Thursday, August 4, 2016

Caving In Sri lanka

What is Caving?
There are many types of caves in this world we live in, & caving is the activity which includes exploration and study. It is also considered as an Eco-Adventure Sport. This is mainly due to it being done by Research Personnel and other professionals besides those interested or curious. Exploration of caves takes us into a world much different from that above ground. A world of darkness surrounded by rock and mud, exotic formations, streams, waterfalls, tight crawlways, deep canyons and pits, huge rooms with large blocks of breakdown, crickets, bats and cave rats await the cave explorer. 
Although this activity in very popular in almost all countries, Sri Lanka too has great potential.
Caving can be a strenuous sport, a casual hobby, a means to conducting scientific research or all of these and more. Caves are found around Sri Lanka and in a variety of settings.

Seven types of Caving Activities we offer in Sri Lanka.
  • 1.Pre-historic Caving
  • These are caves discovered by archeologist in Sri Lanka dating back to 15,000, to over 37,000 years.  These caves carry great historical importance as archaeological findings prove that they had been used as a dwelling, over many eras. The discovery of skeletal remains of pre-historic man, stone & bone artifact, waste parts of the food consumed by them.
  • 2.Submerged Caving
  • All these caves are in fresh water and exploration requires SCUBA diving equipment. Most of them are Harem Caves belonging to our Kings & Princes know in Sri Lanka is “Sthriee Pura Caves.” Most famous of these is the one that has submerged due to the Rantabe Dam Construction. Others are – Samanalawewa, Panilkanada Rakwana and Ygirala Mathugama etc.
  • 3.Monastic Caving
  • The custom of using natural caves or rock-shelters under the sides of boulders lying on the slopes of hills or hewing cells and chambers out of mountain rock for religious settlements reaches, far back in man’s history and was prevalent from the early days of Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka. The caves in the Barabar Hills, near Gaya in Bihar, for instance, were dedicated by Asoka the Buddhist Emperor of India, to an Order of ascetic monks in the 3rd century B.C, and a few of the Ajanta caves in Hyderabad one of the finest memorials to Buddhism in India, date back to the 2nd century B.C. In Sri Lanka the work of establishing caves for Buddhist monks was started by King Devanampiyatissa, the first royal convert to Buddhism. These can be easily identified by the Drip Ledge, which was carved to prevent rain from running down the face of the rock in to the cave, which also protected the inscription from erosion by water.
  • 4.Lime Stone Caving – (Karst Expedition)
  • Cave formation begins when rainwater absorbs carbon dioxide as it falls through the atmosphere. Rain water must have carbon dioxide to become acidic. It must be acidic to chemically react to the limestone bedrock. Rainwater is absorbed by the soil into the ground. The most famous one is Waulpane Bat Cave.
    As rainwater comes through the soil it absorbs more carbon dioxide that is being produced by plants that are dead. This changes the ground water to a weaker form of carbonic acid (H2O + CO2 = H2CO3). As it travels down through the ground it comes to solid rock. When the rock is limestone or dolomite caves can form.
    The water reacts chemically with limestone and slowly a larger and larger space will form. This happens because the rocks are made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This is what you call chemical erosion. As the space becomes larger and larger the water can flow through. As it flows it erodes. Physical erosion washes away rock and sand. This is what makes a cave larger and forms an underground stream. Finally over hundreds of thousands of years or even millions of years the cave is formed.
  • 6.Sub- Cavern Caving ( Rock Shelters)- Fauna & Flora Exploration Caving
  • All these caves are nocturnal exploration require and require experienced guides, mostly done by researchers are the most famous is Koslanda Bat Cave. Even today Germen Scientists are engage in research work in collaboration with the Colombo University.
  • 7.Networked Caving
  • King Walagamba while in hiding in the UVA Province constructed inter-connected caves as escape routes from possible invaders. The most famous Tunnel Networked is the Dowa, Ravana, Bogoda and Narangala. Also Sri Lankan legends say that the famous Ravana Cave Tunnel Network proves beyond doubt the architectural brilliance of King Ravana. These tunnels served as a quick means of transport through the hills and also as a secret passage and networked all the important cities, airports and dairy farms. A .close look at these tunnels indicates that they are man-made and not natural formations. This Buddhist shrine at Kaluthara was where once King Ravana's palace and a tunnel existed. Present tunnel mouths are situated in - Isthripura at Welimada, Ravana cave at Bandarawela, Senapitiya at Halagala, Ramboda, Labookelle, Wariyapola/Matale, and Sitakotuwa/Hasalaka. In addition there are many more tunnels. A Colonial man made Tunnel was built from Kalpitiya to Jaffna. This was built by the Dutch invaders connecting the Jaffna Fort to Kalpitiya Fort.  
  • We provides National speleologist and all the necessary gear for caving
    • - Helmet with chinstrap
    • - Cave map with casing
    • - Three independent sources of light; at least one should mount on your helmet
    • - Spare batteries and light bulbs
    • - Good non-marking boots with good treads
    • - Cave pack to carry spare gear
    • - Harness & Ropes
    Other items you will likely need:
    • - Knee and elbow pads
    • - Food
    • - Water
    • - Rugged, grubby clothing

  • Batatotalena (Batadombalena) Cave 

  • A hike from the nearest township of Sudugala, and then a climb of about 50m will bring you to the mouth of this fairly large cave, is a very important archaeological site since it contains evidence of human habitation from 32,000 BC and the 10 skeletal remains of the oldest human remains of Sri Lanka were also excavated from this cave, the “Homo sapiens balangodensis”, the Balangoda man may also have been responsible for the creation of Horton plains for agriculture.
  • Belilena Cave  

    This famous cave is located close to the adventure tourist capital of Sri Lanka, Kitulgala, approximately two hour drive from Colombo, and holds evidence of 12,000 year old remains of a Sri Lankan civilization probably occupied by the Balangoda man. A rope ladder is used for entry and the lake inside the cave mouth is largely unexplored and may contain fauna yet undiscovered.
  • Wavulpone Cave
    Situated on the Buluthota – Rakwana road roughly north of Embilipitiya is another famous cave in which approximately 250,000 bats inhabit the cave, the largest known congregation of bats in Sri Lanka, hence the name “Wavulpone” meaning dwelling of Bats.
  • Mahalenama Cave
    Located between Kumana & Lahugala-Kithulana National parks this ancient Buddhist monastery is also believed to be the place where according to preserved Vedda legend for us a recollection of a lost race known as the Nittevo. There has been much controversy as to the identity of this folk. Some hold that the Nittevo are a lost tribe of Negritoes while others believe them to have been some kind of ape-man. Yet others identify them with an extinct species of bear known as rahu valaha.
    The Nittevo are said to have been a dwarfish race of men who lived in the Mahalenama region now within the Yala East Intermediate Zone and the Tamankaduva area. These folk are believed to have been exterminated by the Veddas about 250 years ago.