Last Updated On January 22, 2022
Last Updated On January 22, 2022
Meemure is a remote village in Sri Lanka's Central Province, 324 meters above sea level and hidden among the mountains. The only route to get there is the 'Hunnasgiriya' mountain, which is part of the Knuckles range and about 50 kilometers from Kandy. The 33-kilometer trek from Hunnasgiriya to Meemure is challenging, with many tricky spots but spectacular scenery. The settlement itself receives an abundance of water in the form of waterfalls that originate in the Knuckles' evergreen forests. The pyramid-shaped Lakegala mountain is east of the village, while the magnificent Knuckles range dominates the west. The northern limit of Meemure is a forest that runs to the 'Pitawala Pathana' grassland, while the Heen River borders the southern boundary.
The village has a population of approximately 400 with about 125 families. Architecture is one of the primary identities of Meemure. The villagers build eco-friendly homes using clay and Illuk (spear grass), which last for three decades. But the unique aspect of their buildings is their boundary walls made of quartz.
Before cardamom cultivation was banned in 1982 due to the Forest Preservation Act, Meemure villagers earned their bread by harvesting the spice. After this, they shifted to Chena cultivation, paddy cultivation, and pepper cultivation.
Nowadays, some peasants earn their living by taking care of jaggery palms, which produce toddy and treacle. The village has one tiny village shop where the locals buy necessities such as salt and sugar and no cable telephone or mobile network signal. The village does have CDMA telephone services, though, to some extent.
The villagers don't have direct mail delivery to the village and have to journey to Thapal Junction each day to exchange incoming and outgoing posts with the postman.
Lakegala is a mysterious-looking pyramid mountain that is 1314m tall. The hill bears many unmarked ruins, including caves with evidence of ancient human inhabitation. Some of the other attractions in the Lakegala region are Nawathna Waterfall, Ravana Falls, and hiking trails in the deeps of Lakegala.
The village of Gala Muduna
This remote village lies south of Meemure and has just 20 families. Mostly untainted by the outside world, Gala Maduna has only a single junior school. As such, the villagers only learn up till they are 14 years old. The place is so remote that when people get sick, they are taken to the hospital in a sling made of a sack tied to two sticks, and there is no telephone service at all. The trail to the village is rich with flora and fauna of the Knuckles ecosystem. The village itself gains its name, Gala Muduna, because it is situated on a large rock.
Three major rivers originate from the Knuckles and pass through the region; Heen Ganga, Hulu Ganga, and Kalu Ganga. Heen Ganga, in specific, begins from the eastern slopes of the Knuckles range; flows approximately 36km through Corbett gap and Kalupahana; and finally joins the Mahaweli, the longest river of Sri Lanka. Ancient forests and diverse rocky plates line its banks. However, the Match Box Bridge. Here lies a veritable paradise of tinkling waterfalls, caves, and vibrant nature. This part of the river is also home to Bulath Happaya, an endemic species of fish. The only home within this stretch of land belongs to an older man called Heen Banda. He is often happy to have visitors and will share his experiences and life story.