Bubula, one of the perennial springs of the country, lies nestled amidst the rustic village beauty and luscious paddy fields of Polonnaruwa.
Words Archna Balakumar | Photographs BT Images
It was on a rainy morning that we set out on our journey to the calm town of Hingurakgoda where the famed Bubula is located. What we had heard about Bubula and the beauty of its surroundings had definitely piqued our interests and we were eager to witness it all. We started from Colombo at 5am, quite reluctantly to be up at that time of the day. Needless to say, I was sleeping through most parts of the journey and opened my eyes every few hours and sighted a changing landscape through the misty windows. Morning rays hit my face and I finally woke up to a surrounding of green paddy fields fringed by coconut trees and the sweet chirps of birds around. We had reached our destination.
Situated in Polonnaruwa, Hingurakgoda is at a few miles distance from the main town. Essentially a farming village, this colony was established after the discovery of its ever-flowing water spring, Bubula. The spring was discovered by a local villager in the year 1939 who happened to accidentally notice a stream while cutting trees in the woods. The stream was much smaller and had been a pit stop for grazing wild animals until that time. Following its discovery it was called the ‘Nuwara Vadiya’ and was used by travellers who took a moment of respite to refresh.
The surface of the water was still, almost like a mirror
We soon arrived at what possibly could be the most tranquil and serene location in the neighbourhood. The Bubula spring is situated within the precinct of the main Buddhist temple in the village and is enjoyed by the people and farmers of the locality. At the entrance to the temple premise two columns, which commemorate the discovery of the spring have been erected. On the right, resembling a well, was the spring encircled by a wall and a protective fence. The surface of the water was still, almost like a mirror, except at one spot from where the sand was undulating owing to the gently surging waters from underground. Tempted to take a better look, I peeped through the fencing to see deep blue waters below. There was a beautiful coral growth on the sides of the wall and the sand bed. It was quite a gripping sight. While speaking with a local farmer we realised that the spring has been an integral part of their lives from a long time. He also amusingly recalled how as kids they believed that the sand bed contained gems.Though taking a dip in the well seems a thought hard to resist, people haven’t been able to bathe in it because of the high water pressure that would cause ear pain. The spring is very unusual and runs deep. Recently a bather from the village had displaced a rock from the bed and water started gushing out forcefully from the ground. The protective wall had been built after that. The temperature of the water varies from morning to night. Surprisingly the water is extremely cold during the day and becomes steamy hot towards the evening and night. And much hotter during cold weather.
After chatting with a few passers by, we sat for a while enjoying the environs and breeze. The serene village seemed to be a contrasting beauty from the city. Soon enough we were in the company of others, a couple of women who had came to do their laundry and few youngsters like us, who sat and lazed by the spring. As the day set in, we headed away from the place after dipping our feet in the cold waters for one last time.