Uthuwankanda or Saradiyel Rock is a rock, located in Uthuwankanda in the town of Mawanella, approximately 108 Kilometers from Colombo. Uthuwankanda is famous, as it is known to be the home of local ‘Robin Hood-Uthuwankande Sura Saradiel’. The summit’s elevation 429m (1410 ft) above sea level.
According to history, Saradiel was a bandit and the leader of a Ceylonese gang, who would steal from the rich (mainly the British and Elitist local) and distribute his plunder to the poor. He and his gang would raid carriages travelling on the Colombo-Kandy Road. His secret hideout used to be in the Uthuwankanda rock. After several failed attempts, the British finally managed to capture him on 7th of May 1894 and he was executed.
Travelling to Uthuwankanda is quite a tedious journey. You took the bus No.1 (Colombo-Kandy) from Colombo Fort and get off at Mawanella Junction. The journey should roughly take around 2 and half hours to 3 hours so it’s advised that you leave early. From there you can take a tuk tuk to Uthuwankanda Junction. Another option would be to take a Colombo-Kandy train and get of at Rambukkana junction, from where you could take a
tuk-tuk to Uthuwankanda. It is 15km away, so it might cost about LKR 500-700. From turned right at the junction to Uthuwam Mawatha. It is possible to travel in a vehicle along this road to get closer to the destination but if you want to see the surroundings, walk for about 1km and then turn left to a concrete paved way which heads toward Saradiyel Gala (Rock).
Climbing the Rock
The trail was through a small rubber estate. It is quite a tedious and difficult climb, as there are no steps available. Nevertheless, holding onto the plants and rocks would help
you get your balance. As you go higher, it is possible to see the outline of the rock, and the Budhhist Flag that is perched on the summit. After about 45 minutes of climbing, you’ll reach an open area from where you can get gorgeous views of Mawanella and Kadugannawa towns, as well as the Saradiyel Village. The view is absolutely breath-taking. It is a large open area of rock, so you can sit and relax on it.
On the right of the rock, is where you have the summit. It is one complex structure,shaped like a cuboid with a stone fist carved on the top(about 10m
in height, 12m long and 5m wide). Since, we had climbed Bathalegala (Bible Rock) on the same day (Hike to Bathalegela (Bible Rock)), we were physically exhausted to climb the challenging structure. Nevertheless, if it’s possible for you, I suggest you go for it! But the view you get from the open space is more than enough.
Sri Lanka Travel Destination Tip: Climb to the rock before sunset and witness the sunset. It is truly a memorable sight!
Uthuwankanda is one of the least hiked rocks in the country, due it’s difficulty and the fact that it is quite unknown. But, it’s a rock that gives you some of the most gorgeous and stunning views, which are totally instagram-able. So don’t miss that opportunity. Take your time, relax and take in the views. Don’t forget; make memories and leave only you’re footprint behind.