“Garandugala” is named for a large serpentine located near Walapane area. It is belived the largest serpentine rock found in Sri Lanka. The Rock located suburb Rupaha. Garandugala consider as a very few remaining deposits of Blue Garuda Marble (‘Nil Garuda’) in Asia.
There is moderate track towards the site. 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.
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. Locating and travelling to this place may be some what difficult.
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.