Exploring of popular view points at Poonagalla Estate
It was an extraordinary cool morning to Wellawaya. We waked up before the Sun and left the Little Rose Inn, the night stay of us at Wellawaya. We moved heading Diyaluma, as the first travel location of the day. The fall was rather young because it might rain at Bandarawela area, those days. Because Poonagalla Oya, the stream formed Diyaluma, was originated from Bandarawela area.
Travelling few kilometers passing Diyaluma, we reached a small town called Koslanda where a Y-junction was existed. At that junction, we turned in to the sub route which ran to Bandarawela via Poonagala. The road was steep & narrow, but maintained well. It ran through the southern wall of the central range of mountain in Sri Lanka. The first segment of the road was laid through a pines forest. Later it turned in to a tea plantation. We met just a few villages and most of the times our road was lonely. How ever having a long ascending, we reached a multi-junction from where we had to turn for Pilkington Point.
From there onwards, challengers were begun with estate roads. The first two kilometers of the estate road was rather manageable. There was a gate in the middle and we had to get a ticket for visiting.
The Pilkington point was a nice place to visit and it offered you an end-less view up to the southern cost, in a clear day. The location was elevated more than 4600 ft from MSL and it said that regions belonged to five districts were visible to the same. Especially Wellawaya, Kiri vehera of Kataragama, Monaragala, Embilipitiya & Udawalawe were some of them. Since it was a clear day, we were lucky enough to feel the said opportunity. As per the plaque there, the place was named to memorize Sir George Pilkington, the first Managing Director of the Poonagalla Valley Plantation in 1898.
Since a Tuk-tuk (Three wheeler) driver was there with his fiancée, we inquired on the road condition to the Millennium point. At our inquiry, his opinion was to drive our vehicle up to the millennium point. As per him, our vehicle would be easily driven to the millennium point. So we decided to drive beyond rather parking the vehicle along at the Pilkington point.
The first segment offered only a few difficulties. We managed them without harm. Then the second.., third…, each segment was more vulnerable than the previous. The risk was that you had to drive to the end of a segment, if you start it, because there was no turning point in the middle. And no need to explain the difficulties to reverse a vehicle with low ground clearance in such a terrain. Definitely, our three wheeler friend wanted to send us away in anyway; because our visit would be a barrier for them. However the poor vehicle took us to the last turning point we met before the MP and let us to walk the rest (nearly 200m). It was the edge of the tea plantation and there was a water source also. It may important if you wish to camping at the MP (Don’t know whether permission is required).
The road was laid through a forest patch and there were many evidences on roaming of wild elephants & wild boars.
In the next 15 minutes, we were at the MP. An abundant summer hut was there. The roof of the same seemed to be destroyed by heavy wind. But the deck of the same was strong enough to bear the weight of us. This place offered nearly 350o view for travelers. Wallawaya town was just below & you can enjoy and endless view up to southern sea.
However the sky was rather clear & felt that Mother Nature offered her full mercy on us. Because most of the times, the area was surrounded by thick mist as per the villagers.
Having enjoying the view, we had a little walk along the back bone of the mountain. And found that we were just above the Pilkington Point, though we have traveled more than 2km from the same.
Giving another off road lesson for the poor vehicle for 30 minutes, we were able to return the main road safely. We used the same route on return and stopped at 194/5 bridge at Wellawaya – Beragala(A5) route for the lunch.
We used to prepare our lunch at road side while traveling, since it was an enjoyable event. While the lunch was been prepared, one of us was succeeding to discover a natural pool used by villagers in the stream nearby known as “Monarakanda Oya”. As a result, the thirst of having a natural bath was fulfilled before we reached Beragala.෴