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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Top 4 places to visit in Bandarawela – Lose yourself in the midst of these tea covered hills
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 4 places to visit in Bandarawela – Lose yourself in the midst of these tea covered hills

Around 200 kilometres from Colombo, you will be forgiven for not knowing Bandarawela. Tucked in the Badulla district, this town off the tourist trail has plenty to keep you occupied.

1

Visit One Of The Many Tea Factories In The Area

Sri Lanka and tea go hand in hand. Started by the British, tea production has continued to be a major source of income to the country and Bandarawela has its fair share of tea estates. When you are on your way to the town from Colombo or from a hotel like Earl's Regency in Kandy, you are sure to come across many hills covered in acres of tea plants. Take a deeper peek at this industry by visiting a tea factory. In certain factories, the machinery from the British era is still used while other factories tend to use modern machinery. You can discover the process that a tea leaf undergoes to transition into the final product. The tour ends with a tea tasting session where you can taste the many variations available.

2

Enjoy the tranquillity at the Peace Pagoda

One of the only four structures in Sri Lanka, the Peace Pagoda is one of the most iconic monuments in the town. One of the top places to visit in Bandarawela, it is located atop a hill, giving a breathtaking view of the rolling hills and the tea estates below. Roughly twelve kilometres from the town, the route to the temple is pretty spectacular by itself as it drives you through rural tea estates and villages. A memorial to encourage peace and harmony, there is a Japanese monk at the temple who can give you a brief introduction to the temple and its history.

3

Marvel at Sri Lanka's history at the Dowa Rock Temple

Another one of Sri Lanka's many rock temples; the Dowa Rock Temple is roughly six kilometres towards the east of Bandarawela. The headline feature of this temple is the towering and uncompleted thirty eight meter Buddha statue. Thought to be done in the first century, the temple has another Buddha statue that is unfinished and still intact to the granite rock. A cave on the inside, consisting of three chambers, is filled with eye-catching murals and paintings of the Buddha.

4

Drop in at the sleepy town of Ella

Located approximately thirteen kilometres from Bandarawela, Ella has amazing hiking routes that are ideal for the adventure savvy backpacker. It is slowly turning into a tourist hotspot, but for now, you can still see a traditional Sri Lankan town stripped of its outside influence. It is also home to many famous highlights such as the Nine Arches Bridge and Ella Rock which gives you sweeping views as far as the country's coastline. The short distance makes it an ideal location for a day trip from the town and it is pretty easy to reach too. The main streets are home to a multitude of restaurants and shops that will captivate you for hours.

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