The Pettigala range is always one of the well-known mountains among the mountain enthusiasts due to its unique shape. By the literal definition of it meaning “Box Rock '', you would assume this to be a flat-shaped mountain, however quite contrary it is spike-shaped. The Colombo - Badulla road is known to provide travelers with beautiful sights every now and then, and this is certainly one of those.
Photo Credit: Sankha Kumaragamage
The biggest obstacle to anyone who dares to climb the range is the rain that lasts for a couple of hours in the morning. The range itself contains several peaks, Pettigala mountain has 2 peaks while Hunawalakanda, Ununugala, Badagala, and Kabaragala also reside in the range.
The climbers must always brace themselves for the rain if there is anything certain about this whole journey that would be the climate of the area. The walk from the Pettigala bus to the Rettigala estate will provide the appetizer for the whole journey as the view is breathtaking with small water flows due to the rain adding to its beauty.
Getting a guide in this journey is paramount as only faint footpaths would lead you in the correct directions and you would need someone familiar with the area to do it. The through the footpath ends in a stream that originates from the twin peaks of Pettigala and hence providing us with the main course of the journey as it lies through this stream. The obstacles are just the ones you would imagine in a situation like this, slippery boulders, and intense water flow courtesy of the rain are few to be named, and perhaps maybe to compensate for these obstacles the nature provided with the beautiful view of some waterfalls, and speaking truthfully it did that more than enough. The ascend through the stream would gradually lead to the forest. An hour of the somewhat harsh climb would take you to the area that is commonly considered the one of peaks of the mountain.
Photo Credit: Bilal & Izzy
Photo Credit: Alethia Toh
The area itself is an open area and is not steep, perhaps this is what gave it the name “Pettigala”. As you would expect the area is a favorite spot for camping along with a rock slab found on the other peak of the mountain. This would be the least time-consuming journey as we heard traveling to the other peak would take a lot more time, and camping here and having a bit of fun here might not be the worst idea ever. The unfortunate truth about the climate is other than providing with a difficult climb it also curbs the view due to the mist, hence the view was a little unclear however the Colombo - Badulla road is at least clearly visible along with some greenery and if you are lucky you might experience a more favorable climate and a better view.
The return journey is also not the easiest as you must constantly be aware of the water level and descending through the slippery slope could be dangerous if not being cautious. However, the view from the estate itself is not half bad as Hawaga, Adara Kanda, Balanthuduwa, Dethanagala, Gommolliya, Hortain Plains and much more were visible due to a more favorable climate. The view of SamanalaWewa reservoir and Weligepola windmills were also visible much to our surprise and gave a fitting conclusion to the journey.