Badulla, Sri Lanka: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

Dunhinda FallsDunhinda FallsGetting to Badulla by TrainKataragama DevaleKataragama DevaleMuthiyagana ViharaMuthiyagana ViharaSt Mark's Church

Badulla is the capital city of Uva Province and the Badulla District. It is located 60 km southeast of Kandy. The town is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest towns and it is covered with green hills and waterfalls such as the Dunhinda Falls.  The entire city is almost encircled by the Badulu Oya River which is about 680 m above sea level. The town has been through the hands of two colonists: Portuguese and British.

Getting There

The city is located about 230 km away from the capital city, Colombo and there are variety routes to take to access Badulla. Travellers can take a direct train from Colombo Fort to Badulla and the journey takes around 10 hours. There are four daily trains from Colombo to Badulla. By a car, the journey usually takes around 6 hours.

Places to Visit

St Mark’s Church

The church contains a plaque that is commemorating the elephant hunter Major Rogers who was killed by lightning. Address: Church Road, Badulla, Sri Lanka.

Dunhinda Falls

Dunhinda Falls is a waterwall located about 5 km from Badulla town in Sri Lanka. It is a very famous waterfall of Sri Lanka. The waterfall is 64 m in heights and its name comes from the smoky dew drops spray. Dun in Sinhala means mist or smoke. The resource of the waterfall is the river called Badulu Oya which goes through the Badulla town. The waterfall is also enriched with Uma Oya, Hal Oya and small rivers from Bandarawela and Welimada areas. The best time to visit the waterfall from November to March. In order to reach the waterfall, walking more than 1 km is necessary along a foot path. Along this path, there is also another waterfall called Kuda Dunhinda. It is also possible to come across with native venders selling herbal drinks. During the trail, it is also possible to see wild birds, butterflies, monkeys, deers etc. At the end of the path, there is a secured stage built for viewers to see the waterfall. While enjoying the fall, it is not recommended to go closer to the fall or bathe because it is deep and full of slippery rocks and stones near the bottom of the fall. The waterfall has also a place in history. The area was once inhabited by indigenous people – the Veddha tribe. During the era of King Rahasinhe, a giant fern got stuck at the top of the fall and this caused flooding of Badulla town. In addition, according to a legend, there is an entrance to a sected 30 km long passageway hidden by the falls. Treasure of Prince Kumarasinghe of Uva lies hidden somewhere in the falls. Opening hours: 6.30 am – 5 pm.

Kataragama Devale

The place contains statues of the gods Kataragama, Saman and Vishnu. The devale was constructed in Kandyan style. The devale has a long wooden shrine hall painted with murals depicting a perahera. Address: Lower King St, Badulla, Sri Lanka.

Muthiyagana Vihara

This is a large Buddhist complex that contains a whitewashed dagoba in spacious grounds located in the southeast of town. Address: off Passara Road, Badulla, Sri Lanka.

Where to Stay

Cool Spring Rest GuesthouseGreen Woods Holiday InnGreen Woods Holiday InnNestline Holiday ResortNestline Holiday ResortRiverside Holiday InnRiverside Holiday InnWeligama Holiday Inn

Cool Spring Rest Guesthouse

This guest house is located 30 km from Nuwara Eliya and 20 km from Bandarawela. Free Wi-Fi is available and free private parking is available on site. Some rooms come with a seating area. All rooms come with a private bathroom. There is a room service at the property. Address: Cool Spring, Mahiyagana Road, Redeepana Estate, Badulla, Sri Lanka.

Weligama Holiday Inn

This hotel features a barbecue and a terrace. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms come with a TV and a private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi access is available. There is a shared lounge at the property. The hotel also offers bike hire and car hire. Address: No: 2/297, Passara Road, Viharagoda, Badulla, Sri Lanka.

Green Woods Holiday Inn

This guest house features air conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free private parking is available on site. Some rooms come with a seating area. Each room has a private bathroom. There is a shared lounge at the property. The guest house also offers car hire. Address: 301 Bandarawela Road, Badulla, Sri Lanka.

Hotel Onix

The hotel is a famous wedding venue place. Rooms are spacious. Address: 69 Bandaranayake, Badulla, Sri Lanka.

River Side Holiday Inn

This hotel has a variety of rooms. Guests can enjoy Sri Lankan and Chinese food at the rooftop bar/restaurant. Address: 27 Lower King St, Badulla, Sri Lanka.

Nestline Holiday Resort

This hotel is 0.2 km away from the city centre. It offers easy access to the city’s places to visit. There is room service, smoking area, Wi-Fi in public areas, car park, and laundry service/dry cleaning at the property. Guests can choose from 13 rooms. The hotel features a garden, a pool for kids, an outdoor pool and a games room. Address: 317/A, Kanupelalla Road, Badulla, Sri Lanka.

Day Trips and Excursions

Dowa Temple

Dowa temple is located in Bandarawela and it is a 4 m high standing Buddha cut into the rock face. The walls are carved from solid rock and are covered with Sri Lankan style Buddhist murals. According to the belief, King Valagamba stayed here in the 1st century B.C. during his 14 year exile from Anuradhapura. Admission fee is Rs 100. Address: Badulla Road, Bandarawela, Sri Lanka.