The Ambuluwawa mountain in Gampola is well known amongst locals, and its unmistakable presence marks a familiar landmark characterising the region. Wherever you may go in the bustling town, Ambuluwawa looms in the distance. It is almost a symbolic part of the daily lives of the people, so much so that the expression, “you are having a serving of rice the size of Ambuluwawa!” has been in use to remark on voracious appetites. Gampola is also a region entrenched in history which rose to become a kingdom and capital of the country under the rule of King Buwanekabahu IV in the 13th Century AD. Mayura Sandesa, the messenger poem written in the 14th Century describes this enchanting rock and the surroundings thus:
"When the planets and stars disappear from the sky and when the nectar appears and drops from flowers on tree tops and when the sun spreads its rays as it rises over the mountain from the east, you may set off from Ambuluwakada happily." Mayura Sandesa (versa 25).
Biodiversity at Ambuluwawa has a more complexed expansion than that of the common examples of biodiversity. Ambuluwawa is a rock mountain but it is different from rock mountains commonly seen in Sri Lanka . It is made of special type of rock known as “Inselberg” and is least subject to erosion caused by natural forces.
Surrounding the mountain there are uniformly spread ever green forests, groves of blossomed flower plants and creepers which make the breeze around the mountain cool. Panoramic view of the mountain ranges is enticing and impressive. Clearly visible mountains such as Pidurutalagala in the east, Bathalegala or Bible Rock in the west, Sri Pada or Adams Peak in the south and Knackles range in the north enrich the scenic beauty of the place. Apart from these, mountain ranges associated with Alagalla and Kadugannawa, mountains like Hanthana and Hunnasgiri and mountains in Nuwara Eliya district are also clearly visible and they add beauty to the surroundings.
There is no other summit than Ambuluwawa which is surrounded by a large number of mountain ranges of scenic beauty in Sri Lanka . The precious water of the Mahaweli the life blood of up country people and the long tracts of paddy fields fed by Mahaweli water make the Ambuluwawa rock more attractive.
Since the recent past, Ambuluwawa mountain has received a new phase of existence to complement its many attributes. Today its peak bears an unusual structure, that takes a spiraling white and peculiar form. Veiled in mist, it is a picture of surrealism. The ‘stupa’ is one of the many features that can be witnessed at this plateau. Endowed with a rich biodiversity and rising to a height of approximately 1,065 feet from the town it additionally acquires great depths of views that can be enjoyed along its ascent. With much to appreciate, it has now been transformed to a miscellany of activities with built sites, to make the most of the rare experience it has to offer.
45 Minutes’ drive (16 km) by vehicle. However, one should be vary of the fact that the last bit of the journey is very steep and could only be undertaken by a powerful vehicle preferably a 4WD. Otherwise you would be assured of having trouble in getting your vehicle stuck on the steep road up the mountain. You should start your journey back to Gampola and just before reaching the town turn left on to Aranayake Road and take the turn again to the left on to Ambuluwawa ICC Road. From there it is a short distance (approximately 2.5 kms), but due to the steepness of the road, it would take about another 15 minutes to reach the top.