It was a chilly and wet morning as we set-off in search of the mystical Madulsima. The mist spread in front of us, giving way only to a few rays of sunlight and then with the breeze, the mist moved almost beckoning us to follow…
Words Udeshi Amarasinghe
Photographs Menaka Aravinda and Geeth Viduranga
Along winding roads of the Uva hills we drove, experiencing the beautiful views around us. Lush greenery cloaked in a misty veil with shadows of mountains and trees visible beyond. As we continued on our ascent, mountains rose above the clouds making us wonder the height at which we were. We looked around, but it was only us and the amazing splendour of mother nature.
The air was cool making us shiver at times, we wrapped our warm clothes tighter around us. Yet the cold temperature did not prevent us from enjoying the fresh high altitude air. The quiet and peace was momentarily disturbed only by an occasional bus or bicycle. As we proceeded farther, isolated hill towns could be seen in the distance and soon the landscape changed to beautifully pruned tea estates rolling out like green carpets. The mist was still beckoning us to follow its trail and then suddenly with a slight breeze the slopes were covered entirely. From within this mist, a group of children emerged chatting and laughing, their colourful attire beautifully contrasting with the surrounding.
We had reached Madulsima, the entirety being thousands of acres of tea. The scenery was breathtaking. Reaching the quaint town, it was apparent that the vendors were preparing for the Saturday pola (market). Fresh and colourful vegetables were laid out for sale. We proceeded farther after hearing about two mini-world ends that were must visits. Passing a Hindu kovil atop a small hillock, we continued on our journey. Pretty wild flowers, some similar to large lilies drooped from the stems, and dew drops on blades of grass dampened the ground. We were mesmerised by the environment.
From within this mist, a group of children emerged chatting and laughing, their colourful attire beautifully contrasting with the surrounding.
Hills sheathed in both tea and forest added variety to our journey, and at one point clouds were below us…we were in the sky! Suddenly a blur of red caught our eye, standing-out amidst the green was a tree with striking red blossoms, a picturesque setting. Further along, a group of tea pluckers were preparing to head to the fields, a smile and a quick greeting, we were along our way. Having missed our turn, we turned back near a small kovil, where the statue of God Ganesh was placed in a simple structure with a roof made of leaves.
We continued along the same route to soon reach the footpath to the mini World’s End in Elemana. We arrived at a landing where a natural place of worship had been created. There was no one around, however, and we climbed the slope to reach a rock surface. We could not see beyond as the mist had completely covered the view. Soon the mist was all around us, and it seemed as if we had been followed and not vice versa. The temperature dropped further. Gradually the mist cleared to showcase a painting of nature. We climbed farther up and we felt like we were on the top of the world. Beautifully naturally landscaped hills extended before us with shadows of the mountain on which we stood creating patterns below. The view was simply breathtaking.
Beautifully naturally landscaped hills extended before us with shadows of the mountain on which we stood creating patterns below. The view was simply breathtaking.
Seeing a railing on a nearby rock, we thought, “why not?” and decided to scale this mountain too. We had to return to the main Madulsima road and take a short drive. We reached a point with a sign displaying ‘World’s End’, it was about a one kilometre walk along a gravel road within the Roeberry estate of the Madulsima Plantation, and this seemed to be a better-known place as there were other visitors too.
We reached an unusual opening on the path and there was a sudden drop – a fissure in the rock – we held our breath as we peered into the depth. Continuing on our trek, holding on to the railings, we ascended to the top and what a view it was! 360 degrees of undulated terrain displaying the resplendent beauty of Uva. Mountains, paddy fields, reservoirs and lush greenery filled our view. The mist that had showed us the way cleared the path to reveal the splendour before us.