Standing five hundred meter tall over the rivers, tanks, bunds and elephant infested jungles Govinda hela was once the unreachable fortress of King Buwanakabahu of 6 century AC, the rulers of Eastern Digamadulla when the tyrant Invading King Kalinga Maga was ruling the ancient Rajarata, the kingdom of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
The mountain re-discovered by Colonial British was named Westminster Abbey, a poor comparison and tribute to this majestic creation of nature. The trek along the footpath begins from the Sri Buvanekabahu Viharaya at Siyambalanduwa; about 300 km from Colombo, in the Moneragala district and the incumbent priest of the temple is a gracious host, assisting the dire needs of the climbers in times of trouble.
The forest reserve is the home to numerous species of birds as well as large families of wild boars, who tend to surprise the unwary travelers. The two km trek upwards is not for the weary and faint hearted and the likelihood of getting lost without a proper guide is high in the jungles surrounding Govinda Hela.
After crossing two bridges and travelling nearly half km the trek tend to become perilous with many steep rocks and high slopes.After the dare devil climb the view from the top and cool breeze compensate the attempts. The ruins scattered on the top are the remains of a palace and a monastery but the main attraction is the ‘Hulan Kapolla’ , a space between two rocks through which a gushing wind blows, with the loud but unmistakable "ho, ho" sound of a strong blast. Yet the climax of climb is the view from the top, expanding beyond the boundaries of Gal Oya basin covering reservoirs, mountains and streams.
Things To Do: Trekking, mountain climbing, archeology, photography and bird watching
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