Dambulla is a district is a treasure trove for many mountaineering enthusiasts with many unheard and untrodden mountain ranges. Nuwaragala Kanda is also situated here and borders with the Polonnaruwa district. However, the site in question might be sought after by the historians as this is a somewhat historically important site, as it would for being sandwiched between two historically important districts, and possibly a literal “treasure trove” as it is a constant target of treasure hunters. If you traveled around Dambulla, chances are you have seen this mountain a couple of times.
Photo courtesy Amila J Senarathna
Photo courtesy Sandaruwann
This place is renowned to be treasure hunter heaven, hence, it would be ideal to hire a guide for this trip to reduce suspicions among the locals. Galkaruyaya is an area in which the range could be found where we walk is the closest bus stop.
We recommend going to Wewala junction first, while on the way there you might get a spectacular view of Erawula Gala, Galkoth Kanda, Kaludiya Pukuna Kanda, and Bambaragala.
A detour might enhance your experience, as the Wewala Lake is only 2 kilometers away, then go to Galkaruyaya for the main dish. A quarter-hour walk will take you over the elephant fence to the forest which leads to a footpath.
The ever famous Ahas Wewa resides on top of the mountain because it is enriched by Nuwaragala Oya and Kiri Oya which find their sources atop the mountain. Unfortunately, the dry season will fade away the stream and poses how long before this completely dried out.
The highlights of the journey are the Palace, multiple Monasteries, and the wonderful irrigational monuments which are all mouth-watering for history buffs, and the other unsavory bunch which is treasure hunters, which makes this the ideal hotspot for them due to it being relatively less secured. This, unfortunately, has led to the destruction of the ancient architects like the pathways, ponds, bases of monasteries, and the beautiful moonstones. Fun fact: This is the only monastery situated in hills which doesn’t have a drip ledge, which obviously adds more to the claim of this being a historically important site. There is also a perennial pond in the mountain called “Paththirippuwa”, unfortunately, the gutter at this point has fallen victim to the obvious foes of this and many other sites like these, the treasure hunters.
Then you can reach the first highlight of the journey, Nuwaragala Oya, which is important it is led to the maybe the high point of this journey, “Ahas Wewa” which is situated directly on top of the mountain which literally makes it the “peak” of the journey[hahaha...haa...ha?]. The climb from the pond to our target is exhausting as it is a continuous climb. But the journey is worth it as the sheer size of it alone definitely will defy your expectations[maybe not now?]
Once you reach there, however, you might realize that this Ahas Wewa is the “peak” of the journey might not be true after all, as what we failed to mention(so far) is the fact that the mountain has twin peaks, and the highest peak might actually be the other one. There are few spots on top which might give somewhat of a view to the surroundings however the high forestation makes the view even further narrow, however, what you might see your next destination “Gedaragala Pathana”.
Photo courtesy Amila J Senarathna