The amaze of Sri Lanka is not there only because of its environmental beauty. The hidden stories and the bewildering chronicles advances the beauty of the country in a much astonishing manner. Out of most of the chronicles found about Sri Lanka, the hill country is heavily covered based on the stories of King Rawana. Rawana Ella (waterfall), Rawana Cave and mini Adam’s Peak are key tourist destinations which attract many people simply due to the breath-taking views sand also the underlying historical stories.

We started our journey to visit the Ella Rock, Rawana cave and Lipton Seat with a proper plan for two days’ journey. As we took the Podi Manike train from Colombo Fort at 8.30, the number of incredible views we came across in the upcountry train till Badulla is uncountable. If I am to write the actual feelings of embracing nature, these pages will not be sufficient to turn my thoughts in to words. Apparently, it is an impossible task as there are no enough words to describe the true beauty of mother nature we see during the journey via the hill country train route. The places such as Ambewela, NanuOya, Ohiya, Demodara, Nine Arch Bridge, and Great Western increased the beauty of the route to a heavenly level. The train reached Badulla at around 7.30 in the night. We spent the night that day at a rest house in front of the Muthiyanngala Raja Maha Viharaya. Even though that night was extremely cold, we embraced precious sleep with real excitement about the next day hike on Ella Rock.

The amaze of Sri Lanka is not there only because of its environmental beauty. The hidden stories and the bewildering chronicles advances the beauty of the country in a much astonishing manner. Out of most of the chronicles found about Sri Lanka, the hill country is heavily covered based on the stories of King Rawana. Rawana Ella (waterfall), Rawana Cave and mini Adam’s Peak are key tourist destinations which attract many people simply due to the breath-taking views sand also the underlying historical stories.

We started our journey to visit the Ella Rock, Rawana cave and Lipton Seat with a proper plan for two days’ journey. As we took the Podi Manike train from Colombo Fort at 8.30, the number of incredible views we came across in the upcountry train till Badulla is uncountable. If I am to write the actual feelings of embracing nature, these pages will not be sufficient to turn my thoughts in to words. Apparently, it is an impossible task as there are no enough words to describe the true beauty of mother nature we see during the journey via the hill country train route. The places such as Ambewela, NanuOya, Ohiya, Demodara, Nine Arch Bridge, and Great Western increased the beauty of the route to a heavenly level. The train reached Badulla at around 7.30 in the night. We spent the night that day at a rest house in front of the Muthiyanngala Raja Maha Viharaya. Even though that night was extremely cold, we embraced precious sleep with real excitement about the next day hike on Ella Rock.

Next day early morning, we took the previous day Podi Manike train and reached Kithul Ella railway station at around 8.30 in the morning. Ella rock starting point is situated in front of the Kithul Ella railway station. A beautiful waterfall was situated closer to the railway station and it is called as the Kithul Ella itself. Most of the tourists who come to visit Ella rock are foreign tourists and from those tourists, a higher rate is taken by the guides around. If they are not paid sufficiently, the guides try to deceive the paths and make the journey more difficult and useless. We also started our journey without paying these guides and as it was told earlier, we lost the route. It took us almost one hour to find the exact path and only an old person living close to the path came for our rescue. Once we came back to the right path, finding the route was not a much difficulty.

We reached the top of the Ella rock passing steep mountains and grassy areas. There are two main viewpoints there. Both are heavily crowded with foreign tourists. We could taste a plain tea which was included with “sera”. Even though lain tea was given, it is difficult to find water on the top of the rock. Therefore, it is advised to take sufficient water and food. The view which we enjoyed on the top of Ella rock is breath-taking. Owe stayed there for about an hour and then started the way back journey. Once we came around half way down, a beautiful young lady gave us a valid hint. Through this hint, we started to search Rawana Caves. 

It is somewhat less attention given route by the tourists. It goes to a village which is situated closer to Rawana Raja Maha Viharaya. We walked for about 04 kilometres and reached the village. The little guide we found there was awesome. He took us to the Rawana Raja Maha Viharaya and even though he was only 05 years old, could earn around Rs. 400 from us. Both the Rawana Raja Maha Viharaya and the jungle closer by is managed by the Rawana Protection Authority. Therefore, we were not allowed to go in to the jungle as we preferred. We had to take a ticket from the Rawana Raja Maha Viharaya in order to go in to the Rawana jungle. Once we walked for around 01 kilometres, the entrance point of the Rawana Cave was found. Via a dark route, we could reach the inside of the Rawana cave. Inside the cave, a stone door was found. As per the chronicles, this is the path to the underground village of King Rawana. We later got to know from the villagers that this place could be reached from the path behind the shrine room of Rawana Raja Maha Viharaya as well. There was a square shaped pit in front of the cave door and a model of the Dandu Monaraya has been found from there along with the famous mercury storm engine in year 2004 – 2009 period. Villagers told us that these have been theft away from the Rawana Raja Maha Viharaya.

However, we reached the Wellawaya main route at around 5.00 in the evening by coming across the village. Once we walked for around 02 kilometres from there, we could see the Rawana Ella as well. Such a tiresome yet wonderful day was over with the aim of seeing Lipton Seat the next day.

Translated from Sinhala medium article by Mr. Sulochana Udawela