Udawattekelle brings back many memories to me each time I walk in its paths. As a school boy I used to come here to study at times. When we studied Botany our class mates & lecturers came here for practical lessons. It was just jumping over the college fens & we were in Udawattekelle.
History states that there are mystical powers at Udawattekelle. In folklore It is stated that the oppressed/weak are strengthened & turn tables on the predator in this sanctuary. I found a office in the middle of the sanctuary that has books on Udawattekelle at a nominal fee. I also found a book written by Dr. Nihal Karuanaratne on Udawattekele which is not in print now(only 1 edition had been printed in 1986). Only a few libraries have this book which talks extensively about this sanctuary.
Photographers be at the lake by 05.30 am. The best months for this are Nov - February.
Take a strong tripod & a shutter delay timer. The view from the other end of the sanctuary overlooking the lake / above the Dalada maligawa is spectacular in the evenings.
Take some Siddalepa balm as there are leaches. Apply it on your feet & hems of trousers , Sides of shoes before you enter.
Never allow children under 12 years alone. Never try to wander alone.
Never feed the monkeys or even encourage them near you.
There are 2 groups of monkeys. The Udawattekelle gang & the Aruppola/Lewella gang. Udawattekelle is one of their meeting places. Never get close when they clash. Read their body language & retreat as fast as possible. I have seen these 2 gangs of monkeys clash for many years. Never show any sign of fruit, biscuits, bread, cakes, savories or sweets. They have got used to eating all these for many years. They approach you without fear & grab the food from you. So don't eat in their presence.
Report any misbehavior of any one. That includes shouting loud. This is a place of silence. One must only take photographs & leave only your footprints. This sanctuary is the center of the ecology system in Kandy & therefore it should be preserved.
It was saddening to see names & slang cut into the giant bamboo trees around the lake at Udawattekelle.
I hope that all would enjoy all what I have in the past.
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