When two friends on a pilgrimage to
the sacred site of Kataragama, went exploring off the beaten
track in south east Sri Lanka, they discovered two large rocks
with a natural pool and a waterfall on the banks of the Menik
Ganga (Gem River) – and Galapita (on a rock) was born.
They began by visiting, sleeping on mats under the stars.
Eventually they built a hut, so that their families could join
them for the weekends. Then they rebuilt it bigger and better,
so that friends could join them for weekend escapes.
Now they are proud owners of this Eco-Retreat that can accommodate
up to 12 people, depending on how cosy you want to be. Now for
the first time, they are allowing paying guests to cross the
bridge. Ideal for a group of friends or families with a sense of
There is no direct route to
Galapita, you must drive down the south coast from Colombo, more
than a quarter way around the island, then turn north or else
follow the old Arab trader’s route up to Ratnapura (City of
Gems) in the hills, then down again crossing forested plains
rich in precious stones, mind expanding herbs, exotic birds and
descend to Uva Province, home of Sri Lanka’s aboriginal people,
the veddhas; and the legendary nittavos very much
But Uva was not always back of
beyond. There is a wealth of archeological monuments to prove
that Uva was a wealthy and highly populated region before
Christ.The last leg of the journey to Galapita is through thick
jungle. Wild elephants are often seen crossing the road
especially at dusk and dawn.
Further AField :
Arugam Bay - Surfer’s
Arugam Bay is well-known among
the serious surfing community, but the perfect wave is only one
of its attractions. Sasthrawela, Kudumbigala, Muhudu Maha
Vihara, Magul Maha Vihara and Tarulengala are ancient Buddhist
ruins in the vicinity from the timeless past. Nearby Okanda, an
important (though isolated) Hindu shrine, is on the pilgrim
route from Jaffna in the north to Kataragama. Okanda is also the
gateway to famous Kumana Villu, where water birds nest and the
Yala east national park with miles of unexplored golden beaches.
Kumana ornithological reserve
lies south of Arugam Bay and is notable for flamingoes, who turn
the marshy areas and reserviors into a riot of brilliant pinks
and peach hues.Apart from birds (brilliant hued peacocks are so
common at Kumana one ceases even to notice them). The reserve is
also famous for the same kind of wildlife as Yala,futher south.
Kumana is a 2-3 hour drive from Galapita depending on your time
of departure.We will happily arrange overnight camping on the
beach or a sumptuous seafood lunch; you should also take the
opportunity to visit the nearby ruins one cave monasteries.