Govinda Hela is situated closer to Siyambalanduwa while passing through Ampara main road in Uva Province of Sri Lanka, and this huge rock is approx. 570 meters in height. During the ancient times of the kingdom, the natural landscape of Sri Lanka was highly beneficial to the rulers, and Govinda Hela was also one of them. This rock mountain was the fortress of King Buwanakabahu and a vital defence point during the Ruhunu Kingdom, i.e. 6th century AC. After that, it was rediscovered by the British, and they named Govinda Hela mountain as Westminster Abbey due to its splendid nature. A large forest surrounds the rock, and this is a protected forest reserve. Govinda Hela is also the home for many species, including rare birds, animals, and plants like ebony trees.
It is not advisable to climb up this mountain without a proper map or some guidance. The walking path has been primarily reconstructed with cement steps and aluminium ladders to make hiking easier. It is indeed a tough climb, although all the weariness is blown away by the cool breeze you get after reaching the summit. The view from the top is astonishing, covering other mountains, reservoirs, and streams.
Exploring the ruins of the kingdom is an exciting part of the hiking, where one could see the remains of a palace and a monastery. Never miss out to look for ‘Hulan-Hapolla’, which is the main attraction on top of the rock. Two rocks are placed beside each other, and through the space between them, the wind blows with a gushing sound which is so pleasant and chilling.
Avoid heavy rainy season to enjoy the best views
Colombo -> Buttala -> Punsisigama (on Buttala – Badalkumbura road) -> Buttala Monaragala -> Siyambalanduwa -> 9th mile post junction -> Siyambalanduwa -> Colombo
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