Bandarawela (Sinhala: , ; Tamil: ?????) is the second largest city in Badulla District which is 30km away from Badulla city. It is located on the western part of the Uva Province on the eastern slopes of central hills of Sri Lanka. Badulu oya is started from Bandarawela urban area and it flow through the Dhowa, Demodara, Hali Ela areas while feeding the paddy field bi face of the river. It has very cool climate condition than the other areas in the Uva Province except Haputale. Bandarawela is 200 km away from Colombo and about 150 km away from Kandy where you can easily reach by vehicles or train. Bandarawela is one of the major tea producing areas in Sri Lanka since British colonial era. There are multiple routes to reach Bandarawela from Colombo, Matara, Kandy, and Nuwara Eliya. From Colombo, one can travel via Ratnapura, Balangoda, Haputale and Diyathalawa along A16 to Bandarawela which may take about 5-6 hours. From Kandy you can travel via Nuwara Eliya (route A5) and Welimada (route B44). All routes are scenic and one can get splendid views of geography changes while traveling. Bandarawela can be identified as one of the main echo tourisms cities in Sri Lanka due to its beautiful environment, cool climate, very close to other beautiful cities in the country and has better infrastructure facilities such as highways, accommodations, restaurants, clubs, etc. for the tourists.
Originally Bnadarawela is one of the Sinhalese motherlands before the establishment of tea plantations under British administration. But today there is a mix culture due to the migration of Tamils to the plantation sector as laborers from India under British colonial times. Bandarawela famous as having been the camp in Ceylon of the Boer prisoners of war and some of the buildings erected for the temporary accommodation of the captives are now used in connection with the permanent camp health recuperation established here for the Navy , military and volunteers. There is few buildings remain which were built in the British colonial period with British architectural influence such as Bandarawela Hotel,Cargiles building, post office, etc.
During colonial times, the picturesque town of Bandarawela was once hailed as possessing one of the healthiest climates in the world, & nothing much has happened here to change that. Therein is the most favourable climate in the island. Geographically, the Bandarawela area is hilly and surrounded by the large number of mountains in Uva and Central Province.
According to the local climatic zone classifications, Bandarawela is classified under Up Country Intermediate Zone (UCIZ) which is spread over the Badulla and Moneragala Districts. The elevation above sea level at Bandarawela is 1300 m, the annual average rainfall is between 1100 and 1400 mm and the monthly average temperature are between 15 ºC (in February) and 27 ºC (in May and June). The Bandarawela area consists mainly at Red Yellow Podzolic soils which are strongly acidic and favorable for the tea plantation.
Bandarawela is a Sinhala majority city; there are sizeable communities belonging to other ethnic groups, such as Indian Tamils, Sri Lanka Moors and Sri Lanka Tamils.
|No||Ethnicity||Population||% Of Total|
|3||Sri Lankan Tamils||3,647||5.63|
The main livelihood of the people living in this community is agriculture farming and tea plantation. Majority of the people are directly involved in farming and some are working as laborers in tea estates. There is large tea plantations which produce worlds best quality tea for the foreign tea market to earn vast income for Sri Lankan economy. Although Vegetable gardens also used to be a common sight around the town, vegetable cultivation presently generate good income for the farmers due to high vegetable prices in local market. About one tenth of the population works for government, private establishments and run their own businesses. So the majority of the people in the area fall in the low and middle income groups.
During the second world war, many families moved to Bandarawela as leading schools in Colombo such as Visakha Vidyalaya and Royal College completely shifted to Bandarawela due to the fear caused by the Japanese bombs. This caused to improve the education background of the people in Bandarawela. Bandarawela has good education background to generate intelligent people for the country's development. It consists of many popular schools in the Badulla district with better facilities for primary and secondary education. Bandarawela Central college is the most popular and best school in the Uva province. It is annually generate hundreds of university students for local universities . It is one of the oldest colleges in Badulla district as well. Some of the other popular schools are Little Flower Convent, Vishaka girls school, and St. Joseph college Bandarawela ,Dharmapala Maha Vidyalaya Bandarawela. These schools are governed by the central government of Sri Lanka. There are also two private schools which are popular in island wide. They are St. Thomes college Bandarawela and St. Thomes college Guruthalawa.
Rawana Ella is on the Ella, Wellawaya main road and one can be seen when traveling about 6 miles from bandarawela along this road. It start as small streams at the eastern hill side of the Kotakithula mountain & it flows to the Mahaweli ganga (river) through the Uma Oya. Height of the water fall is about 40m (131ft) with wide fall and the water rushing down over several steps adds more hues to it’s sublime beauty. Name of the Rawana Ella was derived from the powerful demon king Ravana in legend with the great epic of Ramayanaya who ruled Sri Lanka at that time.
The Diyaluma Waterfall, Sri Lanka is the 2nd highest waterfall of the Tropical Island. Diyaluma Waterfall is approximately around 13 km away from the Wellawaya town and 6 km from Koslanda home on the Wellawaya road. Diyaluma meaning watery light amasses its water from Poonagala Oya and stands tall to a height of 628 feet. This fall makes a miracles view when it flows down from the cliff and this beautiful view can be seen near to the koslanda town.
Adisham is the kind of place seekers of peace dream about. Now a religious house where tranquility lies like a blessing and the grandeur of sweeping mountain vistas takes your breath away. Adisham was Lipton's Seatoriginally the country seat of Sir Thomas Villiers. This is situated at Haputale, surrounded by virgin forest and commanding views across hills and valleys and the highest mountain ranges of Sri Lanka.
The house was designed in the Tudor style, on the lines of Leeds Castle in Kent, with stout granite walls of locally quarried stone, long, narrow turret windows and chimneys. The garden lay-out was also British and, as in the house, the incomparable scenery is used to best effect. The terraced lawns, flowerbeds and orchard, like the drawing room, study, library, dining room and bedrooms, look out on lofty mountain ranges, all between 1,800 and 2,100m above sea level, etched sharply on the skyline to form a curious outline called the Sleeping Warrior.
Today's Adisham is primarily a monastery, where a small community of six novices and a few monks follow a schedule of prayer, meditation, work and service. Adisham has made itself famous for fine products such as strawberry jam, orange marmalade, wild guava jelly and fresh fruit cordials.
The Bandarawela Hotel is a century-old British-built property associated with the development of the hill-country railways which is situated within walking distance from the railway station. Bandarawela Hotel's origins date back to the turn of the 19th / 20th century when the railways were being extended by the British from Nanu Oya to the southern highlands. The hotel is well-suited for guests looking for a conveniently-located hotel offering colonial-style mid-range accommodation and facilities.
Sri Lankan and western cuisine is served in the main dining hall, and room service is available.The front lawn is also an ideal spot to sip a cup of Ceylon Tea. A quaint bar with wood-paneled walls, teak bar stools and a working fireplace - once the favorite haunt of the colonial tea planters and railway staff - still remains. A games room with indoor games and billiards table and a children's play area is also available. This also have very beautiful garden which gives excellent scenic of the environment of Bandarawela area.
Lipton's Seat is Located in the Poonagala hills which was a favourite look-out point for Sir Thomas Lipton (the great tea pioneer) for surveying the surrounding region of his tea plantations at Dambatenna near Haputale. To get to the viewpoint, one has to go 28km from Belihuloya to Haputale and proceed towards Poonagala for 4km to Dambetenna and walk about 1km up the hill through the tea plantation.