ADVENTURE AROUND RUKGALA
We love this part of Sri Lanka, not just for its natural beauty but, equally, for the variety of rich and warm cultures it plays host to. Rukgala sits wonderfully close to lesser-known temples, lush green tea estates, the untouched mountains of The Knuckles and secluded villages that dot the shores of the Victoria Lake.
These surrounds make for a wonderfully mixed, and, dare we say it, authentically Sri Lankan experience during your time with us. We'd love to take you catamaran-fishing on the lake; send you off hiking to the caves of the Bambaragala Temple; and set you en route to plunge under waterfalls on tea estates in the foothills of the Knuckles.
days on the lake
Practicing an appropriate non-attachment we're philosophical about the lake level rising and falling. For most of the year there's a good amount of water nearby - come December we very often have the water lapping our 'fence-line'.
Whatever the level, being in or on the water here is such an invigorating and energising experience. We can set you off for picnics on nearby islands or introduce to local fishermen who'll have you on-board for trips out to catch Lake Fish or fresh-water Crayfish.
The Sri Lankan tourist trail doesn't lack for temples of course, but Bambaragala is one of the few that boasts real historical significance without the great number of visitors that often follow.
The temple, part of a Monastry complex, sits a little way up a great rock formation - seen from a swim in the lake. From Ruk you can walk within an hour or so, climbing steps for the last part as you head up to really beautiful, small meditation caves, incredibly and intricately painted several hundred years ago.
TEA AND WATERFALLS
Tea and tea-picking is woven so deeply into the fabric of the island that for a time 'Ceylon' became almost synonymous with the crop.
From Rukgala we can journey up the hill to Ashburnham Estate - a sister property - and meet there with estate manager Mr. Dassanayake. A 25-year veteran of the Estate 'Mr. Das' will escort you on a guided tour of the fields to see and understand the process of planting and picking.
Beyond its tea fields, the Ashburnham Estate boasts a number of lovely waterfalls, all of which offer an ideal means of cooling off after a morning in the fields.
This shot above was taken from one of the balconies in the main house and shows the foothills of the Knuckles Mountains over and above the lake in the middle distance.
The mountains are a National Park and so well protected against development or misuse. They offer really incredible hikes, and remain largely unvisited (though their attraction is spreading).
From Ruk we can arrange guided day hikes.