’s a farm). But we had to change our plan and walk back the same way we climbed.

About 5PM we were able to come to the place where we camped. And then rain stared. But around 7PM we were able to reach the road where we stared the climb. We were heavily attacked by the leaches. Our foots were covered with blood. Even we had nothing after breakfast except some biscuits. We called our friend in Dikoya and arranged a van.



 

Have a Safe Journey!

Filed Under: MountaineeringTrekking

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Comments (4)

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  1. roville says:

    feel so sorry about the passengers on that flight, i hear that there are particles from the crashed plane even up to date, didn’t you guys get a chance of visiting the sight?
    it is a long time dreams to see, because my in laws live around there, and they say at time they have heard a la large explosion sound,according to the stories it has to be scattered all around.

  2. sanketha says:

    Hi rovill,

    Yes, really sorry about the passengers of that plain since no one Survived. We haven’t seen any particles from the crashed plane since our trail goes though the peaks of the mountains. May be there are remaining in far below. But we couldn’t even think of going down because of the steepness.

    Best Regards,
    Sanketha.

  3. Asoka says:

    Super site, and thanks for the memories!

    I was on holiday with my Father at Carolina Estate, Watawala, when the plane crashed. The day after the crash we all got into the estate jeep and went to the site, and hiked though the tea estate and the forest at the foot-hils, till we reached a sheer rock face which had to be scaled with ropes, where we gave up. On the way I picked up a small piece of the aircraft, and also got a bigger piece from a pile collected near the road. I still have that big piece. Can still remember that the rock face high above had a long horizontal scratch where the wingtip must have scraped along. I was 14 at the time, and it was a real adventure of a life time!

    Safe hiking!
    Asoka

  4. viraj says:

    Hi sanketha,

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful experience with us

    BR

    viraj

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