Kirigalpoththa is the second highest mountain in Sri Lanka at 2,388 m (7,835 ft) above mean sea level and it is also the highest mountain in the country whose summit is accessible to the general public. The peak is situated near the city of Nuwara Eliya, 7 km hiking trail provides access to the mountain's summit via the Horton Plains National Park.
- Date - 20th February 2017.
- Number of days - One day trip.
- Crew - 70 Undergraduates & 15 Staff members.
- Transport - Private transport by Two bus, a Jeep & two Lorry.
- Activities - Hiking, Photography and Scenery.
- Weather - clear sky
- Route - Colombo > Nuwara-Eliya > Pattipola > Hortan Plains > kirigalpoththa.
- Tips, Special Remark - Ensure to carry sufficient bottles of water.
- Commence your journey in the early morning.
- Make sure you bring back every thing you took.
- Make sure that you carry a light sweater and a rain coat.
- Leave nothing but footprints & take nothing but photographs.
- Author - Java Institute for Advanced Technology.
This adventurous hike took place with the participation of 70 undergraduates and 15 staff members of the Java Institute for Advanced Technology. Initially, we travelled by two buses and a jeep. By 9 AM we were able to reach Nuwara Eliya town and we had our breakfast there. Subsequently, we started our journey again heading towards Horton Plains. At the Ambewela town, we had gotten off from the bus and picked up two lorries for the rest of the journey due to the fact that the road from Ambewela to Horton Plains was quite difficult.
By 11 AM we were able to reach the Horton Plains National Park main entrance. After purchasing the tickets and acquiring the permission for the hike, we entered the Horton Plains National Park and after a brief drive through the road, we reached our hike’s starting point.
A 200 metre walk later we found the junction that separates the road to the World's End route and Kirigalpoththa trail. Our crew gathered in this area for a small meeting where advices and tips about this hike were provided, by our Managing Director, Mr. Bhatiya Tissera, who is also the Master-in-Charge of the Adventure Society of the Java institute for Advanced Technology.
We divided our crew in to 6-member teams and appointed a team leader for each team. The team leader should take care of his team members. We used walkie talkie for communication between our teams as telecommunication signals are poor in this area. After all this setup, we started our hike through the Kirigalpoththa trail. The total distance to the summit is about 7 km from the starting point. The first kilometre of this trail is a plain area with small "Rath mal " trees and many bushes. Additionally, the trail was slightly muddy as a result of rain in the previous night.
After passing the 1st kilometre, we entered into a jungle area. We passed this area carefully as this area is home to wild animals. The primary threat is the leopard.
By passing through the jungle, the trail became difficult and increasingly elevated. Before the Kirigalpoththa mountain, we had to pass two small hills through the trail. We took about 3 to 4 hours to come to the hilltop. The summit was slightly misty at the time we reached the hilltop.
After passing some time on the summit, the mist had reduced and we were able to enjoy a clear 360 view from the summit. The wind is a little bit high and cold. We spent an hour on the summit and had our lunch. Mr. Bhatiya Tissera had a friendly discussion with the undergraduates and asked them how they felt about the hike. The undergraduates replied that they were happy about the hike and they were thankful to the staff members of the Java Institute of Advanced Technology for taking them to hikes and providing them life adventures to relax themselves as a support to their extreme learning method.
This particular adventure event was a part of one of the aims of the Java Institute and the brainchild of the Managing Director, which is to craft an extreme Software Engineer. Ultimately, the Java Institute produces capable Software Engineers who are able to effectively handle all the challenges and obstacles of the real world, both technical and physical.
At about 3 PM we started to walk down the mountain. At this time the mist was so heavy and we had to walk down very carefully on the tiny trail one by one. While climbing down, one of our students got a clamp on her leg. So we had to walk slowly. Her injury on the leg was incrementing gradually and finally she was unable to walk a step. Consequently, we had to create a helper by gathering branches and our t-shirts as well as to take her.
This was a big challenge to take her as it was slippery and a challenging trail. The lights became darker and therefore we decided to allow a few staff members and undergraduates to take her and the rest of crew were sent to the starting point before the surrounding got darker and there was the threat of leopards. However, we managed to take her safely to the waypoint by 8 PM. This was an extremely valuable life experience for all participants of the adventure and it showed how our crew worked together as one. Afterwards, we commenced our journey back to Colombo safely.