Rose Quartz Mountain Range at Jathika Namal Uyana.

Not many people know that Sri Lanka houses a rose quartz aka pink quartz mountain range. Not to give you any ideas, but pink quartz is a mineral that's also used to accessorize jewellry. I first heard of it through a newspaper article which highlighted the issue of illegal mining in the area, and of efforts to preserve it: it's apparently the largest pink quartz mountain range in Asia/ South East Asia (media reports differ on this).

This large dusty pink mountain is set in the middle of a forest full of ironwood trees — also the largest of its kind in Sri Lanka. Ironwood's the na tree, by the way.

A Walk to Remember

Okay, so it's nothing exactly like that, other than being an extremely serene and calming hike.

Direct sunlight barely hits the paths, thanks to the thick canopy of trees that overshadow a very well maintained walk-way, and there are vines, insects, and mammals (aka monkeys and people), sneaking around. If you're an outdoorsy person, keep an eye out for wildlife: there are some stunning pigeons and insects.

The pathway eventually tapers out and you're left at the foot of a dusty mountain. It looks barren, with nothing but rock, but don't be deceived. The rocks are all quartz.

The View from the Top

If you think it's going to be hard climbing that, don't worry, really. Yes the surface is sharp and you can possibly meet with a fatal accident if you unfortunately slip the wrong way and accidentally hit your head on sharp minerals, but unless you're exceptionally clumsy or unlucky, this won't happen. The surface isn't slippery and provides a really firm grip, especially if your footwear has rubber soles.

The climb (actually more of an upward walk, to be honest) is not exhausting, and it won't take you more than half an hour to ascend any of the peaks.

The view from the top though, is quite unexpected. You're greeted with miles of green, with a large lake dotting the centre. With gusts of wind strong enough to topple you off the peak, it's an exhilarating experience.

Fin

Just a head's up, this is also a popular Buddhist site. There's a massive Buddha statue at the top of one of the peaks, and pilgrims start pouring in towards late morning/ noon onwards. If you want to be the first there and miss the crowds, go early.

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