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THE CONTRASTING NATURE : Steep Uthuwankande and Flat Bible Rock

30th October 2022 was another memorable day for the Mora Hikers. At around 4.00 in the morning, the members who had gathered for a new adventure boarded the bus in front of the university and started the journey, and more members joined us during the journey. This time we planned to go on two hikes, one was to Uthuwankande and the other one was to Bible Rock. This was my 4th hike with MHC and I was so excited.

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After two and a half hours passed, we stopped to have our breakfast. The time was approximately 6.30 and the mist was still up. The climate was cool and everyone looked super excited. While admiring the beauty of the surroundings through the mist, we had our breakfast. We had a chat with the members, and we got to know each other. There were a few new faces, and they were also enjoying the vibe with the others. After finishing our breakfast, we started our ride. By the time, the mist was cleared and the sun was up. On the bus, we shared some food and snacks with others and had a wonderful time. Around 10.00 am, we reached the place where the trail for Uthuwankande starts. We parked the bus and started the hike. I took the necessary items with me and left others on the bus. Before the hike, all the hikers gathered around and introduced themselves one by one. The committee members were very friendly with us and I was very comfortable being around them. Then we discussed the mountain, height, area, and what are the things we can see at the peak.

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Uthuwankanda Or “Saradiel Rock” is a beautiful village with green paddy fields and mountains. It is situated in the Kegalle district in Sabaragamuwa province. The place is famously known as the hideout of Deekirikevage Saradiel Appu alias Utuwankande Sura Saradiel. He was a gang leader and outlaw who rebelled against British authorities during colonial rule. ‘Sura Saradiel’ is a bandit who became a legendary figure in Sri Lanka also referred to as the “Sri Lankan Robin Hood”. He was making a regional uprising against British Colonial rule instead of a manifestation of local lawlessness or economic injustice.

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After that small discussion, we started our hike. For most of us, the place was new. Due to which there was a risk of getting lost while hiking. To make sure of our safety, the total count of the hikers was taken while we were on the hike. We hiked through a thin forest. The weather was hot. So, we stopped at some places to have some water and rest. After half an hour, we reached the open area where the peak was located on the side. The peak is 430m in height. We used our palms and knees to climb the open area. It was a new and nice experience for me because I haven’t done that in my previous hikes. The view from there was awesome. We enjoyed the scenery for a while. Then we started climbing the peak. It was a pure 90-degree climb and when we stood on the top there were no words to express the beauty of the view. As a photographic enthusiast, I was so happy to witness this and to capture the moment. Then we spent some time enjoying taking photographs. As we needed to complete another hike, we started to climb down at around 11.30 am. Then we got on the bus and headed to Bible Rock. On the way, we recalled the wonderful experience we just had and had a wonderful time.

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Around noon, we reached the place and started our hike to Bible Rock. We walked through the roads and the path was long and steep as we moved along. I was tired and took breaks in the middle. Surprisingly, most of the houses along the road had benches outside. So we rested on the benches for a while. This made our hike a bit easier. Some of the residents noticed us and they came to talk to us. They were so kind and they also offered us water to refill our bottles. It took nearly an hour to come to the trailhead. Around 1.00 pm, we reached the trailhead. There was a shop and they offered chairs and mats for us to relax, which was an opportunity to relieve our travel fatigue and strengthen the bond between us and them. The kind gesture of the villagers melted our hearts. We rested there for a while. After some time, the lunch packets were distributed to the members. The food was so tasty and relieving. We had our lunch and chatted for a while. We also played carrom.

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The Bible Rock or “Bathalegala” is a rock mostly shaped to the world-famous citadel; Sigiriya. With a height of 797.7m and a width of 710m, it is in the district of Kandy, near Aranayake. It can be seen as majestic and tall when you travel along the Kandy Road passing Kadugannawa. This rock is named after the British as it looks like a book when viewed from the Kandy Road. According to the history of this rock, it is said that when the Kandyan Kingdom was under the threat of the Portuguese, locals sent men to watch over trespassers at the highest peaks around Kandy. Bathalegala was one such watchpoint with a very clear view of the Kadugannawa pass and the valley of Kegalle.

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Around 2.00 pm, we started our hike to the top of Bible Rock. As we were heading towards the top, we came across a stone staircase. This climb got steeper and was a continuous climb. The forest was rather cool as the entire surroundings were nothing but the thick and green, dense jungle! Towards the end of the trail, it was a rocky terrain and there were a few steps to climb guided by a wire railing. Finally, we came up to the summit. Wow, what a view! What a beauty! It was almost a flat surface and the view from there was marvelous. No words could express the feeling we had. We were surrounded by mountains. We enjoyed the scenery and did not forget to pose for photos.

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We spent nearly an hour on the summit. Suddenly, it started to drizzle. So, we started to climb down. But our entire vision was blocked by a thick layer of mist. We climbed down carefully through the mist, and it started to rain. We managed to come down to the trailhead without any difficulties. Then, we walked down to the place where we parked our bus. After a while, we left the place and reached the university around 11.00 pm, having dinner on the way and keeping many beautiful memories in our minds.

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Article by :-

K.Mathushanth

20 batch

Faculty of Engineering

Department of Civil Engineering

584 0
Created : Feb 15, 2023 03:26am
Last updated : Mar 2, 2024 04:15am