Heard about this route from a Lakdasun friend and wanted to do it ever since, so I gathered few of my office colleagues and other friends to join in for a one day expedition to Sripada through Rajamale\Sandagala thanna route. We had plan to get to the trial head by early morning, however it turned out to be a off-schedule hike when it took us almost 7 hrs to get to the trial head probably due to the wrong selection of routes (Colombo->Hatton->Dikoya->Maskeliya route is too far compared to the route through Lakshapana).
Road from turn to Fishing-hut from Nallathanniya (Mulgama) to the trial head was extremely difficult, we were glad our cab driver could make it to the trial head without much difficulties but it took us about hour from there. It was approximately 9 km to the trial head from the turn.
Route to get to Rajamale Trial Head
The Rajamale trial is also a very well cleared track to Siripada. Peolpe we met on the trial said it is the shortest path to get to Siripada and people who carries goods are using that route. The trial is about 5 km from the trial head to Udamaluwa and about 2 km from Sandagala thanna to the top. One important thing to bare in mind when you travel through this route is there are not many water holes, Last waterhole before Mahagiridabaya is about 3.5km away and it is about 1.5km before Sandagala thanna.
A villagers caring firewood
The trail is along a very well shaded path through dens forest, we were been able to see lots of butterflies and insect activities though we couldn't observe many birds on the trial, may be due to the late start. Still we could hear quite a bit of bird calls inside the forest.
Trial start as a flat route and soon will become a steep climb along the first mountain. Climb is about a one kilometer and then again it will reach a flat ground. Finally you will reach the last water source you will find in
the route, it is the most prominent water source you will come across. If you don't fill up from here, you will have to wait till you reach Mahagiridabaya for water (about 2.5-3 km).
First milestone of the trial is a beautiful stone path through the forest and one can get the first glimpse of the holy peak from this point.
It has 1.5 km from this point to Sandagala thanna, the most beautiful place on the trial. One can see how beautiful the holy
First glimpse of Sripada before Sandagala thanna
peak is from this point. One could never leave this place without spending sometime relaxing and enjoying the breath taking view of the peak. There are evidence of people who has done rituals here in the middle of the plain. There is a tree in the middle with quite a few "Paduru" tied to its' branches. We also tied a "Paduru" there and started out journey to the peak.
The Holy Peak from Sandahgala thanna
One can see people climbing Mahagiridabaya from Sandagala thanna and we were not very pleased with what we saw. There were quite a few people climbing Mahagiridambaya even in the mid day. From this point there is less then two kilometers to the Hatton trial where one will come across few easy climbs and suddenly without warning one will come across the famous Hatton - Nallathanniya route to Sripada at the starting point of Mahagiridabaya. It is only about 500 meters from there to the top of the peak.
Once we have done the rituals on top of the peak to Sripada and Saman devalaya we decided to get ourselves down from Rathnapura trial and take the Hatton-Ratnapura shortcut to avoid lot of traffic coming on Hatton route and to discover the beauty of that route. It was really nice trial which take you from just above Adiyamalathanna Ambalama on Ratnapura trial to Gettampana on Hatton trial. From there it was a hard and boring climb down among lots of pilgrims who came to worship Sripada. We have noticed the cost of living in Hatton route is much higher than the cost of living in Ratnapura or Erathna trials as well as the quality of food is not up to their standards.
We got down to Nallathanniya within 3 hrs and had our main cuisine for the day from a hotel and on our way home through much shorter Lakshapana route to Sripada finishing our one day Adam's Peak expedition successfully with lots of memories to take home.