I love hiking and we planned a trip to Riverston in June 2015 with some of our colleagues in the company.
Since we wanted to visit Riverston, Illukkumbura and Knuckles mountain range, we decided to book the Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow.
We managed to book the Directors Section of the Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow after a couple of tries. We got some help from some of our best friends to do this task
What is the heck of this Directors section? Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow has two accommodation sections.
One section gives to the public and other sections reserved for the High Executives of Forest Department.
Bear in mind, these are not official but this what I heard. therefore if I am wrong, let me know so that I changed my post accordingly 🙂
Directors section also can be booked if nobody books the place but it can be canceled anytime if a higher executive is book the same day.
Basically, they give priority to the staff. This is quite fine and reasonable I think as these properties build for internal use even though it gives to the outsiders now.
Note: Entrance of the Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow
Notes: It has a very big car park. bear in mind that there are a lot of leeches in this area.
This is the dormitory section of the Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow and it has two dormitory sections
In the 14 dormitory section, 14 people can be occupied and it has its own wash rooms.
In the 16 dormitory section, 16 people can be occupied and it has its own washrooms.
I checked both washrooms and toilets and these are NOT too bad 🙂
All these dormitories are NONE A/C and it has fans but I am not very sure whether these fans are good enough for 14 or 16 people.
These are ceiling fans and do not blow a lot of air 🙂
Lockers are too small but you can keep your belongings in your bags since there is a good amount of space in the rooms.
As I mentioned to you earlier, these washrooms and toilets are not very clean but for one or two nights, you should be able to manage it.
If you book the Eco Accommodation side or Director side of the Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow, you have to walk at least 500m from the main gate into the forest.
This is the main gate that you need to enter for the Eco section of the Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow
Be careful!!!. There are a lot of leeches on this road and make sure they are safe. I usually run on this path 🙂
We did not go into the Mangal forest side, if you are interested, you can go with a guide.
I am not sure whether Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow provides a guide but you can check with them. Of course, we had our own guide.
They have put a lot of effort to mimic the man build structures to nature and also they used a lot of trees to built these bridges and paths.
This is the main section of the Eco side of the Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow.
It does not look very attractive at once but it is a very decent place to stay.
It is decently maintained but do not expect a hotel level cleanliness or neatness from this Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow as it is maintained by ordinary people.
These are decent furniture and the floor of this section maintain properly. It is clean.
This section has 2 rooms with 2 bunker beds each. Four people can stay in the room.
Bear in mind that, there is no ceiling in these rooms and there are a lot of Lizards and insects.
A little bit of trouble some times at night.
Take your Pillow cover and bed sheets.
Dust the bed before putting your sheet. please remove the mattress on the bed before doing anything as NOT sure who has gone inside these bunker beds mattress :-).
One good thing about these bunker beds is, these are not the shaky type of beds, therefore, you can sleep well 🙂
This is the Kitchen of the section. We have to take provisions to cook and there is a cook to prepare your meals.
I am not sure, whether you would be able to cook yourself. please ask them before booking.
It is a bit of a clean Kitchen. you can make tea and coffee but you have to take these things and give them to the cook.
Some of the decent meals that we got. We bought these vegetables, rice, meat, and species on our way to Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow and the Knuckles Mountain Range.
The taste was good and our guys eat like bulls.
The good thing about this place is that there is small rive adjoining these rooms, Thelgamu Oya river. You can just walk down 10m have a good bath in this Thelgamu ova river.
Be very careful!!. The caretaker of this section told us that there are many people who died in this Thelgamu ova river section as they tried to bath in this River after a couple of drinks.
There are a lot of big holes inside this Thelgamu ova river which you can not identify obviously.
Basically, there many shallow places in the Thelgamu Oya river nobody knows where are these places.
Our friends were taking a morning bath as It was not very cold.
This is the washroom and toilet section for these two rooms. It was built recently and it is in good condition.
This is the pathway to Kitchen and washrooms.
There are two sections. One can brush and wash the face while someone doing other stuff 🙂
What is the Price and How to Book
We paid Rs 8960/= including taxes in 2015 and I am not sure what is the price now.
The booking of this Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow is not a very easy one go process. We got some help from one of my friends to do the needful.
You have to go to the Forest Department to book this place.
Be aware that, this is a government organization and do not expect private sector service.
Take photocopies of your ID card and the full name of the people who go with you.
You have to pay cash therefore take adequate cash along with you.
When you visit Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow, You have to take these notes along with you otherwise, they do not let you in.
Please go to the office section of the Illukkumbura Forest Bungalow and show these to officials.
You have to pay for Gas and for some other things before leaving.
we gave Rs 1000/= to the helper who cooked us as he did not bother to do whatever we needed and wants to help village communities