Lakegala is an awe-inspiring mountain in Meemure village, Sri Lanka, approximately 175 km from Colombo's capital. The rock, also known as the "Rock of Lanka" in Sinhala, is near the border between Kandy and Matale districts. It is about 1310m high, one of the highest mountains in Sri Lanka's Knuckles mountain range, also known as "Dumbara Mitiyawatha." Lakegala is a favourite destination among local and international visitors due to its unique triangular shape and challenging rock-climbing trails. This article will explore Lakegala's history, unique features, climbing techniques, and breathtaking views.
Lakegala: A brief history
Knuckles mountain range, including Lakegala, has been essential to Sri Lanka's cultural and historical heritage for centuries. Previously, local kings used the mountain range as a natural fortress to protect their kingdoms from foreign invaders. In addition, Lakegala has been a site of religious significance to the local population for generations. It is said that ancient kings visited the mountain to seek blessings and offer prayers. Throughout history, it has been known by various names, including Ilakkagala, Lanka Pabbatha, Lakgala, Lankagiri, Sumudumalaya, and Samudragiri. King Rawana and Lakegala are the subjects of numerous legends, and a British governor named E.T. Dison was the first to climb it.
Lakegala's unique features
Lakegala's most notable feature is its unique triangular shape, visible from miles away. In addition, the mountain is the only one in the Knuckles mountain range that requires rock climbing techniques to reach the summit. Lakegala's challenging terrain and steep inclines attract adventure enthusiasts and experienced climbers worldwide.
Climbing Lakegala is a challenging feat, and it is advisable to have experience in rock climbing before attempting it. The mountain's safest and most popular access road is from Meemure village, and climbers can hire local guides to assist them in their ascent. Climbing from the Narangamuwa side involves scaling nearly 70 degrees, and ropes are required to reach the summit safely. However, no permanent strings are fixed to the mountain, so climbers must carry ropes or tie them to the summit when they get it. Furthermore, it can only be ascended from March to April and August to September, and climbers avoid it during the harsh wind. Here are a few ways to find a guide for the Lakegala hike.
Contact a local tour operator: Many tour operators in Sri Lanka offer hiking tours to Lakegala. They will be able to arrange a guide for you as well. You can search for local tour operators online and contact them via email or phone.
Ask for recommendations: If you are staying in a hotel or guesthouse in the area, you can ask the staff for recommendations. They can recommend a trustworthy guide for you.
The views from the summit of Lakegala are nothing short of spectacular. Climbers can enjoy panoramic views of the Knuckles mountain range, the Dumbara forest, and the surrounding villages. The area has over 50 waterfalls and streams, including the Garadigala Falls, Bambaragath Oya Falls, Dust Falls, Hasalaka Oya Falls, and Huluganga Falls. Visitors can also see the triangular shape of the mountain from the middle of Meemure village.
How to get to Narangamuwa Lakegala
From Matale, visitors can take the Rattota Road past Rivaston and Pitawala to Pallegama via Laggala, cross the Narangamuwa Road, pass Ranamure village, and come to a halt in front of the Narangamuwa Temple. However, only experienced climbers should attempt to ascend from the Narangamuwa side because it requires special rock climbing skills.
Other mountains in the Knuckles mountain range
Lakegala is part of the Knuckles mountain range, which offers several other mountains for hiking and climbing enthusiasts. These include Velangala Kanda, Yahangala, Kehelpathdoruwa, Garadigala, Dumbanagala, Selva Kanda, Aluthgal Kanda, Knuckles Mountain Range, Aliya Watunu Ella, Rilagala Kanda,Yakungehela, Gombaniya, Yakungegala, and Kirigalpotta.