Hunnasgiriya ; where my roots lie

Huhnnasgiriya peak as seen from the ridge level.

First I would like to clear off a miss conception of people thinking this is the Hunnasgiriya you come across on the way to Mahiyanganaya. But ‘no’. This is a conical mountain that stands west of the Knuckles range with an altitude of about 1500 m and is one of the catchment areas of Amban ganga and Hulu ganga.

There are two trails to reach the peak ; from Elkaduwa side and from Panwila side. As per information I collected, we decided to ascend from the Panwila side and back-route as Elkaduwa trail was said to be not very clear.

We gathered at Kandy at 6 a.m (on 4th July 2017, Tuesday) and took the bus to Waththegama and reached there by 7 a.m. Then we took another bus to reach Panwila from Waththegama. FYI, you can reach Panwila directly without taking two buses by getting on to Panwila via Pitiyegedara bus. As well, from Waththegma, you can take Panwila, Kabaragala, Gomare, Madolkale etc. to reach Panwila.

It took about another half an hour for us to reach Panwila from Waththegama. So we were on foot by 7.30 a.m to hike up to the summit of Hunnasgiriya. After getting down at Panwila, you have to walk another several hundred meters towards Madolkale to reach the road that leads to the trial head.

The road leading to the upper Hathale state and beyond towards the trail head.

I must mention that the hike through the woods takes just about thirty minutes if you follow the road all the way up and is possible to do so with a motor bike or a jeep with good ground clearance. But we nut cases choose the harder way and proceeded on foot. The sky was clear, but the peak was covered by clouds.

I have presented a map with the route marked and you may follow it to the top. For further clarifications of the route, refer to google maps, to the other article I have hyper-linked, ask the villagers for directions and use your instincts in path finding.

The road to the trail head and the trail. (image is from google maps.)
This scenic cricket pitch is just below the Hathale mini world’s end…
A tea cultivation in the upper Hathale division. (The senior generation of my family had cultivation lands in this area.. but not recently though.) You may see the high risen tea trees which were allowed to grow so to make wind shadows and to obtain tea seeds.

It took about three hours for us to reach the trail head that lead into the forest. The forest is a mountain cloud forest with a thick under growth. The trail was clear. But the undergrowth has started to cover up it as this was the off season to climb Hunnasgiriya. (My grandmother said it is the Siripada season that people use to climb this.) It took only about thirty minutes for us to reach the summit through the forest as we kept up a pretty high phase of walking to minimize leech attacks.

The trail head

On the way to the peak, we passed a stream of water which makes a waterfall a little further down streams from the place where we crossed it. The peak was still covered by clouds by the time we reached it. So it had no view to offer us. After taking few pictures there, we started descending and decided to have the lunch at the water stream I mentioned above.

The water way…
There was this sign which directed us towards the peak from the rock face where the stream was…
On the way to summit ; had to clear off some parts of the trail as the plants have begun to grow  towards the foot path…
The summit of Hunnasgiriya.
Getting out of the woods… observe the thickness of the cloudy forest.
The peak ;  on our descend.
The Knuckles range.
The view from the mini world’s end. You may see the Victoria dam very clearly from here.

We rested there for a while and started getting down again. On the way, we visited the mini world’s end at the upper Hathale division. It was about 2.45 when we reached the Panwila town again and we got on a bus to Kandy from there.

The gang.

p.s : on the way we were able to observe the Hanthana range, Bathalegala, Aranayaka and Alagaalla range as well. The north side was not seen as it was covered by clouds.


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