The Seven Virgins Hills.
Not many places in Sri Lanka can be as enchanting and perhaps even momentarily eerie-looking as a mountain range in the central south of the country, called, the Seven Virgins. (aka Saptha Kanya)
One of the best hiking places of Sri Lanka, the seven virgins range or saptha kanya is located in Maskeliya, Central Province. The name clearly resembles that the mountain range consist of seven peaks. The Luxapana falls on the background of seven Virgins mountain range feeds the eyes with adorable scenic view.
The range is filled with abundant natural vegetation like tea, bamboo. It results in adventures hiking through greeny bushes and steep slopes. The mountain range became more popular after the incident of plane crash between the 2nd and 3rd mountain peaks in 1974. The view of sun rise from the peak is picturesque and the travellers can enjoy the view of water steam illusion by the atmospheric condition between the 6th and 7th peaks of the mountains.
It may not be a tourist attraction and perhaps it is better off left that way for the Virgins would like to stay that way, untouched and unspoiled. The sight from a distance alone may be enough and more for anyone who appreciates beauty of the legendary kind. It is like the Seven Virgins are the true keepers of nature at its most splendour.
While other mountain ranges may have their stories to tell, the Seven Virgins does not have any intention of attracting wrong onlookers and that’s because beauty is only in the eye of the beholder.
The best way to enjoy the company of the Seven Virgins is on a cool sunny day, and what they have to offer is a feeling of admiring the thunder and wonder of nature. Villagers who live by its towering heights will tell the visitor stories of how some of her untamed denizens such as leopards carry away their dogs for dinner, or how the night can be as soundless with only the call of an owl or the sharp sudden cry of death of one animal at the hands of another.
The Seven Virgins may only have been confined to tourist brochures or the student of Geography. But it became famous after a plane crashed into its massif in 1974 and 191 people never walked free from such a place of rugged beauty.
Their torn-apart, burnt and dismembered remains were interned in one mass grave marked by a tombstone at the foot of the Seven Virgins that has now given way to jungle tide. Some experts are even baffled to find out why from among the numerous mountain ranges in the south-central part of the country, the ill-fated flight from Martin Air in Holland had to follow a trajectory over her in the stillness of the night and then be sucked into its mystic powers.
It was like the Virgins had given the plane the kiss of death as it came too close for one of its wings to brush against her and then make a deadly swerve into smithereens.
The enticing beauty of Seven Virgins can be seen in each of their pristine peaks as one can be as contrasting from the other although they all stand collectively like nothing more evergreen.
An explorer stood gazing at her majestic beauty for hours on end and the only time he moved a muscle was to adjust his camera lens and photograph her from every angle for the best and most cherished shot.
Some travellers, trekkers and experts talk of Knuckles as probably the best and most scenic mountain formation in the country, but Seven Virgins will never cry out to be on the top shelf. These are Virgins that speak for themselves, symbols of power, beauty and protection except for one tragedy.
That tragedy may also be gradually moving away into the where-are-they-now files and if it does not, it could only show how inseparable that even beauty and the beast cloud.
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