Avissawella is a beautiful charming city located 60km east of Colombo. It is an interior destination one passes on the way to Hatton or Kandy; Ratnapura or Badulla. It is a popular place of relaxing, among the people who are returning from hill country destinations such as Haputale, Bandarawela or Nuwara Eliya. People stop here for a refreshing drink after a long journey along the winding road. According to the historical information, Avissawella was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sitawaka. The Kelani Valley railway line also marks the end of its journey in Avissawella.
Most of the attractions of Avissawella are to be found around the city, mainly close to Kurunegala and Kitulgala, the centre of white water rafting. Kitulgala is more like an adventure holiday destination than a town itself. The remains of the king’s palace of Sitawaka period are easy to reach of Avissawella. Sitawaka is the royal capital under the reign of King Rajasinghe 1, and he ruled the country for a long time from this seat in the 17th century. This royal city is far less known to people than Sri Lanka’s other popular historical cities such as Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Dambadeniya, Kandy etc.
Sitawaka was the most important bastion in the fight against the army of Portuguese, at the time the Portuguese were controlling the adjoining kingdom of Kotte. The valiant king stood against the mighty Portuguese army is held in high esteem by Sinhalese even today. Even though Avissawella does not accommodate a large number of historical and culturally important sites, several important places that it offers are well worth visit.
Berendi Kovil is one of the important religious places near Avissawella and located around 1 km from the city. The temple was not completed in the fast and is believed to be dedicated to god Shiva. King Rajasinghe was venerating the god Shiva. The temple was still being constructed at the time of the death of the King. There are large numbers of carvings around the temple; they believed to be symbolizing the hidden treasures, such as a squirrel and a parrot. The temple had been a victim of relic hunters. Two holes that drilled down next to the parrot are the evidence of activities of relic hunters.
Predominant income for the people in Avissawella is the agriculture and main crops being the Rubber and Tea. Clay brick industry is the second most industry in the region while tourism industry has also developed to some extent by today, mainly due to its location at the cross point of two main roads in the island. Avissawella has a cool climate due to its proximity to the central mountain range.
Even though tourism is not well developed like in many holiday destinations it will not difficult to find good accommodation for a few nights within the borders of Avissawella. Avissawella provides easy access to many interesting places with attractions such as Ratnapura, Udawalawa, Bandarawela, Nuwara Eliya, Sinharaja, Hatton and Sripada.