Hidden Places In Sri Lanka – The Hidden Himalaya
The Sabaragamuwa province’s Narak village and beautiful surrounding with tea gardens, peaks and valleys remain so isolated, foreign as well as local tourists are all but unknown making it one of the hidden places in Sri Lanka for discovering rich Fauna and Flora of Sri Lanka.
Google the name “Narak Village” and Google do not have any record regarding this remote Sri Lankan village, it is one of the hidden places in Sri Lanka, only a few people know about the existence of it. However, your search come-up with a result showing several websites with information of Narak Village, but none of them representing the Narak village found in Sri Lanka.
Most travellers head on to Nuwara Eliya if they wish to explore the mountains of Sri Lanka; however, the problem with Nuwara Eliya is that the city has become touristy than most Sri Lankan cities due to its popularity as a holiday destination. From accommodation to meals, transportation and the prices of all bits and pieces required by tourists are also having touristy price another word very expensive. Another problem with Nuwara Eliya due to its popularity as a holiday destination is somewhat less interest of people in being friendly to tourists because people are now used to tourists.
The Narak village which features in this article is also sharing the same central mountain range with Nuwara Eliya; however, the attitude of people of Narak village is a bit different than the people of Nuwara Eliya. The majority of the people in Narak village are Hindus and working in tea plantation, working in tea plantation is the main income for the people in the village. The people are still wearing traditional clothing their lifestyle is also very traditional, the villagers are very happy to see the travellers because they are rarely visited by the tourists.
Sabaragamuwa is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka with a vast variety of landscapes and rich bio-diversity. But due to the remoteness from Colombo, the region is considerably behind the other provinces with regards to the development and the people are living with basic infrastructure facilities, and most cities in Sabaragamuwa are yet to go a long way before reaching a considerable development. Therefore this rural province is categorized with underdeveloped areas of Sri Lanka. However, Sabaragamuwa province is not poor with natural assets; it has many patches of forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, cascading waterfalls within its borders.
A large tract of lands in the province is covered with evergreen tree canopies and it consists of many patches of rainforests and plantations. Due to the high rainfall, high elevation and low-temperature Sabaragamuwa is one of the best places for tea cultivation in Sri Lanka. Everywhere you look it is lush green vegetation and visitors are lavishly rewarded with awe-inspiring scenery.
The village built on Tea
Balangoda is a leading city in Sabaragamuwa with a sizable number of tea and rubber plantations, and the history of tea planting of Sabaragamuwa is dating back to many hundred years. Kanperial is a tea plantation initiated in the early days of the tea industry of Sri Lanka (1800s). Narak village is part of the Kanperial tea plantation and tea is the main source of income for the people living in Narak village, at least one member of every family live in the Narak village are employed in the Kanperial tea plantation
This remote village is located well over most villages and cities in Sabaragamuwa province. It is situated at a very high-altitude, 7200 feet above sea level, and only a few cities on the island lie at this altitude. Therefore Narak village is considered to be one of the villages that lie at a very high-altitude on the island.
The village is so unchartered by visitors that the road which leads to the village has no name boards or signs, making it difficult for the travellers to navigate without the assistance of a local guide. The village is about 50 kilometres from the nearest city (Balangoda) and the road that leads to the village is very narrow and should be used very cautiously. The narrow road is line-up with mountains from one side and the other side is the slanting face of the mountain. The rapid slope is more than a thousand feet deep. The road is very narrow and it can accommodate only the small vehicles and several dozens of sharp bends make it more difficult and dangerous to traverse. The travellers need to be prepared to spend around five hours while careening around hairpin bends that snaked about 500m up from the foothills of the mountain.
What is most fascinating about this charming village is the richness of natural scenery. The surrounding low-level area looks like a green blanket which spreads thousands of kilometres in all directions. The mountains with the green cap are always in touch with clouds and thick fog. The temperature in the village is very low most of the time, especially after the sunset. From the access road to vegetation, climate, geographical location and everything that related to this beautiful village are unique.
Visitors can enjoy the awe-inspiring beautiful scenery of the surrounding valleys and mountains and the visitors are rewarded with refreshing, fresh air for breathing. But, on the other side, the villagers are very poor and live under very poor fasciitis.
Today about 30 families are living in the village and the number of people is nearly 200. Due to the high altitude, the village is under the influence of strong wind and cool climate. Three months from June blows the most forceful wind and it lifts the roofs of the houses in some instances. Therefore the people have put extra weight on their roofs in order to protect their shelter. In the windy days, it can be dangerous to travel on this road and one can even be drifted away leaving no chance of escaping.
At the end of the road to the Narak village, starts the narrow path, which leads to the worlds ends (Horton Plains) and the path is only two kilometres long. Even though it is not being used for trekking, this path can be a handy trek for adventure holiday lovers in Sri Lanka. This beautiful village and its beautiful environment are largely unknown to most people on the island. Difficulty in travel and remoteness are the other major reasons that keep people away from the village. Perhaps in the future, when the infrastructure is developed this beautiful village will come into light as a holiday destination and attracts some adventure as well as nature lovers.