Badulla Sri Lanka
Badulla is the capital city of Uva province Sri Lanka, which is inhabited by a sizable population of upcountry Tamil. The entire region is one of the most important tea growing areas on the island with a large number of tea factories and plantation.
Some of the best high grown Ceylon tea varieties are produced with the tea leaves that grows in Badulla, being more than 700 meters above the sea level it provides the best conditions for the tea cultivation. However, despite the abundance of tea plantation in Badulla, it is very rarely included in Sri Lank tea plantation tours.
A large part of the land area of Badulla is covered by tea plantations. Animal husbandry is another major income method of the people of Badulla. However, tourism is not that important for the income of the people in Badulla. Despite its natural beauty, this off the beaten track spot has not been able to get the attention of the travellers of Sri Lanka due to the long journey from Colombo airport.
It can be considered as the centre of milk producers on the island. Badulla situated in the southern escapement of the central mountain range and can be reached without much effort while it has no significant protection from the mountain range.
One example to show the vulnerability of Badulla is the invasion of Portuguese 1615 that made extended damages to the city. Portuguese could reach the city without much effort, unlike Kandy where they failed due to the mountains around Kandy. Again in 1630, the Portuguese invaded the city once again and the king’s palace was burnt down.
The history of Badulla goes back to the 17th century as it was used as the capital of the island. Later the capital was moved to Kandy, depriving Badulla the function as the capital city of the island. In the 19th century, Badulla was the centre of British Tea planters, they have constructed racecourse, Golf field, and tennis courts and formed a cricket club for the rich planters.
Today most of them are in dilapidated condition and very little leftover from it. Badulla is a beautiful city with a large number of places with historical and natural importance, which is forgotten by tourists. It is being mainly visited by the travellers, who visit Sri Lanka’s east coast. Tourists who are heading to Arugam Bay, Pasikuda and Kalkuda make a stop at Badulla for refreshment before the rest of the long journey from Colombo.
It is believed Alu and Budu are the origins of term Badulla, which means the place, where the light of Buddha appeared. Badulla district is one of the most picturesque, it is a destination visited local travellers, who love to visit holiday destinations in the mountains.
It is full of natural resources such as forests, reservoirs, waterfall, mountains and escapements. Badulla is not only rich in natural resources but also very rich in history. There are many places with historical importance such as Mutiyangana Buddhist temple, to visit in Badulla.
Badulla commands a panoramic view over the surrounding mountains such as Haputale, Namunukula and Narangoda. It is surrounded by districts of Kandy, Matale, Ampara, Monaragala, Ratnapura, and Nuwara Eliya. Badulla is 2860 sq.km in extent.
Badulla is an important catchment area in Sri Lanka and important contributor for Rivers and streams in the mountains such as Mahaweli, Badulu Oya and Ulhitiya Oya.
Nagadeepa wewa, Horabora wewa, Wellawa wewa, Mapa wewa, Maduru Oya, Ulhitiya, Ratkinda, Loggal Oya are several large-scale lakes located in Badulla. These water resources are being used for generating hydroelectricity. Beautiful waterfalls such as Dunhida, Ravana and Bambarakanda enhance the natural beauty of Badulla. Badulla is a rare holiday destination where all three climate conditions namely wet, dry and arid climate conditions of the island to be seen.
Attractions Muthiyangana temple
Muthiyangana temple is one of the best-preserved historical monuments in Badulla. Even though Portuguese plundered the city, there was no significant damage done to the Muthiyangana temple. Robert Knox has reported on the site in his book “A Historical relation to the island of Ceylon”, which was written in 1681 as he was in the custody of Kandy king. The Dagoba of the temple supposes to be more than 2,000 years old.
Silpola Raja Maha Vihara
Silpola Raja Maha Vihara is located in the village of Silpola. The ancient route that connected Rajarata and Uva was passing this point in the early days of Sri Lankan history. One needs to go to Hali Ela from Badulla and then Silpola Raja Maha Vihara is few kilometres from Hali Ela. The temple is believed to be built by King Walagambahu in 1st Century BC. Vira Keppetipola had close contact with the temple during the Uva riot; therefore it was totally destroyed by the Kandyan soldiers. Today this temple is an archaeological site and under the purview of the archaeological department of Sri Lanka.
Gallanda Oya flows in front of the Bogoda Raja Maha Vihara. There had been a wooden bridge across the Gallanda Oya in the ancient time, which was connecting Uva province with Kandyan kingdom. The bridge had been a wooden structure and it was constructed under the patronage of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe. The bridge was constructed from 1798 to 1815 and it is 50 feet long while the width is 6 feet. The complete structure is built on two massive wooden columns. The roof provides the protection and there are 20 wooden pillars to support the roof.
This rare type of bridge is located on the way to Demodara and it was built during the British colonial era. The bridge was built during the Second World War; therefore the ships were not used to transport goods as they were destroyed by the opponents. Unless this bridge is also would have also been an iron structure like most of the bridges built by British. Demodara Bridge is made of granite using the know-how of local engineers.
Waterfalls in Badulla
This beautiful waterfall is located on the Beragala-Wellawaya main road. It is about 6 km from Koslanda and 3 km from Wellawaya. Alakolagala stream begins in the Makuldeniya Mountain and flows to the Randapola Oya. The waterfall originates from the waters of Alakolagala stream and it is 99 feet in height. This waterfall is surrounded by thick vegetation. One can have a glimpse of the peaks of Makuldeniya and Niyankolais from the waterfall. The area is inhabited by wild elephants.
Kudalu Oya Ella
Kudalu Oya Waterfall is located around 4 km from Koslanda on the Punagala main road. This magnificent waterfall is 66 feet high and fed by the Puna Gala Oya.
Edandawela is a small hamlet located about 8 km east of Koslanda. One can reach Bulathwela from this village using a narrow path. Diyabettama Ella is located in the village of Wekada, walking distance from Edandawela. The waterfall is surrounded by thick jungle and it is teamed with wild elephants. Therefore visitor needs to be careful when they march to the waterfall through the jungle.
Perhaps Dyaluma is the most popular waterfall in Badulla. It is originated from the waters of the one the tributaries of Kirindi Oya. The waterfall is situated in Koslanda and it is 220 meters in height. This magnificent waterfall is surrounded by the mist, arises from the waterfall, at any given time. Therefore, the waterfall is named Diyaluma to denote this effect.
It can be conveniently reached on the Beragala-Wellawaya main road. The waterfall makes very beautiful scenery especially during the monsoon period when it is full of water. This cascading waterfall is comprised of 7 parts and they can only be observed when you look at from the top end of the waterfall.
Four kilometres from Badulla is the spectacular Dunhida waterfalls which are 58 meters in height. The waterfall can be reached after 1.5 km long walk between thick vegetation and bit difficult path on the gravel and granite rock. The water that flows from the waterfall leads to the large pond down the stream. The legend says the pond used for hiding the valuable of Uva prince Kumarasinghe. It is believed that the pond is inhabited by the ghost that protects the valuables.