Hiking of Sripada (Adam's peak) through a jungle trail started from Daraniyagala - Day 1
Though it was almost 8.00 am when Hiruna & I got off from the bus, the town of Avissawella was surrounded by mist. The situation made me happy; because it was a good indicator of having a clear sky for the next couple of days. We collected all the stuff from Avissawella; until the rest of our team who started their journey from Colombo were arrived.
We were heading a holy hike of Sri Pade (Adams peak). Sripade, mostly called by Europeans as Adam’s peak is one of the highest mountain in Sri Lanka. It is popular due to existence of a holy foot print on the top of the peak. While the Buddhists believe the foot print as Load Buddha, Christians & moors believe it as the foot print of Adam. Because of the existence of clove there, they believe this island as the Eden garden.
The season for worshiping Adam's peak is a period of 6 month starting from the full moon day of December to the same in May, the next year. There are three main routes for the summit of the Adams peak. Hatton - Nallathanni route is the shortest and the most popular one. Rathnapura – Palabathgala is the second in popularity & in distance of the trail. However both trails have developed with concreted steps. The last one, Kuruwita - Erathna trail is still considered as a fully natural trail.
Other than those formal routes, there are three jungle trails which hardly used by travelers. Our ambition was to hike Sri pade through one of such hidden trail started from Daraniyagala. You have to trek 8 km out of 15km trail, in a thick rainforest where would not find any sign of civilization.
It was a 45 minutes bus journey from Avissawella to Daraniyagala. The first event at Daraniyagala was hiring a vehicle for Dikelikanda the destination of the day. It was succeeded and hired an elf route van for Rs. 3000/= which made us satisfied at the end of the day. Our night stay of that day was arranged by one of Dinesh’s friends whose home town was Daraniyagala. His brother was kind enough to guide us upto Dikelikanda.
The road from Daraniyagala to Dikelikanda via Uda-malimboda was narrow but scenic. We had a short stay at the suspension bridge, Nakkavita. And afterwards a few minutes at the bridge made recently replacing the old causeway (Ford) for the main road.
From there onward the road was much steep. The famous seven waterfalls (Eli hatha fall) were visible in a distance at the first time. Having crossing the stream with a huge ford we entered the Udamalimboda region. However it was 1.30 pm when we reached Dekelikanda, our destination of the day.
Small house in a tea land was the place of our night stay. Having our lunch there, we spent the whole evening for collecting fire wood & dipping in the ice cooled water of the stream nearby.
Bread with sinisambol was our dinner but even without a slice of Maldives fish. Because we had committed to do the holy hike following all the traditions as much as our grand people who did the same before half a century. Therefore we had been vegetarian for few days. Night was very cool because the sky was free from clouds. The surrounding was lighten by the moon (It was just two days to Duruthu full moon day) while the inside of our palace was lighten with a hurricane lantern. No electricity, No mobile coverage, It was a nice experience indeed.෴