Jailany: The Cave
Close to the ledge where the Saint meditated, is a cave that can be negotiated for about 200 feet. Inside is a light that appears from a crevice - no miracle but the sun light filtering in from below as this cave is at the top of the Balangoda Plateau and overlooks the Kaltota Plains about 500 feet below. (A large python had its abode in this cave for many years and bats too are to be found inside.)
In Romantic Ceylon, R.H. Bassett describes the Kuragala cave: "The cave itself is a most interesting place. It is entirely natural, bearing no signs of artificial excavations or of ritual adornment. The entrance is situated in the face of a cliff a short climb down from the summit where on entering there is a large "hall" from which two passages lead off on either hand. The right hand passage is seen to extend for at least 50 yards into the depths of the earth before merging into the general darkness of the shadows.
"On the opposite side of the entrance hall, a narrow passage leads out on to the meditation "ledge", a niche in the sheer side of the cliff, some 6 foot by 4 foot with an overhanging roof of rock. Here seated beneath a huge mass that towers fifty feet above on the edge of a 600-foot precipice, a hermit can find solitude indeed and food for contemplation in the unbroken ocean of trees spread out below him. Entering from a small hole in the rock, at the back an atmosphere of complete detachment pervades the occupant of the tiny ledge. Earthly considerations lose their importance before the uncomplicated immensity of the colossal landscape and the fatality of the sheer abyss."
It is on this platform that Saint Abdul Qadir Jailany is said to have meditated during his stay at Jailany undisturbed by man or beast. It is said there was no water in this mountain retreat, but when the saint felt the need for water, he had only to scoop the earth and water had started flowing from that spot. Today, a stream still continues to flow; now a well has been built by a philanthropist for the convenience of pilgrims at this very spot (and the flow of water still continues!)
Home page | Location | The Cave | Abode of Saints | Jailany festival | Refai Ratheeb | Spittel's account | Dafther Jailany book