Thursday, May 1, 2014
Kantale reservoir was built by King Agbo-II in the 5th century. It can be reached along Kandy-Trincomalee Road (A6 highway) 45 kilometers from Habarana.
Kantale Reservoir spreads over 3,500 hectares, and holds water from River Mahaweli. It is surrounded by huge forest reserves, and also considered as an IBA (Important Bird Area).
At the dawn, scenery around Kantale reservoir is refreshing and full of vibrant colour. The clean, carpeted road runs over Kantale reservoir bund.
Fishing canoes are out for the morning's catch. Eagles circle over the water looking for prey. People, riding bicycles are out for work. A grand statue of King Agbo-II overlooks everything.
(Special thanks to my friend Janaka Jayanatha.)
Sunday, April 13, 2014
|The rocks of Dimbulagala: believed to be the weapons facility of Ravana.|
Dhumraksha, an uncle of King Ravana was believed to have lived on these rocks. He overlooked the sophisticated weapons facility built here by Ravana, where the weapons he used for long wars against his enemies were developed and stored for safety. Because of Dhumraksha, this rock came to be called as Dhumraksha-Giri, which became Dumrakgala that eventually became Dimbulagala.
|To the top of Dimbulagala...|
Time passed in thousands of years. Dimbulagala was covered by the jungle and became a hideout for the remaining Yakkhas of Lanka. When Prince Pandukabhaya was fighting against his uncles before 437 BC a Yakkha queen called Chetiya helped him. Chetiya was said to be the queen of the slain king of Lanka by Prince Vijaya. Chetiya lived in Dimbulagala, where Prince Pandukabhaya met her and requested help in his war against the uncles.
|Hideout of the Yakkhas.|
A very long time after, that is in the 1950s, Ven. Kithalagama Seelalankara Nayaka Thero arrived in Dimbulagala looking for a sanctuary for his meditation practices. While staying in the forest sanctuary, he promoted a small settlement with twelve families.
Ven. Seelalankara Nayaka Thero developed this village to support the viability of Dimbulagala Buddhist Monastery. The recent history of Dimbulagala is entwined with the name of Kitalagama Seelalankara Nayaka Thero's life, until it was tragically ended by LTTE terrorists on 26th May 1995.
|Janaka and I on the way to the top of Dimbulagala.|
From Dimbulagala junction it is a 650 meter walk up to the monastery entrance.
Take enough water and some biscuits or chocolate to quench thirst and hunger while climbing the rock. It is a tedious task, and you must not try this if you are not feeling well. It is better to wear good, gripping shoes than slippers because when you climb halfway the concrete steps end, and from there have to continue on a rugged rock trail.
Thanks to my friend Janaka, I can give you these pictures. The hand rails are available at some places only. Most of the way have to be climbed by clinging on to roots and tree trunks.
|Ahas Maligawa Temple built on top of Dimbulagala rock.|
|The view from top of the rock near Ahas Maligawa.|