Places to Visit

Sorabora Wewa

sorabora-wewa

The renowned Sorabora Wewa, the massive irrigation reservoir of ancient Bimthanne lies about 1km from the Mahiyangana town. Referred to as the ‘Sea of Bimthanne’ in the ancient past it is a place of historical engineering genius. A beautiful walk-way around the reservoir affords for perfect relaxation.

Constructed during the reign of King Dutugemunu (161–137 BC), legend says that the reservoir was built by a villager and a rather unknown army general called Bulatha. The sluice which is intact and in use since, was built on a natural existing granite rock. Today, the Sorabora Wewa Reservoir which is rich in birdlife is an attraction to the nature lovers.

Using the natural rock to build the sluice gate seems be unique to Bulatha and is one of two known tanks in ancient irrigation history of Sri Lanka to use this technology.

Time to location – 15 mins.

The Aborigines (Veddhas) of the Island

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Dambana located 19km northeast of Mahiyangana, bordering the Maduru Oya Sanctuary is home to the indigenous “Vedda” community of Sri Lanka. A population close to a 1000 individuals the seclusion and protection of the forests is the natural habitat of the Veddha community.

A livelihood that once depended solely on hunting, has during recent decades shifted towards Chena dry-land cultivations. Witnessing the fast disappearing traditions of hunting and gathering, cooking on open fires, collecting Bees Honey, traditional songs and dances is a rare and opportunity not to be missed.

A visit/spend a day, can be organized to truly experience the Veddha culture. For inquiries, please speak to the front desk for times and rates of tour.

Time to location – 10 mins. (12km)

Maduru Oya National Park

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58,849 hectares in size and located in the dry zone, 314kms from the capital city of Colombo, Maduru Oya is renowned for its elephant population. One can spot elephants, leopards, sloth bears, Sāmbhar, spotted and barking deer, wild boar and wild buffalo roaming in their natural habitat. Torque Macaque, Purple-faced leaf monkey and nocturnal slender Loris are also found in the park. Lesser Adjutant, Woolly necked stork, Open-bill, painted stork, Racket tailed Drongo, Yellow-fronted barbet, Sri Lanka jungle fowl and spur fowl are among the over 100 species of birds found within the park.
Ruins of ancient Buddhist shrines, Temples, Statues, Devales (Hindu Temples) and Hermitages from different eras in Sri Lankan history can be seen in the park. Early Brahmin inscriptions dating from the 3rd century BCE can also be found. 
Maduru Oya National Park was open to the public recently, thus giving a more authentic feel of a wild safari. The Ulhitiya campsite is available for nature lovers and there is alternate accommodation a stone’s throw away from the reservoir. One must pay a visit to the wildlife museum at the park entrance.

Time to location – 25mins.

Wasgamuwa National Park

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Wasgamuwa is located in the districts of Matale and Polonnaruwa at a distance of 225 km away from Colombo. Wasgamuwa National Park spans across an impressive 36,900 hectares and is bordered by two rivers; the Mahaweli and Amban Ganga. The complex of a number of small reservoirs and the Sudu Kanda (Hill) mountain range makes this a fantastic trekking venue for hiking enthusiasts.

The center of the attraction is the herds of elephants and numerous wildlife including Purple faced langur monkeys, wild boar, sambar and spotted deer, buffalo and rarely sighted leopards and sloth bears. Birdlife flourishes here and reptilian creatures abound.

Wasgamuwa National Park is also home to the vestiges of Buddhist temples and shrines and a testament to a once thriving community.

Time to location – 45 mins.
4WD Safari jeeps can be organized by the hotel
Safari camping can be organized though the hotel at the National Park

Rathna Elle - Water Fall

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Situated in the town of Hasalaka, about a 30 min drive from Mapakada village is the Rathna Elle waterfalls, a truly breathtaking experience. A short drive and a scenic hike (3km) of around one and a half hours surrounded by forests, lush green paddy fields and a flowing stream brings you to your destination. The thunderous roar of the falls is a constant accompaniment as you navigate through the countryside and the majestic awe-inspiring sight as you lay eyes upon the gushing drape of waters is mind-blowing! 

Indulge in a traditional Sri-Lankan meal close to the falls prepared by local villages on request.

Time to location – 30 mins.

The Raja Maha Viharaya Mahiyangana

Raja_Maha_Viharaya

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Mahiyangana, Sri Lanka. It is believed to be the site of Gautama Buddha’s first visit to the country, and is one of the Solosmasthana; the 16 sacred religious locations in Sri Lanka.

According to legend Prince Saman of the Deva tribe requested the Buddha for a token of presence that could be held high in reverence; thus he was granted a curl of hair from the Buddha’s head. The Prince enshrined the hair relic in the ancient Mahiyangana Stupa. Thus Mahiyangana became the first ever Stupa to be built in Sri Lanka.

The temple of Mahiyangana is a must visit as it boasts of a rich religious and cultural heritage and you can be a part of the rituals and practices carried out by the folk of the surrounding villages.

Time to location – 5 mins.

Olagamgala Archaeological Reserve

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Ōlagamgala Archaeological Reserve and Araṇya Senasana Kanda are natural caves and rocks within the park reserve which is of archaeological and historical importance due to the inscriptions to be found here that date back many centuries.

Time to location – 12 mins.

Mawaragala Forest Monastery

Mawaragala

An ancient forest monastery which lies on a secluded slope of a rocky mountain in Dambana. A steady climb through forests expanding 500acres and rock boulders brings you to a serene environment perfect for meditation.

The Monastery has pathways leading to kuti or monk’s adobes built in drip-ledge caves, where the monks spend their day in peaceful meditation detached from the material things of the world. The cave abodes are filled with Brahmi inscriptions.  A serene sight to behold are the orange clad monks walking silently down the pathway in single file, with alms bowls in hand, keeping with traditions dating back to the days of the Buddha.

The award winning film, Suriya Arana that was filmed in a cave of this monastery, is a favorite site among the visitors who come to see this monastery.

The Bawanagala a natural rock surface where monks meditate is yet another attraction worth viewing.

Time to location – 20 mins.

Randenigala Dam

RandenigalaDam

Randenigala Dam is one of Sri Lanka’s largest reservoirs fed by the Mahaweli River. A large hydroelectric dam in the central province of Sri Lanka opened in the year 1986. Standing tall at an impenetrable height of 94m high and 485m in length it is an awe-inspiring structure. The surface area of the reservoir is 1,350 hectare. The man-made lake is picturesquely located and spotted with small islands bordered on its northern shores by a National Park.

Time to location – 50 mins.

Sumana Saman Devalaya

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Mahawansa states that Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka was to Mahiyanganaya. Sumana the devoted follower of the Lord Buddha was amongst those who gathered round Lord Buddha in Mahiyanganaya. Inspired by the Buddha’s doctrine, following the Dhamma and listening to his holy preaching Saman attained the higher state of Ariya. Later After his demise Saman become a symbol of worship and was acclaimed as God Sumana Saman. 
The name Saman means “the rising morning sun”. His character is of historical significance for the Sinhala people and veneration to all the Buddhists. The deity Sumana Saman is depicted crowned, bejeweled, holding a lotus flower in his right hand and accompanied by a white elephant. For a truly historical and religious experience of devotees gathered in worship evoking the blessings of the deity the Sumana Saman Devalaya is a must visit. 

Time to location – 12 mins.