This is actually a three day tour and it had a hike to Manigala in the day in middle. On day one, we (three males and two females) got onto a bus at about 11.30 a.m from Kandy to reach Dambulla. We reached Dambulla in about two hours time and had the lunch there. Then we took a Mahiyanganaya via Kalu ganga bus to reach Kalu ganga where we had a generous host.
We (another female joined the company) spent the night there and took a private vehicle from Kalu ganga at about 7 O’clock in the morning (29th June 2017) to reach Atanwala village via Pallegama, Laggala, Ilukkumbura and Madiwela village. But we had to get down the vehicles before reaching the Atanwala village as the road was closed for constructions.
We started our journey on foot at about 8 O’clock. The weather was good and the sky had no sign of rain. The village side was scenic as the fields were harvested and the yellowish brown ‘Ipanalla’ was in the sight for acres in the Thelgamu oya basin afoot the Manigala mountain.
From the Atanwala village, the foot path to Manigala starts and am not going to bother describing the land marks for turns and directions as you can simply ask villagers who are so damn friendly. But be kind enough to smile them with eye contacts and thank them for pointing in the right directions.
You’ll come across “Wadda pani ella” which is also made by the Thelgamu oya on the way to the edge of the Atanwala village. From the edge of the village, the foot path begins and is very clear as the trail is marked with red paint on the trees.
There were three main stops in the hike; first was a ‘worlds end’ kind of place, secondly a ‘Horton plains’ kind of place and finally, the peak. (I’ve given pictures to justify my point. 😉 )
The Horton plains kind of place is ideal for camping. The thing is I didn’t see any water source on top. So, you would need to carry a considerable amount of water, find a wind shadow for the tents as the wind up there was stormy. Though this place doesn’t have a 360º view, you can clearly see Yahangla, Thunhis gala, Doowili alla, the main Knuckles range (if they were not hidden in the clouds), the Riverstone peak and the Pitawala pathana followed by the mini world’s end.
The peak also doesn’t offer a good view as it is not bold. But on the descend, there are several good view points. From these points, you may see the Moragahakanda reservoir, the Kalu ganga reservoir construction site, Walasgala and Wasgamuwa side, other than the Riverstone peak and the Pitawala pathana which you have already seen.
It took us just about four hours to complete the hike and descend to ‘Dumbara wana niwahana’ side. But it is a must to say that it would take a longer time to hike the trail the other way as the altitude gain is greater and the trail is harder to ascend the other way as it has some 80º parts in it.
On our hike, we observed several types of vegetation and so many types of fauna ranging from slight insects to mammals such as rabbits. (which I am gonna be presenting in separate articles.) After getting down to the Ilukkumbura side at about 12:30 p.m, we had a bath in the Thelgamu oya, refreshed ourselves and had the lunch. We spent some time leisurely there and the left the place at about 3 O’clock on a private vehicle.
- There were so many areas with thorny shrubs and I was wearing a short. So, better do a proper background research before going on a hike.
- Take care when dealing with water ways. I was over confident with that case and slipped n fell in the Thelgamu oya, ruining my mobile phone while crossing it to go upstream to the place I usually bath.