Bandarawela is the second most famous holiday destination in the mountains of Sri Lanka after Nuwara Eliya. Bandarawela is just 45 kilometers from Nuwara Eliya and can be reached by bus or rail from Nuwara Eliya. Bandarawela is fairly popular destination since the British colonial time and it is popular destination for rest and recreation. The greater Bandarawela area is much richer of nature than the nearby Haputale or Ella that are preferred by many people over Bandarawela. The English writer Henry W. Cave had wrote in 1908 in his book “Book of Ceylon”, Bandarawela is “devoid of all attractions in the way of amusement” to a traveler.
Bandarawela and surrounding is dominated by farmers who grow tea, vegetable, flowers and fruits while some people are engage in tourism. In the days of British rule in the country it was tea that draws people in to the city. Bandarawela as well as surrounding in the mountains were dominated by tea until 1894. With opening of foreigners only club (today Bandarawela hotel) in 1894 close to the newly completed rail terminus, the city and the surrounding in the Uwa province became a popular holiday destination among the rich and affluent public.
Bandarawela is small city and it is home for many ethnic groups such as Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Being a multi-cultural city, there are many worshiping places in and around Bandarawela for all religious groups. Dova rock cave temple is an exceptional Buddhist temple with dating back to Anuradhapura period. Temple is just few kilometers from the city center on the Badulla-Bandarawela main road. Temple is well worth visit and it has centuries old religious paintings, Dova rock cave temple is one of the unpopular historical temple in the region.
The climate of Bandarawela is considered being one of the most salubrious in the island. Bandarawela attracts most local holiday makers after Nuwara Eliya in the mountains. Enthusiasts of Bandarawela claim that it is richer in colonial calm than Nuwara Eliya. Bandarawela is the best alternative for Nuwara Eliya for those who find it is too cold, difficult to get or too expensive. Bandarawela is located at the elevation of 1230m above the sea level compared to 1890m of Nuwara Eliya and considered being pleasant and healthier climate than Nuwara Eliya.
This green city is wedged into a wooded slope and it has a commercial center packed with large number of shops. The shops are concentrated into a few lanes mainly Main Street and Badulla road North-East of the central traffic roundabout. To its west, spread out along Welimada Road and Esplanade Road, are the nearby hotels and guesthouses. The newly constructed shopping center of Bandarawela adds much convenient shopping experience. Sports ground of Bandarawela is a venue for common evening meeting for people in all ages. Some of the landmarks from the British colonial rule of the city make it hard to forget the colonial influence of the city. Train station, the red brick post office, Bandarawela hotel and Cargill’s super market are not to be missed on the visit to Bandarawela.
- Beach holidays in Sri Lanka
- Train travel in Sri Lanka
- Archeological excavations in the island
- Awissawella of Sri Lanka
- Eco-holiday in Bandarawela