Blue Garuda (Marble) Rock
A site close to Nuwara Eliya has one of the very few remaining deposits of Blue Garuda Marble ('Nil Garuda') in Asia. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes from Spring Acre, but we would recommend a day trip so that you could visit many other sites such as Kurundu Ella (Waterfall), and little World's End near Harasbedda village in Walapane, which are two places of tourist attraction and also considered as natural heritages. A visit to the sacred Buddhist temples- Peace Pagoda at Watarakgoda would also be suggested.
Access from Spring Acre to the Blue Garuda Rock is by passing Ragala town and going along the road towards Walapane passing a small village called Rupaha to reach Kotambe.
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From there onwards, the local villagers will direct you to a small road which will lead you close to the Blue Garuda rock. Rest of the journey has to be made by foot for about 2 km’s. The trail is moderate. When you reach a small stream, which is the Garuda Oya. Walk parallel to the stream to reach the point where you will see the stream flowing over a huge rock surface. When you look at the rock very carefully, you will notice that it is not an ordinary stone, but a stone with a tinge of shiny blue. When you touch the surface, you will feel the difference between a normal rock – having a very rough surface – to the Blue Garuda stone – having a smooth and shiny green surface. There is a belief among the locals that the Blue Garuda stone grows and mends itself, which is evident by the many damage done to the rock in the past and the apparent mending of the ridges . The Blue Garuda stone has a property where when water is poured on to it and rubbed for a little while, a foamy substance emanates from it, which is believed to be very good for skin ailments. The Blue Garuda rock deposit is visible only where the stream flows. The rest of the deposit is below the surface of the earth and it is estimated to cover an area of 16 km2, making it one of the largest blue grauda deposits in Asia.
The water flowing along the Garuda Oya is used by the villagers for their vegetable cultivation and it is believed that the crop such produced has very high nutritional value and healing properties for stomach ailments as well.
There is a folklore regarding the origination of the Blue Garuda stone stretching back to the era of Rama – Seetha. It is believed that King Ravana abducted Queen Seetha from India and hid her in a cave in Walapane. In protest, Seetha had gone on a hunger strike resulting in a stomach ailment. The folklore goes on to say that King Hanuma had brought a blue rock (blue garuda) having medicinal properties, which had been rubbed with water and given to Seetha to cure her ailment. The remaining piece of this special stone had been thrown away by Hanuma, which had grown in to the Blue Garuda deposit that we see today.
As many local and foreign visitors are in the habit of removing pieces of this valuable stone from the garuda deposit, the local villagers' have formed a voluntary organization to protect the Blue Garuda Marble (Blue Quartz) Rock.