Most often recognized from the winding hills of Kadugannawa, Bathalegala or Bible Rock stands some 2500 feet above and due to its flat top, that appears like an open book it was dubbed as ‘Bible Rock’ by the British.
From Mawanella, visitors should proceed towards Hathgampola and then follow the winding cement road that snakes up the hill with rubber plantations on either side. The road is in poor condition and vehicles with low clearance can only travel to a point.
Having parked your vehicle at a suitable place, visitors can then follow the cement road till you reach the very last house on the road and just passing this you have to make a right turn, cutting into the hill. Please keep asking locals for this turn off.
To the Top
Having made the turn off to your right, visitors will now be on the path that leads to the summit of Bible Rock. It is a natural jungle path and is very easy to follow. The climb from here takes around 45 minutes at a fairly slow pace.
The path winds along the mountain side, slowly but surely snaking its way to the top. Along the way, visitors should pause and take in plenty of fresh air and splendid emerging views.
At the Top
Nearing the summit, visitors can see the ruins of old iron chain supports that were used here in the past. In certain sections cement steps have been installed. Having reached the top, visitors will find themselves on a wide and flat expanse of the summit.
From here, travelling a few metres to the right, visitors will come across an empty clay building that is today stained with graffiti and also shows evidence of campers having cooked meals here.
Passing this, a clear path leads visitors to the Bo-tree shrine of the Bible Rock Temple to your left. Visitors can then walk up a few rock cut steps and arrive at the temple itself, where a milky white dagoba and small image house can be seen.
A Wonderful View
Passing through the temple, visitors can then again rejoin the summit path that leads to a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area. At this point the rock is flat and wide and very inviting to sit down and take in the views and the lovely breeze.
Very clear and easy to observe are the outlines of the Aranayake Landslide when in 2016 an entire strip of the Samasara Mountain slipped, tragically burying three villages.
One can also see Alagalla mountain, Three Sisters mountain, Asu Pini Ella waterfall, Devanagala temple and Gampola including Ambuluwawa temple. From here, one can also observe vast vistas of the Sabaragamuwa and Central Provinces that lie ahead.
Back at the summit point, by proceeding to the left, visitors can follow the path that again leads to a beautiful and spacious rocky outcrop that offers superb views and sceneries of the Kandy Road, Kegalle and Mawanella Towns, Uthuwankanda, Balana, Kadugannawa and even Dawson’s Tower if you look carefully!
You can camp on the summit but please make sure to inform one of the local village houses or better yet the local police. The climb is pretty straightforward with few difficult areas. Carry plenty of water and avoid rainy times due to lightning and occasional leeches. Bible rock is directly under the World Magnetic Field Line and as such is said to attract lightning. Leave only footprints…