Baker’s Bend – enigmatic viewpoint By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Baker’s Bend – enigmatic viewpoint

By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Baker’s Bend – enigmatic viewpoint By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Located at an elevation of 1700 meters (approximately 5000 feet) above sea level in the upper edge of Nanperial Estate (also known as Nonpareil Estate) bordering the famous wildlife reserve *Horton Plains and surrounded by gorgeous mountains of the World’s End Mountain Range, the unique viewpoint Baker’s Bend offers marvelous vistas of Sri Lanka’s Southern Province towards the Indian Ocean as well as*Udawalawe and *Samanala Wewa Reservoirs on a fog free day. Panoramic vistas of Balathuduwa, Gommolikanda and Adarakanda mountain ranges can also be seen. Bakers Bend is a downhill slope of a single elbow bend.

Although, the viewpoint is located in *Ratnapura District of *Sabaragamuwa Province, the climate is similar to that of *Nuwara Eliya. The viewpoint is a less visited site away from the hustle and bustle of the famous tourist locations. Many visitors call this viewpoint and the hike towards it, is similar to heaven due to breathtaking vistas… It is an ideal location for photographs too…

There are many breathtaking cascades on the route to the Bend, a spectacular site… It is better to travel to the site on a clear day to bask in the glory of the surroundings … During the rainy season, the viewpoint and the surroundings are covered with fog. The slope towards the south of the Nanperial Road is enhanced by the spectacular Hirikatu Oya (Oya meaning stream in Sinhala) below. Occasionally a thick fog covers the entire mountain range. Weather in this location is cold.

Baker’s Bend is a horse shaped bend inside Nanperial Estate situated on the road to Nagrak Bungalow of Nanperial Estate. Larger bends in the Nanperial area are numbered and Baker’s Bend is the 23rd bend. There is a signboard to indicate it.

Baker’s Bend is enwrapped in folklore and legends. History of Baker’s Bend dates to British Colonial era. According to one legend, *Samuel Baker had met with an accident on his horse at this bend when he could not control his speed while riding a horse and died. According to another legend, Samuel Baker had met with an accident on his horse at this bend. He had survived while his horse had fallen off the cliff and died. Grieved by the loss of his horse, he has constructed this bend in the shape of a horseshoe to commemorate his travel companion. According to folklore, Nanpariel Estate had been managed by William Baker and he had met with an accident on his horse at this bend and died.

As Bakers Bend is situated in Nanperial Estate of Balangoda Plantations, permission from the estate office is necessary to reach it. Vehicles are not allowed from the Estate entrance to the viewpoint, unless there is a reservation for the Nagrak Bungalow of Nanperial Estate.

Although, situated in close proximity to the famous Horton Plains National Park, visitors are not allowed to enter the Park from here.

After traveling a few kilometers from Belihuloya on Colombo-Badulla Road, Nanperial Estate can be reached. After passing Belihuloya town, there is a road to the left with several billboards known as “Nanperial Estate Road” leading to Nagrak Bungalow. There is a small natural base pool with fresh cool water in the lower section of the road where visitors can enjoy a safe dip, a part of a famous stream Hirikatu Oya, originating from Nanperial Estate. Travel along this road towards Nanperial Tea factory premises.

After passing approximately six kilometers along this road, Nanperial Village and Nanperial Tea Estate and the Factory can be reached. Approximately four kilometers after passing the Nanperial Tea Factory, the viewpoint can be reached. The hike to the viewpoint takes approximately two hours from the vehicle park to Baker’s Bend. The observation deck can be reached traveling approximately 11 kilometers on a rough estate road with sharp bends every few hundred meters. Within the 11 kilometer hike to the viewpoint, the elevation rises approximately to 900 meters.

Baker’s Bend – enigmatic viewpoint By Arundathie Abeysinghe

The hike to Baker’s Bend is recommended for veteran hikers as there are many hazardous locations in the road towards the Bend. Yet, some amateur hikers too go along this road. Although, it is a hike for tourists, this is a route which estate dwellers utilize daily on their way to and from the estate.

Although, a 4WD drive vehicle is ideal for the journey, a car or van can also reach the factory premises. The condition of the road is in good condition up to the Tamil School. Thereafter, the journey is hazardous.

To protect the environment, visitors are not allowed to carry polythene or plastic when entering the Estate.

Please talk to villagers during the journey as they will direct visitors to the viewpoint indicating ‘shortcuts’ as the main road is a long journey.

Note: If traveling to Nagrak Bungalow, a 4WD vehicle is necessary.

  • Nuwara Eliya – Located at an altitude of 1868 meters and situated at a distance of 180 kilometers from Colombo, it is a town in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. With a British country village atmosphere and a cool climate, Nuwara Eliya was the favorite holiday destination of English and Scottish tea planters during the British Colonial Era. Nuwara Eliya is referred to as “Little England” due to its cool climate and colonial-era bungalows. At present, Nuwara Eliya is the favorite hill country destination of locals during April.
  • Ratnapura District – A major town in Sri Lanka and the capital of Sabaragamuwa Province. Ratnapura is the traditional center for gem trade.
  • Sabaragamuwa Province – One of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka located in the south-central region of Sri Lanka.
  • Samanala Wewa Reservoir – A reservoir constructed during 1986-91 across Walawe Ganga (Ganga meaning River, 138 kilometers long river in Sri Lanka) flowing to the south of the central hills in Sri Lanka.
  • Samuel Baker – An English explorer, officer, naturalist, big game hunter, engineer and writer, he arrived in Ceylon (present Sri Lanka) in 1846 and in 1847, he founded an agricultural settlement at Nuwara Eliya. Baker’s Falls, a famous waterfall in Sri Lanka located in the Horton Plains National Park has been named after Samuel Baker.
  • Udawalawe Reservoir – Consists of a dam and a hydro power station. Built across Walawe Ganga, this dam provides irrigation to several agricultural lands surrounding the area. The Reservoir also supplies power to the national power grid.

As the location is spectacular and pristine, it is essential to keep the terrain immaculate.

Take only photos. Leave only footprints…

 

Image courtesy: The Glenrock, TravelQL & Travelwithuma.com

Horton Plains – breathtaking highland plateau in the Central Hills-By Arundathie Abeysinghe

https://www.elanka.com.au/horton-plains-breathtaking-highland-plateau-in-the-central-hills-by-arundathie-abeysinghe/

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