Knuckles Mt. Range
Sri Lanka, Kandy and Around
Info : Abode
Abode is a responsibly managed and creative community tourism programme. Located in the heart of the knuckles mountains, the project aims to support and preserve a village community that has shrunk to just six people, who can no longer permanently inhabit the site. Staying in a remote village with no roads and accessible only by trekking three hours, you will live amongst the remaining indigenous inhabitants.
Your expert guide, who has developed the project himself, will meet you by vehicle at your hotel in either the Kandy region or the 'Cultural Triangle' and drive you to starting point of the walk. Provisions are shopped for in town and a local helper will carry the provisions over the mountain with you. The winding walks take you through stunning scenery. Packed with information and anecdotes, your team will be a valuable source of information on this unique and incredibly diverse region of the country.
Reaching the village you will stay two or three nights in a local village house, alongside the couple who dwell there. Simple creature comforts have been brought to make the stay feasible - blankets, cushions, pillows and camping mattresses. However, the accommodation remains very basic. During your stay you will explore the forest and jungles around the village. Swim in idyllic rivers, trek on verdant paths and relax with your wonderful hosts. This project provides a fascinating insight into the lives and culture of these remarkable people, whilst responsibly supporting the sustainability of village life there. A three night stay includes a night camping on a longer trek deeper into the jungle to reach a magnificent waterfall.
Food is cooked on the traditional clay hearth by the local family, almost entirely with produce grown in the village and surrounding mountainsides. The village is almost entirely self-sufficient, with only sugar, salt and lentils generally purchased from the nearest towns. The house itself is a classic example of dwellings in the Knuckles Range. Stoned walls and clay flooring mean it is cold in summer and warm in winter periods. Guests occupy one of the three rooms which is simply transformed into a basic lodge with camp beds and lanterns.
In order to manage the impact of visitors to the village the number of tours operated are strictly limited. The longer term plan is for the project to develop as a resource centre for documenting the culture and traditions of these incredible mountain people. There is no other place quite like this in Sri Lanka, and the opportunity to live amongst the indigenous peoples of the mountains will, sadly, probably not be possible for much longer. A fascinating tour in stunningly beautiful surroundings with an incredible array of flora and fauna.
Following an elephant attack in 2008 where buildings were damaged by elephants raiding the rice stores, a second house was constructed in the village at the foot at the mountain. The inhabitants now divide their time between the two properties and guests can experience two very different and unique ways of life in one trip. The families still exist by farming their original land in Walapolamulla. The paddy cultivation season, which occurs from November to April every year, is a particularly lively time to visit. For those who dont fancy the trek to the Abode on their first night it is possible to split your stay between the newer house in the village, and the abode house itself, allowing you to enjoy a night there and meet the inhabitants before starting your trek to Abode the following morning.
Courtesy of Abode.
Eco/Adventure - This category covers gorgeous lodges in the jungle, comfortable safari camps and dreamy, but simple, beach cabanas. These places defy conventional categorisation: what is communing with nature to one person may be terrifying bugs to another! Many of these places are very comfortable and the service generally of a very high level - but please read the website review carefully and/or talk to us and be sure to have understood what you are letting yourselves in for!
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We had a wonderful time exploring Sri Lanka, and felt truly blessed to see a side of the island that many people do not get the opportunity to see.
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