Once a retreat to the rich and wealthy during the colonial times, the mountain town of Badulla, located almost 7 hours away from the commercial capital of Colombo, embodies the nature and culture of the Paradise Island, as it boasts of mountains draped in lush green tea estates, along with a number of waterfalls that will leave you awestruck. Couple that with one of the most scenic train rides in the world, the mountain town of Badulla is a special place.

Top Reason to Visit

Just a few hours away from iconic eco-tourism hotspots like the Horton Plains National Park, Knuckles Mountain Range and the Namunukula Mountain Range, Badulla has a number of reasons to visit. It is just not the natural bliss of the town alone, but also the vistas that you encounter on the way to the town, especially on those long rail travels. Couple that with the presence of some of the more popular waterfalls in the country, along with other manmade marvels, one really cannot cherry pick the best reason, as all of these features are equally fascinating to a traveller.

While You’re There

A grand entrance:

One of the highlights going about the hill country, is the scenic train ride that produces stunning vistas of the hill country. The Colombo to Badulla train ride is considered to be one of the most scenic train journeys in the country, if not the world, as the views of lush green tea estates draping the mountain tops, along with a number of waterfalls that tribute the Badulu Oya river that you pass by will definitely make you want to sit on the footboard of the carriage and admire this little corner of the world where you could just connect with nature.

Climb every mountain and ford every stream:

Perched high in the central highlands of the country, about 680 metres above sea level, the mountain town is a treasure trove to the hardcore adventure junkie, as it is home to some of the more popular mountain ranges, such as the Namunukula Mountain Range and the Knuckles mountains Range. A hike here would certainly get those legs working and quench that thirst for adventure. Located just a few hours from the historic Horton Plains National Park, nature lovers too can enthral at the very site of endemic flora and fauna, while climbing the second and third highest mountains in the country, namely the Kirigalpoththa Mountain and the Thotupola Mountain respectively. The fabled Dunhinda Falls further entice many a traveller to learn its folklore and majestic cascade.

A place of multi-culturalism:

The mountain town of Badulla is also one of multiculturalism. Boasting of some incredible places of worship such as the Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya, the Badulla Kataragama Devalaya and St. Mark’s Church, the town proves to be a town brimming with culture at all four corners. One of the more fascinating manmade marvels that have contributed to preserving its strong religious belief can be seen in the form of the all wooden Bogoda Bridge that dates back to the Kandyan era. The unique bridge is believed to have been made to give access to pilgrims to cross the river to places of worship, thus contributing to the rich culture that thrives to this day.

Insider Advice

Travel: Getting about in Badulla may be quite a challenge, as most of the places are located quite far from each other, however, there are bus services and tuk-tuks for hire. Just be sure to research on the distance to your destination before you hop in a tuk-tuk and always confirm the price before you get in.

Weather: The weather in Badulla is almost always perfect for the entire year, as temperatures would average around 26°C with very low humidity.

Money: It is imperative that you carry cash in hand with small notes like LKR 20s, LKR 50s and LKR 100s, so as to make transactions all the more easier. Credit and debit cards are accepted only in supermarkets and certain eateries.

Clothing: It is recommended that you bring some layers to beat the cold, along with some hiking attire too, if you are looking to conquer the central hills of Sri Lanka. Do keep in mind the modest attire necessary, when visiting a religious place of worship.

Safety: Badulla is a very safe place, however, it is still important that you keep a watchful eye over your belongings.

Meals and refreshments: There are quite a number of eateries scattered around the town that serve local cuisine, however, your accommodation provider should also be able to arrange the needful.

Should you be looking for that ideal nature escape to the central highlands of the Paradise Island of Sri Lanka, then Badulla should definitely be a place to consider, as it possesses all the hallmarks of the perfect nature and cultural retreat.

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