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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top things to do in Bandarawela – From ancient temples to ancient waterfalls
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top things to do in Bandarawela – From ancient temples to ancient waterfalls

Bandarawela a land of paradise, is a place where lush trees sway in the quiet wind & high mountains loom above neat rows of tea; a place of serenity. Here's a list of things you must do on your visit!


Dhowa Temple

A few minutes outside Bandarawela town is Dhowa Temple, one of Sri Lanka's many protected heritage sites. The Buddhist temple situated in the small, ancient village of Dhowa is a picture of peace and serenity and is believed to date back 2,000 years. The temple is most famous for its 38 feet tall, stunning, rock-carved Buddha Image, but, keep an eye out for the impressive carvings on the temples gateway as well as the beautiful paintings depicting Jataka tales.


Bandarawela Peace Pagoda

Bandarawela is home to one of eighty Peace Pagodas built by the Nipponzan-Myōjōji Buddhist Order. These Buddhist stupas were built as shrines to world peace by Nichidatsu Fujii, a Japanese Buddhist Monk and founder of the aforementioned Order. Four such shrines were built in Sri Lanka, and the one in Bandarawela was completed in 1982.


Ravana Falls and Caves

This magnificent 25m high waterfall is shrouded in legend – it is a central point of the great Indian epic, Ramayana. According to the legend, King Ravana, who was the King of Sri Lanka at the time, kidnapped Princess Sita, the wife of Rama and hid her in the caves beneath the waterfall. The extraordinary waterfall, one of the widest in the island nation, and the man-made network of caves behind it are truly remarkable sights to behold. Most Bandarawela hotels have tour desks where you will be able to book visits to the cave network and waterfall.


Visit a Tea Factory

Bandarawela, as is true of most of Sri Lanka's hill country, holds several tea plantations. Most plantations offer tours around the estate and factory where visitors can learn about the tea manufacturing process, the history of tea in Sri Lanka, and may be even go tea plucking themselves. Tours can be booked during your stay at hotels such as Bandarawela Hotel as well. Tea is one of the major sources of income for Sri Lanka and shapes the livelihoods of a large proportion of the country. The plantations also make for fantastic nature hikes.


Church of Ascension, Bandarawela

This beautiful stone church built in 1908 lies on the Northwest of Bandarawela town and is a picture of olde worlde charm. Colloquially known as 'Gall Palliya' which literally translates to Stone Church, the small church has served the town for more than a century irrespective of religion and race and is a place of beauty and calm.


Lipton's Seat

Located roughly 10 km from Bandarawela town, Lipton's Seat provides a breath-taking 360° view of the gorgeous mountains and waterfalls of Sri Lanka's hill country. The viewpoint is named after Thomas Lipton, a Scottish Tea Planter and founder of the acclaimed tea brand Lipton Ceylonta; the spot is said to be where Mr Lipton liked to have a small cup of refreshing tea while taking in his expansive tea gardens, the fruit of his labours, below.

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