Rocks of Kurunegala

Kurunegala’s rocks have characteristic names, six of which come from the animals. They are the Elephant, Beetle, Eel, Goat, Tortoise and Crocodile. According to legends, these six animals were magically transformed into rock during a drought. Other two more rocks are Yakdessa or “She-Demon Rock”(named after a princess ‘Kuveni’ of the Yakka (demon) tribe),and Gonigala or “Sack Rock”. Etagala or Elephant Rock can be climbed by tourists either by foot or reached by transport (Rs200 by tuk tuk for a return trip plus waiting time). Breathtaking views of the town of Kurunega can be seen from the top of the rock. There is a dagoba under the rock where enchanting image of seating Buddha attracts tourists.

Ibbagala or “Tortoise Rock”, on the eastern side of Elephant Rock, can also be climbed to reach a small temple situated under an overhanging rock. A tiny replica of Adam’s footprint can be seen here that is found on the summit of Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak). There is also a little dagoba and some paintings depicting the Buddha and his disciples.

The other rocks give beautiful views over the surrounding area. One that forms the bare backbone of the lake also has a small dagoba on its much lower summit that gives a nice view over the lake. It makes for a peaceful evening or morning stroll where travellers can see many birds and butterflies.

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