Manigala is a mountain in the Knuckles Mountain Range, situated near Pitawala Pathana in the village of Illukumbura. Manigala is a historically significant mountain. It is believed King Ravana’s flight landed on Manigala about 7500 years ago; thereby, this mountain is also called ‘Ravana-thenna’. The mountain has another speciality to mention. In ancient times, villagers used the shadow of Manigala Mountain to determine the time of the day.
Manigala is at a distance of 38.7 km from Matale. From Matale, you should take the Matale – Illukkumbura – Pallegama – Giradurukotte Road and go past Rattota and Pitawala Pathana up until you reach Manigala. Hikers could also start the journey from the beautiful Atanwala village.
Take the McCallum road, then go on the Colombo-Katunayake expressway and exit from the Outer Circular. Turn right onto Colombo-Kandy road. Turn right onto Link Road and turn left onto Dambulla – Bakamuna Road and turn right onto Naula-Elahera Road. Turn left to stay on Matale – Illukkumbura- Giradurukotte Road, and then you have to drive to your destination.
Usually, the surrounding areas of Manigala are sunny and hot. Therefore, it’s recommended to start the hiking in the early morning hours, as on some sunny days, the summit gets a bit hot by noon.
Manigala is popular for hiking, camping and photography. There are several ideal camping locations on the summit. The trek ran through forests and terrains and surrounded by cultivation lands and paddy fields. It is so beautiful to see the systematic traditional way how the crops are grown, and this is named as ‘Helmalu’. The hike is suitable even for an average hiker. The hiker gets to pass and view the scenic villages of Atanwala, Pitawala Pathana, Thelgamu Valley, Riverston and beautiful waterfalls, including Wedda Peni Ella and Rathkinda Ella. ‘Wadda Pani Alla’ is a small magnificent waterfall with a height of not more than 6 meters is developed by the Thelgamu Oya.
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