Haputale, a picturesque town in Sri Lanka’s Uva Province, offers a plethora of natural wonders and breathtaking landscapes for visitors to explore. From stunning viewpoints to majestic waterfalls, Haputale has something for everyone. This article will take you on a journey through some must-visit places in Haputale, including Prabhawa Mountainday View Point, Wangedigala, and various waterfalls.
Prabhawa Mountainday View Point
Prabhawa Mountainday View Point is a remarkable location situated approximately 2 km away from Haputale town. This viewpoint offers visitors an almost 360-degree panoramic view (270 degrees) of the surrounding area. Located at an altitude of 1,750 meters above sea level, Prabhawa Mountainday View Point is accessible by walking along the Haputale-Dambethenna road and taking a left turn towards the viewpoint, about a 1.5 km walk.
At Prabhawa Mountainday View Point, you will find the serene Surangamuni Kovil and the proposed site of a Buddhist stupa. Visiting early in the morning is recommended to witness the breathtaking view at its best. The absence of entrance fees and the independence to explore without a guide make this spot a tourist favourite, solidifying its reputation as the top destination in Haputale.
Wangedigala, located in Kalupahana, Badulla Uva Province, is a renowned hiking spot that attracts locals and adventure enthusiasts. This rock peak extends to mountains named Wangedi-Kanda, Balatuduwa, and Gonmolliya. Gonmolliya, approximately 2,034 meters high, is the 14th highest mountain in Sri Lanka.
Hiking in Wangedigala offers breathtaking views of the surrounding areas, including the enchanting Bambarakanda Falls and Lanka Ella Falls. The challenging yet rewarding trek immerses you in the beauty of nature, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and avid hikers alike.
Bambarakanda Falls, located in Kalupahana in the Badulla District, is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka. With a height of 263 meters (863 ft), it ranks as the 461st-highest waterfall in the world. Situated 5 km from the A4 Highway, the waterfall was formed by Kuda Oya, a tributary of the Walawe River. The lush forest of pine trees surrounding the Bambarakanda Falls adds to its mesmerizing beauty. More Details and Map
Lanka Ella Fall
Lanka Ella Falls, situated approximately 1 km from Bambarakanda Falls, remains unspoiled by human activity due to its secluded location. Accessible only by foot, this waterfall offers a tranquil and untouched experience. Visiting Lanka Ella Fall is a must if you find yourself in the area.
Diyaluma Falls, standing at an impressive height of 220 meters (720 ft), claims to be the second-highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and the 361st-highest waterfall in the world. Located 6 km from Koslanda in the Badulla District, Diyaluma Falls is formed by Punagala Oya, a tributary of Kuda Oya, which is a tributary of Kirindi Oya. For a unique experience, you can also visit the upper Diyaluma Falls by hiking approximately 1 km along footpaths that lead to the top. More Details and Map
As mentioned earlier, Galapitiyaya Estate is a fascinating destination in Haputale. Galapitiyaya Waterfall (also known as Nidahangala Waterfall) holds a special place within the estate. To reach this waterfall, you have two routes to choose from. Route No. 01 involves driving a short distance from the Kalupahana junction on the Colombo-Badulla main road to the Bambarakanda waterfall, where you will find a nameplate indicating ‘Galapitiyaya Estate.’ From there, continue south for approximately a kilometre. Route No. 02 allows access through the Lokantha Hotel on Bambarakanda Road.
Welioya, branching off the Babarakanda waterfall, is a small waterway that offers a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience. To reach Welioya, you must pass through a pine forest, adding an extra layer of adventure to the hike. The pristine beauty and seclusion of Welioya make it a worthwhile destination for nature lovers.
Bathgoda Hindu Temple
The Bathgoda Hindu Temple, also known as the Karumariamman Tamil Kovil, is an ancient Hindu temple in Bathgoda, within Sri Lanka’s Uva province. It holds significant cultural and religious importance as the area’s main Hindu temple for the Tamil community. The Bathgoda Hindu Temple showcases beautiful architecture and is a spiritual centre for devotees.
Beragala Hindu Temple
Located 4.2 km from Haputale, the Beragala Hindu Temple is another notable Hindu temple in the region. It holds cultural and religious significance and attracts devotees from near and far. The temple offers a serene atmosphere for worship and reflection.
