Моя подруга Пей делится своими впечатлениями от визита этого монастыря.
A recent adventure in the wilderness…
A few days ago we visited, with Ajahn Varado, the Kalugala forest monastery in the Kalutara District close to the Sinharaja rainforest in the south of Sri Lanka. It’s about two hours drive from the Colombo and quite seriously hidden away from the rest of the world. After driving through the towns of Mathugama and Badureliya, you navigate to a small village called Gurulu Bedda, where you park your car. It is then an hour’s trek (or more) through the forest and up the hill to the monastery. If you’re bringing dana or other gifts for the monastery you must carry them with you through the forest and up the hill…
To give you another impression, Bhikkhu Nyanatusita’s guide on meditation centres and forest monasteries in Sri Lanka, January 2005 says the following about Kalugala:
“One of the nicest places in Sri Lanka in terms of seclusion and nature. Remotely situated inside a valley surround by hills. Western bhikkhus have stayed here for long periods. Meditative atmosphere. Friendly monks. Good vinaya. Kutis and caves. Wet, dense forest with many leeches. Moderate temperature... Founded in 1942.”
The drive out of Colombo was very pleasant… the further away you drove, you started noticing changes… in the scenery, energetic vibration and in the people. Things start to slow right down. We spoke to a few local people in Mathugama and Badureliya and found them helpful and easeful. When we reached Gurulu Bedda, there was a small little shop where the bus would stop. We spoke to the owner who was very obliging with information about the area, monastery and also transport links in the area.
Before we began our trek, we doused our feet and ankles with dettol. Apparently dettol is a very strong deterrent for leeches. Soap will also work, but isn’t as effective. There are also powders that come in tablet form that can be rubbed on as well. So, armed with ice-cold bottles of water and fully prepared with dettol, we set off for Kalugala. It was around 11.30am so the midday sun was well on it’s way, and it was humid… this is the hottest time of year in Sri Lanka!
However, it was a beautiful climb up the hill… immersed in nature and partially shielded from the sun (the forest grows very much like a rainforest) with sounds of water from the stream down below. Every so often we’d stop to drink in the sounds of birds and insects, observe the gentle movements of the different butterflies, and catch a glimpse of lizards, snakes, wild boar, and other critters.