Sri Lanka's Hill Country

Hill Country — Cool climate in the upland part of Sri Lanka captivates beauty, which surpasses all that can be seen in any other part of the island. Misty green hills, green carpets of meadows and fields, tea plantations, waterfalls, charming landscapes of this region truly refresh and rejuvenate the soul. The Mountainous Part of the Country, or, as the Sri Lankans themselves say, Hill Country extends from Kandy through Nuwara Eliya to the south, and to Ratnapura, home to the largest tropical forests and nature reserves in Sri Lanka.

Kandy — a picturesque city with a lake in the center. Here is the leading tourist world center, because Kandy is famous for the most revered Temple of the Tooth Relic and the most famous festival of Esala Perahera, held in the city in August. Other attractions include museums, a botanical garden and temples.

Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) — the former royal palace, where the revered world relic is kept — the Tooth of Buddha in a decorated casket. Here pilgrims pay tribute and come here to seek blessings. The palace is connected to a moat of water. This spectacle is the best of the best examples of Kandiyan architecture to date. Even after many elements of the structure were repaired and restored. Located next to the Temple, the museum demonstrates the best artifacts of the country's history in Kandy.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage — is located in Kegalle town, west of Kandy. In this orphanage for elephants live elephant orphans, as well as adult elephants, since 1975. Orphanage is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. Feeding and bathing these animals attracts and touches the visitors.

Knuckles Range — To the east of Kandy this mountain range is located, which resembles the knuckles of the hands. This beautiful area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most successful places to discover leopards, deer, endemic birds and enjoy beautiful views during the excursion.

Mahiyanganaya — outside of Knuckles is the place, which essentially belongs to the dry zone, and is one of the places that Buddha visited in Sri Lanka. This place is also home to the Vedda community. This tribe of the descendants of the indigenous people of Sri Lanka, who has lived on the island for more than 38,000 years!

Rajamaha Dagoba — one of the most revered places on the island. One of the preachers of Buddhism is believed to have buried within the sacred dagobah a strand of Buddha's hair brought from India.

Nuwara Eliya — in the southern part of the mountainous hilly region of Sri Lanka lies the town of Nuwara Eliya. This place captures its glorious past of the colonial era and the center of tea plantations. The town is also widely known as the most picturesque of all the cities on the island, thanks to the magnificent tea carpets on the hills, the inspiring waterfalls, the beautiful British colonial architecture and style. There are also many Hindu shrines that add vivid colors to the overall unimaginable picture of this marvelous terrain.

Tea plantations — Most of the tea producing plants near the plantations are open for visitors to see the entire production circle and understand the process of making world-famous Ceylon tea.

Tea Factory is a new hotel concept is when the former tea factory is transformed into a luxury hotel with some original features that remain intact. These hotels lie right in the middle of a luscious tea plantation, which offers a panoramic view. Under the management of Lankarus there are several such hotels in the highlands!

Victoria Park — The vast area is ideal in the middle of the day for walking on foot to plunge into the local atmosphere and enjoy the observations different species of birds.

Gregory Lake — Not far from the park in the center of Nuwara Eliya this famous high mountain lake is situated. Here visitors can take part in a boat excursion.

Hippodrome — the races take place in April, August and December.

Nuwara Eliya Golf Club — 18-hole golf course and country club for visitors who can enjoy high-altitude golf if they want.

Waterfalls — Several charming waterfalls are in the surrounding areas. The most popular of them are Lakshapan, Devon and Ramboda.

Pidurutalagala — This 2550-meter-high mountain is the highest on the island, and walking tours to Pidurutalagala remain popular among visitors. During the ascent and descent on the way you are also waiting for the waterfalls. This place is also home to many endemic bird species and unique flora and fauna in the cloudy forests of the lower tier of the mountain.

Hakgala Botanical Gardens — At the base of the cliff of Hakgala, from which the name of the garden occurs, lies this magnificent garden that gives a phenomenal view of the surrounding area. The rock, according to the researchers of the ancient epic Ramayana, was another place where Monkey God Hanuman fell during his flight from Lanka to the Himalayas. As the locals say, the rare herbs that are found in Hakgala, Lord Hanuman himself dropped from heaven on the way to the Himalayas! The botanical garden, in addition to the local vegetation, is home to many species of fauna and flora of foreign origin.

Sitha Aman Temple — Opposite thr Botanical Garden there is a shrine, which, according to the researchers of the epic Ramayana, was built on the site where the demon Ravana held the spouse of Lord Rama, Sitha. Sitha was captured by Ravana in a hut that was located on the shore of the icy stream of a mountain river.