Situated in the heart of Haputale town, St. Andrew’s Church has a rich history dating back to its opening for worship on September 19, 1869. The church became a place of regular worship for European planters in the district, while the European garrison attended St. James’ Church in Diyatalawa. St. Andrew’s Church is a testament to the region’s diverse religious heritage. More Details and Map
The Adisham Monastery is a fascinating attraction in Haputale, Sri Lanka. Since 1961, it has been maintained by the Benedictine Monks. The monastery showcases stunning Tudor-style architecture and meticulous design, making it a sight to behold. Adisham Bungalow, part of the monastery complex, is located approximately 5 km from Haputale town along the Haputale-Boralanda road. More Details and Map
Soragune Purana Rajamaha Viharaya and Soragune Devalaya are two temples in the Haputale area. The Soragune Devalaya, an ancient Katharagama Devalaya, was built during the reign of King Walagamba. The site features remnants of ancient ruins, including stone scriptures, old stone pillars, slabs, and buildings with intricate drawings. Soraguna Dewalaya is located approximately 20.3 km from Haputale.
The St. Sebastian’s Church in Haldummulla is a place of worship open daily. Located 12.7 km from Haputale, near the Colombo-Badulla main road, and a historic Buddhist temple, this church holds historical and spiritual significance. The area surrounding the church offers a pleasant environment for exploration and discovery.
Built-in 1915 by Sri Jananda Thero, the Haputalegama Temple is renowned for its captivating beauty. Nestled approximately 8 km from Haputale town along the Haputale-Boralanda road, this temple has a long and storied history. It serves as a place of worship and reflection, welcoming visitors to experience its serene ambience.
Haputale Kelliebedda Tea Factory
Owned by Agarapathana Plantations, the Haputale Kelliebedda Tea Factory invites local and foreign visitors to explore its premises. Open from 8 am to 5 pm every day, the tea factory produces fine-quality black tea. Visitors can purchase fresh black tea in small or large quantities, immersing themselves in the flavours of Sri Lanka’s renowned tea industry. The Haputale Kelliebedda Tea Factory is conveniently located just 1 km away from Haputale town.
Situated in the highlands of Sri Lanka, approximately 7 km from the tea plantation town of Dambatenne, Lipton’s Seat offers a breathtaking viewpoint. A winding road through the picturesque tea plantations leads visitors to this scenic spot. Lipton’s Seat provides a panoramic landscape view, allowing visitors to soak in the region’s beauty. The distance from Haputale town to Lipton’s Seat is approximately 16.2 km via the Dambethenna state route. More Details and Map
Eagles Rock, located just 3 km from Haputale town, offers a mesmerizing experience. With an elevation of 1430 meters above sea level, this vantage point provides stunning views of tea estates, mountains, the south coast, the jungle, and even glimpses of Yala and Udawalawe National Parks. The name “Eagles Rock” is fitting, as the soaring views from this spot make it easy to understand why it earned its name.
Thangamale Sanctuary is a forested area situated on the hillside near Adisham Hall. It is popularly known as the Thangamale Bird Sanctuary due to its abundant birdlife. The sanctuary is home to various bird species, butterflies, and other fauna. Beyond the wildlife, Thangamale offers breathtaking vistas of the lush green hills and sprawling tea estates. Exploring this sanctuary allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Thangamale Sanctuary is located approximately 5.3 km from Haputale town.
The Devil’s Staircase is an awe-inspiring man-made zig-zag road known for its extreme steepness and difficulty. This thrilling 14 km journey takes travellers through breathtaking and treacherous natural surroundings. Along the route, you’ll encounter two remarkable waterfalls, Bambarakanda Falls and Lanka Ella Falls, which add to the allure of the journey. The Devil’s Staircase road to Ohiya in Kalupahana also provides an excellent camping opportunity for those seeking an adventurous overnight experience amidst the beauty of nature.
Best Time to Visit Haputale
Haputale, with its pleasant climate and stunning natural beauty, can be visited throughout the year. However, there are certain times when the weather and other factors make it an even more ideal destination. Here are the best times to visit Haputale:
- March to May: Springtime in Haputale, from March to May, offers mild temperatures and clear skies. It’s a great time to explore the hiking trails, visit the viewpoints, and immerse yourself in the town’s lush greenery.
- June to September: The summer months bring occasional rainfall to Haputale, but it’s still an excellent time to visit. The landscapes are vibrant and refreshed, and the misty atmosphere adds a touch of mystique to the surroundings.
