Belumgala – defense fortress of Kandyan hills – By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Belumgala – defense fortress of Kandyan hills – By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Belumgala – defense fortress of Kandyan hills - By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Located in *Kadugannawa Gap approximately 10 kilometers from *Pilimathalawa, Belumgala Rock offers spectacular vistas of the environs as far as the eye can see including surreal vistas of Kadugannawa valley. Many visitors hike the adjacent small rock, believing it to be Belumgala, mistakenly. Belumgala is visible from *Pahala Kadugannawa viewpoint too. Also spelt as “Balumgala”, the mountain was thus named due to its strategic location as a place of defense. Considered as a silent defender of Kandyan hills, Colombo-Kandy Road can be seen clearly for many kilometers from the summit of Belumgala. As the location was a great boon for Sinhalese soldiers tracking enemy invasions, the mountain was known as “Belumgala” (meaning viewing mountain in Sinhala) for centuries.

During the *Kandyan Kingdom, Sinhalese soldiers had been dispatched to this location and it had served as a major checkpoint when invading armies were approaching the Kandyan Kingdom to observe the invaders and ambush them. Therefore, this mountain had been a great obstacle to capture the Kandyan Kingdom. Hence, this mountain is considered as a location with great historic value, etched in the history of Sri Lanka.

Located approximately two kilometers along Belumgala Temple Road when traveling from Kadugannawa to Gampola and situated amidst tea estates, Belumgala is located approximately four kilometers from the road.

There is a private road at the location of the rock. To reach Belumgala, it is necessary to travel approximately 100 meters along this road and towards the end of road, there is a tea estate and the footpath through this estate has to be taken to reach Belumgala. There is also a road towards right which ends at Telcom Towers. Although, the rock can be accessed from this location also, it is strictly prohibited due to security reasons Hence, it is necessary to travel along the footpath in the tea estate before the Telecom Tower.

The mountain is also visible for passengers traveling by train on Colombo-Kandy railway line between *Balana and Kadugannawa railway stations.

Dekinda falls, a scenic waterfall is also located in close proximity to Belumgala Mountain. There is a forest path to reach the waterfall.

Image courtesy – &

  • Kadugannawa – Kadugannawa (about 106 kilometers from Colombo and about 15 kilometers from Kandy) is situated on Colombo – Kandy Road. Kadugannawa is considered as the gateway to the hill country and can be reached by vehicle and by train. A small town in Kandy District, it was the main access to Kandy during the *Kandyan Kingdom. Several battles had taken place in this location before the British Colonial Era.
  • Kandyan Kingdom – Considered as the capital of the hill country, Kandy was the last capital of Sri Lankan Kings which finally came under British rule in 1815. Kandy survived the attacks of Ceylon’s first two colonial rulers, the Portuguese and the Dutch and finally succumbed to the third and last colonial ruler, the British. The Name “Kandy” was thus named by the British as a derivation of “Kanda Uda Rata”. The current Sri Lankan name is “Maha Nuwara” and the historical name of Kandy city is “Senkadagalapura”.
  • Pahala Kadugannawa viewpoint – Considered as a location speaking volumes of history, especially the Colonial Era, Pahala Kadugannawa was earlier known as “Hingula”. Considered as a scenic location as well as a pass to the former Kandyan Kingdom, the location was an obstacle to enter Kandy and the Central region. Pahala Kadugannawa viewpoint is a popular stopover of local as well as foreign tourists traveling to and from Kandy who make it a habit to stop at the location, relax and take photos of the location including the surrounding breathtaking vistas. 
  • Pilimathalawa – Situated 10 kilometers away from Kandy and 104 kilometers away from Colombo, Pilimathalawa is also spelt as Pilimatalawa (“Pilima” meaning statues and “Thalawa” meaning a flat area in Sinhala, although the real meaning may not have been derived from these) is renowned for traditional brassware. Gadaladeniya, Lankathilaka and Embekka Temples are historic places in Pilimathalawa. *Nelligala International Buddhist Center is located in close proximity to Pilimathalawa and it is also the location of the Theological College of Lanka.

Belumgala – defense fortress of Kandyan hills - By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Alagalla Mountain Range – defense location of yesteryear  – By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Balana Fort – strategic rock fortress in Kandyan hills – By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Kadugannawa Pass and Rock Tunnel – gateway to hill country – By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Nelligala International Buddhist Center – By Arundathie Abeysinghe

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