Radella — the best view in the whole on the island! Radella gives a stunning 360 degree view of the surrounding hills and the countryside far beyond.

Horton Plains — this famous highlands on the island is an ideal place for nature lovers to explore the local nature, since this place is home to many unique species of fauna and flora, birds and wild animals such as deer. Take time to visit the abyss, from where you will discover breathtaking views of the terrain far below under your feet.

Badulla — to the east of the central part of the mountainous Sri Lanka is this remarkable city. The main attraction of Badulla is the complex of Kataragama Devale, which carries in its architecture many elements of the Kandy school of construction and design.

Muthiyagana Vihara — an ancient temple complex, leading visitors back to the history of the island for a couple of thousand years ago.

Dunhinda Waterfalls — To the north of Badulla there are 7 high waterfalls. In Sri Lanka they are famous for their natural beauty, as well as for some of the most charming sights in the area.

Ella — a picturesque place with a pleasant climate all year round. Researchers of the ancient Indian epic Ramayana believe that there was one more place where the spouse of Lord Rama, Sitha was held by Ravana.
Ravana Falls in Ella is falling from a height of about 90 meters, and named after Ravana.

Ravana Ella's Cave is named after the sad known demon king. This is the place where he kept in captivity the Goddess Sitha.

Dowa Temple — a temple with the Buddha statue carved from a solid boulder and overlooking the temple. The statue itself is believed to represent the future Maitreya Buddha.

Bandarawela — a buzzing little town that can be used as a base for excursions in the surrounding areas. It is located among the tea plantations. This city is full of pleasant climate throughout the year. There are several hotels by Lankarus nearby.

Haputale is the town with the majority of the Tamil population. Perfectly located, offers spectacular views and is constantly covered with fog, giving the town a mysterious look.
Edisham Mansion — to the east of Haputale is a mansion built by a British landowner. By the name of the owner, Sir Edisham, the mansion was named. Now the building functions as a monastery.

Belihul Oya — a charming town with the Belihul River. This is the nearest town to the Bambarakanda waterfall. The waterfall, located at an altitude of more than 240 meters, is considered the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka, attracting many tourists every year.

Diyaluma Falls is the second highest waterfall on the island. Its height is 220 meters. Visitors can climb to reach the top and admire the beauties of the surroundings from above.

Adam's Peak (Sri Pada) — the mountain has a religious significance for all major religious communities on the island. However, it is of particular importance for the Buddhist community, since it is believed that on the top of the mountain there is a sacred imprint of the foot of the Buddha himself. Sri Pada offers a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside, including an impressive sunrise.

Kithulgala — On the way to Nuwara Eliya, the wild waters of the Kelani Ganga River make this place ideal for water sports, for example, for rafting. Kithulgala also offers paradise landscapes, which also make this place ideal for trekking and bird watching.

Sithawaka — here the Berendi Kovil (a Hindu temple of solid stone) was built by the order of the last king of Sri Lanka, Sri VWickrama Rajasinghe.

Ratnapura is a city of gems where rare and precious stones, such as the famous Ceylon blue sapphires, pink sapphires and tourmaline and many others precious and semiprecious stones are mined. This is the most important center of mining stones on the island. It is also an ideal place for visitors who have planned an excursion to the protected Sinharaja Rainforest and Uda Walawa National Park.

Ratnapura Museum of Precious Stones is one of many similar museums and a point of sale where you can easily see precious stones from around the world, including authentic Sri Lankan gems in a section.

Maha Saman Devale — This is a shrine dedicated to God Saman, who is revered as the guardian deity of the entrance to Adam's Peak. This is an ancient 13th century devale. Here the main festival celebrations are held in honor of the God of Saman. They are held every year in July.

Uda Walawe National Park — to the south of Ratnapura this park is popular for watching elephants in large numbers in their natural habitat. It is also home to other animals such as deer, buffaloes, samburs, an abundance of bird species. This is also the place of some interesting representatives of the unique fauna.

Elephant Orphanage — To the west of the park there is a small elephant shelter that works in a similar manner as the more famous elephant orphanage in Pinnawala. Only with the difference that here these animals are released into the national park into the natural habitat after reaching a certain age.

Sinharaja Rainforest — UNESCO declared this unique forest a world heritage site. This amazing ecosystem, one of the last on Earth, is home to an incredible number of representatives of flora and fauna, as well as for reptiles, birds, insects. The two main rivers on the island also flow through this magnificent rainforest, namely, Kalu Ganga and Gin Ganga. This is a very popular tourist destination.

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