Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of modern-day civilization, Meemure has everything a recluse would want—near isolation and zero mobile or data connectivity to the outside world. Meemure is a village close to the Knuckles Mountain Range in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, located 324m above sea level and hidden amongst the mountains. It has got some fabulous natural pools and waterfalls, great mountains and rolling expanses of paddy.
The only way to reach Meemure is from the ‘Hunnasgiriya’ mountain, which is a part of the Knuckles range, approximately 50 kms from Kandy. It is a difficult trail of 33 kms with amazing views. The village itself receives abundant water in the form of waterfalls that have their sources in the evergreen forests of the Knuckles. East of the village lies the pyramid shaped Lakegala mountain, while the west is dominated by the picturesque Knuckles range. The northern boundary of
Meemure borders a forest which runs to the Pitawala Pathana grassland and the south is bounded by Heen River.
Pack-bulls used to be the solitary method of transport to Meemure until 2004. Herds of cattle carried sacks full of goods and equipment to the village. Due to the fertility and prosperity of the village; the pack-bulls were only used to carry salt, cloths, tobacco and calcium bicarbonate. But with the invasion of modern technology, the trails have been widened to allow three wheelers, jeeps and small trucks.
The village has a population of approximately 400 with about 125 families. The design of village is one of the main identities of Meemure. The villagers build eco-friendly homes using clay and illuk (spear grass) which lasts for over three decades. But the most unique aspect of their buildings is their boundary walls made of quartz.
Before cardamom cultivation was banned in 1982 due to the Forest Preservation Act, Meemure villagers earned their bread by harvesting the spice. After this they shifted to chena cultivation, paddy cultivation and pepper cultivation.
Nowadays some of the peasants earn their living by taking care of jaggery palms, which produce toddy and treacle. The village has one tiny village shop where the locals buy necessities such as salt and sugar. There is no cable telephone or mobile network signal. The village does have CDMA telephone services, though, to some extent. The villagers do not have direct mail delivery to the village and have to journey to Thapal Junction each day to exchange incoming and outgoing post with the postman.
The beauty and the innocent, non-technological lifestyle of the villagers have brought heavy attention of the outsiders and now the village is at the brim of changing into a tourist village, a transition from the centuries old unexplored and uninterrupted rural land. Travel companies are introducing attractive tailor-made packages to Meemure. Few inhabitants are now carrying out tasks such as tour guides, cooks and guards for the tourists.
Meemure is becoming a place visited by outsiders owing to its exceptional natural beauty and unsoiled traditional Sri Lankan styles. This is exactly for travelers seeking to taste the village lifestyle and some rugged walk experience, away from urban lives and sophisticated technologies. Some may prefer to have a luxurious stay in a hotel while sightseeing the village, where most of the others prefer camping experience. Explore and feel the nature and village life at Meemure.
Things to do and see in Meemure
• Nawarathna waterfall tour
• Hike to Lakegala
• Suriya Arana water world tour
• Nitro Cave exploratory
• Heen Ganga river exploratory
• Local village lifestyle
How to reach: Meemure is approximately a 7-hour drive from Colombo, in an off-road vehicle. The main route is via Kandy city which is 116 kms away from Colombo. Then Kandy-Mahiyangana Road (A26) towards to Mahiyangana. Turn to Left from Hunnasgiriya Junction which is 35 kms away from Kandy. Then go towards the Loolwatte Village which is 15 kms away from Hunnasgiriya Junction. Then from Loolwatte it is about another 15 kms to reach the Meemure Village.