Lakegala is situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, near the border between Kandy and Matale districts. Although, it is not a popular mountain for hiking, there is so much to know about Lakegala. According to ancient legends, it is believed King Ravana ruled the kingdom of Sri Lanka from the Lakegala summit. It is also believed Lord Buddha visited this mountain during his third visit to Sri Lanka. The name Lakegala means ‘The Rock of Lanka’ in Sinhala. Lakegala is also called as ‘Gal Thuna’, which means ‘Three Rocks’ in Sinhala. This named is due to its formation, because Lakegala mountain has two peaks – Meemure Lakegala which belongs to Kandy district and NarangamuwaLakegala which belongs to Matale district. There is also another small rock in the gap between these tow peaks. The mountain peak is about 1,310 meters above the sea level and it is in the Knuckles mountain range. The Lakegala Mountain has a unique triangular appearancewhich is said to look-likethe Matterhorn of the Rockies.
There are several access points to Lakegala Mountain, but the safest access road is from Meemure Village. The mountain can be reached via Pallegama ->Narangamuwa ->Lakegala (Narangamuwa) and Lakegala (Meemure) ->Meemure.
Distance from Matale is approx. 84.1 km. From Matale you should take the Kandy – Jaffna Highway and go past Thotagamuwa and Naula until Meemure. Travel along the Narangamuwa Road to reach the Narangamuwa Lakegala Mountain.
Lakegala is known to be among the hardest hikes in Sri Lanka. Therefore, definitely you should avoid hiking during the rainy season. The months of August & September are the best for hiking Lakegala.
You must take appropriate mountain climbing gear, equipment and ample amounts of food and water along with you.
Although challenging, it is one of the best hiking spots in Sri Lanka. It is advisable to fetch a guide from the village. Due to its remote location, unpopularity and difficulty in climbing, Lakgala is undisturbed and has abundant flora and fauna in its surroundings.
Photo courtesy : Onal Karunaratne
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