Being originated from Kandy, I am ashamed to say that I had never been to Hantana. My routine was pretty set during the 20 years that I was there. Back then, I was not the travaloholic that I am now. So didn’t bother to waste my energy to climb a hill. As a part of “Covering the island before we leave SL” plan, we thought of doing a hike to Hantana.
While my husband thought I knew the basics of Hantana, all I knew was to point at the direction and say “It’s over there”. So we did a google search, hoping for some information on where to enter, what to expect there and how long it takes for the hike etc. Only Lakdasun provided us a bit of information that was helpful. Unlike many other places, Hantana didn’t have it’s own information portal. Heshan read bits and pieces off local travel blogs, and came up with sufficient information.
There are four entrances. One is from the route which I know, 4th Mile Post. (The road that leads to the hills from the Kandy General Hospital), The other is the route Peradeniya Campus students use. According to sources, the picturesque route is the latter. The route to 4th Mile Post however, is the easier (shorter) hike.
With this information, we made our usual Kandy trip. We didn’t have a date or time set, so we hoped to do the Hantana tour whenever there is a less busy morning. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a time like that. On the day that we had in our mind, we had to attend a lunch gathering. With a stuffed tummy, and a drowsy head, we still geared up at least to pay a visit to Hantana. This time again, we had our bother also with us. He is the calculated, well-planned-to-avoid-future-disaster person in the family, whereas I was the opposite. I just want to do it. If things go wrong, let’s just deal with it then.
So back to my brother, he didn’t like the idea of doing a hike at 4 pm, as he heard from others that Hantana is not the place to be when it’s dark, as there are shady people. I still didn’t understand what possibly can happen. I still wanted to go. He suggested that we go to this Tea Museum in Hantana, and then have tea at a restaurant with a good view of Kandy from there. I agreed. Fine. Something is better than nothing.
Drive to Hantana
We took the road that leads towards the Kandy Hospital (passing Bogambara grounds). Up to date, I have been only till the residential area of Hantana, never beyond that. Passing through the twists and turns, we were closing on to the 4th Mile Post entrance. We passed forests made of pine trees, tea plantations, of course the tea museum (which we planned to visit), and then this breathtaking landscape with mountains and narrow pathways. It gave a vibe of Ella, making me wonder if this was still Kandy. Right there, you get the starting point to the mountain top, to reach 4th Mile Post.
Probably we were infatuated by the beauty, we completely forgot the initial plan of tea and museum. Before we knew it, we have started to walk up the hill. None of us were dressed for the occasion, except for my brother’s footwear. Point to note, just have a pair of proper shoes to hike! and a bottle of water (I suggested to leave the bottle behind, and I was the one who used it most!).
With a body that has not been used for heavy duty mountain climbing, I struggled with the absolute off-road experience. I sincerely thank my husband and my brother for being the only reason why I made it to the top. The climb was fairly rough, with grass on your face and almost 90 degree angled ascend, and no bar to hold on for the longer part of the journey. Yet, what kept one moving ahead was the beautiful view you get, when you turn back to take a look at how far you have made it.
Need I say anything about the view from the top? Well, explaining does no justice. Even the pictures doesn’t. It’s the experience of sitting on top of a mountain, with the breeze on your face, and knowing that you sacrificed your energy for a view like that.
After spending a little while up there, realizing that it was alright to ruin my expensive jeans (totally unprepared, my fault) for this view, we started heading back down. It was much easier, as expected. Only issue, my fancy slippers didn’t support at all. With bare feet, which was the best, and a whole lot of help from Heshan, I managed to get back to where we started, without breaking my teeth.
The entire journey took us about 40 minutes. A good day tour for someone who has a few hours to spare, or an evening workout option for someone who prefers an adventure. After getting back, I totally wanted to take the Peradeniya Campus route! Heshan & my brother would laugh at that thought, as they saw enough of me during this trip. Here’s hope that we will have enough time to complete route no.2 also. Soon 🙂