Overview of Badulla
The scenic natural beauty of Badulla, the cool and relaxing weather conditions all year round, and its recreational and sacred locations make it an ideal tourist destination in Sri Lanka. Now the capital of Uva Province, Badulla is one of the oldest towns in Sri Lanka that was invaded by British and Portuguese rulers, eventually making it a popular economic hub.
Bordering the upcountry central hills from the southeast, Badulla has cool weather during the day, with mist and fog encircling by night. For a tropical country, such unique weather conditions makes Badulla stand out from other cities. A vacation in Badulla, Sri Lanka lets one enjoy a relaxing few days in the countryside while exploring the rich biodiversity in the area.
As a recommended eco-tourism destination, some of the most popular places to visit in Badulla, Sri Lanka are the Mahinyangana Viharaya, Sorabora Wewa, Kataragama Devalaya, several waterfalls, tea factories, rock climbing adventures and more, which will be discussed in detail in this article.
Weather in Badulla
Slightly colder in comparison to other cities across the country, Badulla usually shows between 16°C to 30°C (61°F to 86°F). Very rarely will the temperature go below 13°C (56°F) and above 33°C (92°F). The coldest months are from November to January while April is the hottest month of the year. Rain is accumulated throughout the year, with November being the most and July being the least.
Places to visit in Badulla
1. Bogoda Ancient Wooden Bridge
Travel back to the ancient era by visiting the country’s oldest surviving wooden bridge. Nearly four centuries old, this wooden bridge remains as it is and is just about 13kms from Badulla city. Built during the 16th century, the main purpose of this bridge was to connect Gallanda Oya and Badulla to Kandy. The ancient Bogoda Buddhist Temple is also located close to the bridge, making it a highly sought-after Sri Lankan heritage attraction.
A range of well known and beautiful waterfalls are accessible from Dambulla.
Best time to visit: as with all other cities in the tropical country of Sri Lanka, Badulla is also a year-round holiday friendly destination but when it comes to waterfalls, the sunny months of June and July are more preferable as the falls look more pleasant and because some hiking is required to get to the falls, you don’t want to slip and fall in the rainy months. However, the pros of visiting in November through March (rainy months) is that the falls are very elegant and have large volumes of water.
- Dunhinda Falls: 210 feet in height, 5kms from Badulla city, the misty falls are a must-visit on your Sri Lanka tour!
- Ravana Falls: 82 feet in height and has water cascading over an oval-shaped rock. Named in memory of King Ravana, the falls are just a 10 mins drive from Badulla.
- Wewessa Ella Waterfall: found on the 5th milepost of Badulla Highway, this 72 foot high waterfall is in full swing only during the rainy season.
- Ellewala Waterfall: not much in height but boasts a beautiful natural pool, and a scenic and adventurous cycling trek to get to the waterfall.
- Diyaluma Falls: with a height of 722 feet, it is the second highest waterfall, with natural pools at the top of the falls. Located in Koslanda, in the Badulla district, Diyaluma Falls is one of the most iconic of its kind in Sri Lanka.
- Bambarakanda Falls: a whopping 863 feet in height, this is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka, flowing through the Kalupahana mountain ranges. Best accessible by foot from the A4 highway that leads to Kalupahana junction.
- Sorabora Lake: one of the biggest and most ancient man-made reservoirs is located in the Mahiyangana area. Built in the 2nd century BC, indigenous methods for water flow and maintenance of natural surroundings have been kept in mind. Lush green foliage, fauna and flora adds to the unique beauty of the lake.
- Mapakada Lake: also in Mahiyangana, the beautiful Mapakada Lake offers stunning hues of greens and browns blending into one magnificent frame. Birds flying around, still waters, bordered by trees and tall mountains far beyond is what you will see here, making it a peaceful environment for relaxation.
4. Tea Factories
Dambatenne Tea Factory and Lipton’s Seat:
Visit this tea factory to learn about the fermenting, rolling, drying, cutting, sieving and grading of tea and all the machines and equipment used for these processes. Once you’re done, visit the nearby Lipton’s Seat which was a favorite lookout point for Sir Thomas Lipton, and has a fabulous view over several provinces in Sri Lanka!
5. Other nearby tourist attractions
- Little Adam’s Peak: A hike to the top of Little Adam’s peak will show you a stunning panoramic view; best at sunrise or sunset.
- Nine Arches Bridge: A cleverly constructed stony railway bridge positioned amidst dense jungles and tea plantations, plays the role of transporting people and goods to the town of Ella. It is indeed a paradise for photography maniacs!
- Ella Rock: If you are in good shape, Ella Rock is a popular hiking attraction offering panoramic views amidst mist and clouds. Reach the summit at dawn and you have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to observe the views from the Ella Gap, displaying the scenic beauty of Sri Lanka, all the way to the southern coast!
- Horton Plains National Park: Experience the coldest and windiest location in Sri Lanka while walking through Montane evergreen forests, grasslands, marshy lands and aquatic ecosystems. A large number of endemic flora and fauna can also be seen here, as well as the popular “World’s End” viewpoint. Some of the frequently sighted animals are the Sambar deer (in herds), strip-necked mongoose, giant squirrel wild boar, bear monkey, and fishing cat. Several montane endemic birds of Sri Lanka such as Eagle, Pigeon and Thrush varieties are also found here.
- Nuwara Eliya town: Also known as ‘Little England’, Nuwara Eliya town is about an hour’s drive from Badulla and is popular amongst tourists for its unique British colonial style architecture, Lake Gregory, Victoria Park, Seetha Amman Temple, horse racing, and strawberries!
Places of Worship in Badulla
- Muthiyangana Temple: one of 16 sacred places in Sri Lanka, the Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya is a 65 feet tall Stupa with 270 feet in diameter, and was erected by enshrining the relics of Lord Buddha. Located in the center of Badulla Town, this ancient Buddhist Temple is easily accessible by any mode of transport.
- Mahiyangana Temple: created by the Yakkas in honor of the dedicated service of Lord Buddha, the Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya plays a major role in the Buddhism history of Sri Lanka. Centuries after it was built, King Dutugemunu renovated the Stupa, and more recently, in 1961, Prime Minister D. S Senanayake reconstructed the temple and attached crystal-cut gems to the dome.
- Dhowa Rock Temple is known for its 38-foot incomplete Buddha Statue carved inside a granite boulder. At the back of the cave is a 11 meter long tunnel, guarded by a figure of King Cobra, the purpose of the tunnel being to connect other temples in the Badulla District. The work at this temple was completed during the Kandyan Kingdom and was declared a heritage site in 1996.
- St. Mark’s Church: consecrated by Bishop James Chapman in 1857, the church and its bell tower was declared as “protected monuments” as recently as 2008.
- Kataragama Devalaya: as a remembrance of the golden past of this area, this 17th century temple boasts Kandyan era paintings, carved timber columns and much to explore about the regions past.
Places to stay in Badulla
- Dream Cliff Mountain Resort
- Ekho Ella
- Chille Ville, View Point Hotel
- Anasa Wellness Resort (Level 1)
- Train View Chalet Hotel
- Mountain Heavens
Villas and Bungalows
- Badulla Holiday Home
- Sithara Estate Bungalow
- Villa Perpetua
- Memories Holiday Bungalow
- V-6 Holiday Bungalow
- Villa 90D