- October to November: Autumn in Haputale is characterized by pleasant weather, moderate temperatures and minimal rainfall. It’s an excellent time for outdoor activities such as hiking, nature walks, and exploring the tea estates.
- December to February: Haputale experiences its coolest temperatures during winter. While the days may be slightly chilly, the clear skies offer stunning views and excellent visibility. It’s a great time for photography enthusiasts to capture the beauty of the surroundings.
It’s worth noting that Haputale’s weather can be unpredictable due to its hilly terrain. Therefore, it’s always advisable to check the weather forecast before planning your visit and come prepared with appropriate clothing and gear.
How to Reach Haputale
Haputale, located in the picturesque hills of Sri Lanka, can be easily reached by various modes of transportation. Whether you prefer a scenic train journey or a convenient road trip, here are the common ways to get to Haputale:
1. By Train: The journey to Haputale is renowned for its stunning views of the lush green tea plantations and breathtaking landscapes. The most popular route is the train ride from Colombo to Badulla, which passes through Haputale. The journey takes approximately 9-10 hours, but the picturesque vistas make it a worthwhile experience. Once you reach Haputale railway station, you can easily access the town and its attractions.
2. By Road: If you prefer a more direct route or have limited time, you can reach Haputale by road. The town is well-connected by a network of roads, allowing easy access from major cities like Colombo, Kandy, and Nuwara Eliya. You can hire a private vehicle, take a taxi, or opt for regular public buses between Haputale and other towns. The road journey offers the flexibility to make stops and explore the scenic beauty of Sri Lanka’s hill country.
3. By Air: The nearest international airport to Haputale is Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo. From the airport, you can take a domestic flight to Diyawanna Oya Airport in Ampara or travel by road or train to reach Haputale. Domestic flights offer a quicker option for getting to nearby destinations but checking the flight schedules, and availability is essential.
4. By Bus: Haputale is well-connected to other towns and cities in Sri Lanka through an extensive bus network. Regular buses operate between Haputale and major cities such as Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Badulla. The bus journey allows you to enjoy the scenic routes and is a cost-effective mode of transportation. However, it’s important to note that the travel time can vary depending on the distance and traffic conditions.
Once you reach Haputale, local transportation options such as tuk-tuks and taxis are available to explore the town and its attractions. Haputale’s compact size makes it convenient to navigate on foot, allowing you to soak in the natural beauty and charm of the surroundings.
Remember to plan your journey, considering factors such as the duration of travel, your preferred mode of transportation, and the attractions you wish to visit along the way. With its captivating landscapes and serene ambience, reaching Haputale is the first step toward an unforgettable experience.
Accommodation Options in Haputale
Haputale, nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Sri Lanka, offers a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re a budget traveller looking for a cozy guesthouse or a luxury seeker searching for a tranquil retreat, Haputale has something for everyone. Here are some accommodation options to consider:
- Hotels and Resorts: Haputale boasts a few hotels and resorts that provide comfortable rooms, excellent amenities, and panoramic views of the surrounding hills. These establishments offer a range of facilities, including restaurants, spas, and recreational activities.
- Guesthouses and Homestays: For a more personalized experience, consider staying in one of the guesthouses or homestays scattered throughout Haputale. These family-run accommodations provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and hospitality.
- Tea Estate Bungalows: Haputale is renowned for its tea estates, and some of these estates have converted their colonial-era bungalows into unique accommodation options. Staying in a tea estate bungalow offers a chance to experience the charm of the tea plantation lifestyle while enjoying stunning views and serene surroundings.
- Eco-Lodges and Nature Retreats: If you’re a nature enthusiast seeking a more eco-friendly experience, Haputale has a few eco-lodges and nature retreats tucked away amidst lush greenery. These accommodations emphasize sustainable practices and provide a tranquil environment for relaxation and rejuvenation.
- Budget Guesthouses and Hostels: Haputale also offers several budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels, ideal for backpackers and travellers on a tight budget. These accommodations provide basic amenities and a comfortable place to rest after a day of exploring the town and its attractions.
When planning your stay in Haputale, consider the location of your accommodation about the attractions you wish to visit. Some accommodations offer stunning views or easy access to hiking trails, while others may be closer to the town centre and its amenities.
No matter where you stay in Haputale, you’ll be treated to the warm hospitality and natural beauty that make this hillside town a memorable destination.