Mountain Views and Hidden Waterfalls. Gammaduwa Sri Lanka
Gammaduwa is a village located about 1h20m from the Matale town in the central province of Sri Lanka. The temperature today is a cool 24c probably because of the elevation of 930m above sea level.
Off the beaten track that even Google Maps could not quite navigate, we finally reach our destination, the Kudaoya Villa.
Originally built (probably in the early 1900’s) as a hospital, this building has been transformed into a delightful villa comprising five large bedrooms with en-suite baths, a large sitting area with a fireplace and an equally large dining area. A long open veranda, a perfect place to sit and watch the mist come rolling in every evening or sip a coffee while enjoying the dawn break over the Knuckles Mountain range, is reminiscent of an old hospital waiting area. For anyone who enjoys cold water, (not me!) there is a pool located at the end of the garden.
As is with old plantation bungalows, the sprawling, well laid out garden overlooks a mountainscape and is a playground for birds, butterflies and a variety of other wild creatures.
About a 40-minute drive from the Villa is a dilapidated and unused muster shed, once used to sort and store tea leaves. We park the vehicles here and start to climb to the top of the Karagahatenna hilltop.
The trek takes us a little over an hour, as we amble through tea fields, over craggy hillocks and some stunning viewpoints.
But it is at the very top that we come across the stunning view of the Knuckles Mountain range and the Moragahakanda Reservoir.
Back at the muster shed, I have been told of a hidden waterfall and after clambering over some rocks and crossing a shallow stream, we encounter this amazing hideout.
The water is cold, yet the sight is mesmerising.
Always on the lookout for another adventure I go in search of a hermit monk who has taken refuge amongst the tea fields.
Almost hidden from sight is a narrow bridge that leads to the monk’s retreat. He is quite happy to share some words of wisdom with me and his life story. He has come here to heal his mind and body and spends his days in solitude amongst this aesthetic landscape. While talking to him, a couple of leeches managed to find their slinky way up my legs too!
As Sunday morning dawns, the mist is gently brushed aside and the mountain range beyond comes into view. It is time to sit still, coffee cup in hand and listen to the myriad birdcall, and savour peace and quietude before it is time to head back home.
This estate property has many more interesting trails. There is another mountain called Maoussakanda which is also supposed to be worth checking out. I wish we had the time.
Planter’s bungalows are always fantastic holiday destinations and for more information on Kudaoya Villa, visit https://www.lalanleisure.com/kudaoya-villa/
Good to know:
- The nights can get a tad chilly. So take a light jacket.
- Walking shoes will help navigate rocky areas during your climb.
- Leech socks will be useful!
- Binoculars will help identify birds at a distance
- WIFI connection is spotty so be prepared to leave your devices on the table.