As you pass the Kadugannawa area on the Kandy road, you can see a uniquely shaped rock in the distance along the valley. The shape is reminiscent of Sigiriya, a famous rock fortress, but in fact, it is what the British called “Batalegala” or “Bible Rock”. The survey map shows the height of the rock as 797.7 meters. The width extends about 710 m across the rocky surface. The surface is mostly flat with mana and some forests here and there. If you start by rail, the altitude advantage will be about 150 meters. You can start the hike from Hathgampola town. In such a case, the altitude will be about 500 meters.
Batalegala is located close to Aranyaka. Whether you are coming from Colombo or Kandy, turn towards Aranayake Road in Mawanella. Follow the road up to Gevilipitiya, turn right at the junction, and proceed to Hathgampola town. From there you have to turn right onto a narrow road (Batalegala Road) with a signboard to “Batalegala Road” printed in Sinhala. Following this path, you will reach a lane where you will have to turn left and take a narrow lane. After driving 2.5 km on this route, look to your right to see the starting point. There is a pillar, so it is difficult to avoid it. Parking is available but limited.[envira-gallery id=”6024″]
I will tell you this as an easy hike. The total length of the trail is about 400 m and the altitude is 150 m. It does not take more than 30 minutes to reach the surface of the rock unless you are in very bad condition. This assumes that you start from behind. If you feel it, start the 3km walk and climb from Hathgampola town with a height of 500m making it more challenging.
The trail starts with a narrow footpath along a gentle slope and goes steep. It is a continuous rise and has no flat surface. In the middle lane, the footpath turns into a set of stone slabs. By this time you will be walking through a jungle. At the end of this staircase, you reach the foot of the Batalegala rock. If you are wondering, you do not want to climb here as there are steps that can be placed well on rocks and wires while climbing. After this, there are more stone steps and more steps on the rock until you reach an open area of slippery footpaths. This route leads directly to the summit. Best time to hike from January to April. There are no known leech attacks even when it is raining. Bathalegala receives a fair share of rain from the western monsoon. (May – July)