A mystery is solved with a story-Daniel Handler
Rough roads are always memorable, be it the ride or the destination; they are beautiful. Mandaram Nuwara is one such place that took tremendous efforts to be reached, efforts in the form of research and also to find the commute. A friend mentioned about this village, he said its called a Misty City as it is always covered by Mist. I would like to call it as a Mysterious Village-here is why. I started my research and was mesmerized with the pictures of this Mysterious village, but there were hardly any details on how to reach there. I figured out its closer to Kandy, so decided to reach Kandy first & then flow towards this eye candy. I asked few locals, there was no soul aware of this village. The more it was hard to find out, the more I wanted to go. Finally with some help, I found a blog post that had few details of locals who had visited this village couple of years ago. I couldn’t find any details about the commute so I shut my laptop to hit the road. Perhaps, there are answers on the road!
A traveler friend joined along, we began our hunt towards this mysterious village. We went to Kandy bus stand and figured out the direct bus will leave only in the noon. We did not have much time so decided to go to a nearby town to the village called Padiyapelalla, conductor in the bus was trying to build a conversation, I told him we need to go to Mandaram Nuwara, asking him if there is a bus from Padiyapelalla. He said this bus goes to Mandaram Nuwara, I was literally on Cloud 9; never imagined that road can fulfill your wish so easily. Apparently that was the last bus leaving to Mandaram Nuwara from Padiyapelalla.
The houses were placed like cubes amidst the paddy fields, we were closer to Mandaram Nuwara. This was the first sight we had when we entered the village, the house in the corner was the perfect eye candy. Every house here opens up to a view like this. We were welcomed with loud music, huge speakers were placed on the road, people chilling & playing carom, old men having a chat by the verandah, kids had just finished their school, women shared a startled look at us with a graceful smile. Smile-seems like a common jewelry worn by everyone in this village.
We started to walk around the village listening to Sinhalese music, every few steps we take; we stop to see the view staring at the never ending horizon with a huge floor of paddy fields. I kept thinking how lucky these people are to wake up to such a blissful view. The mountains surrounding the village is called Pidurutalagala (Mount Pedro) which is also the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka. We kept walking and stopped over a house for water, a girl came out & asked where was I from, I said India. She immediately said, “Kohli batting, very good; I like it”. I laughed and said yes, he is good!
The kids were all around us, we had a small “body language chat” with them. Like every journey should have an end, this short journey came closer to an end as well. The bus driver & conductor was waiting for almost an hour for us to return to drop us to the town as there were no bus leaving that evening. Both the driver & conductor took us in their Tuk Tuk and showed us a beautiful waterfall, a secret water fall they said! They later dropped us to a nearby town and made sure we got into the right bus to reach Kandy!
So, the rough roads journey turned out to be one of the most beautiful & memorable events in my life!