The Mountain Road

Turning off the bumpy ‘highway’ at the 18th km post at Digana –  just where the mighty Mahawelli Ganga executes an extravagant bend and is gobbled up by the Victoria Reservoir – the road is noticeably newly tarred.  Narrow, but quite well cambered, it winds upward onto the Knuckles mastiff  via a spectacular aliya vongoha (elephant bend) between towering trees and sheer cliffs, before reaching the rocky stream about 20 minutes later.  Mountain RoadDon’t be fooled – the blacktop only extends a little further up the other side of the valley, before the road becomes impassable to all but the most intrepid of three-wheeler drivers, grinding 4-wheel drives, or shanks pony.

Ambalama at the BridgeThankfully the people at Samadhi have built an ambalama at the bridge, where the bus terminates.

I couldn’t resist posting this muddy road in response to Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week.

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27 thoughts on “The Mountain Road

    • Foster – it’s not an abandoned hut, but a shelter for travellers. In ancient times the King had these open-sided shelters – ‘ambalamas’ – built at major intersections where travellers could stop to sleep, rest, eat, bathe … out of the rain, or sun.

    • Ahhh – a dry country man, eh? It was interesting – on the way down to the town I stoppped to take some shots of a wide valley planted to rice and noticed an old man walking into the little irrigation channel, and wash his feet before wakinng on across the field – washing off the road, I thought, but in truth, it was the muddy grit from little puddles he’d had to walk through in the rain.

    • Yes – it just peters out into virgin forest, apparently. I had planned to go up as far as I could manage on my extra day, but the rain had made it impassable, they said, and so I went into town and took photographs of the trees of Peradeniya – it’s ‘spring’, I suppose, so there were a lot of flowering trees in addition to the giants the Brits planted a couple of hundred years ago.

  1. Despite the difficulties in continuing the curve of the road tempts the viewer, and traveller I dare say, to go on to see what lays beyond 🙂

  2. our local roads have had the same look, big puddles and muddy edges, with all the rain … but we have no ambalama to grace them … this looks very inviting …

      • U don’t need to tell me that, in Nigeria we have numerous road that are even worst than yours especially during the raining season.
        For me am ashame sharing the photo.

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