Badulla is one of the oldest towns in Sri Lanka, nestled in the hilly part of the island. It represents a great historical and religious center of the country. Badulla had a period of the strong Portuguese and British influence during its turbulent past.
On the other hand, one of the most important roles of the town in the modern era is the connection between the western and the eastern coast of the country. Badulla has become a part of one of the most important transportation routes in the country, especially when it comes to train service.
Regardless of this fact, Badulla still offers some both interesting and educational tourist attractions.
Sights in Badulla
One of the sights of Badulla you definitely don’t want to miss is this ancient religious Buddhist monument. It is more than two thousand years old. The Buddhists’ belief is that Buddha has visited this temple. That’s why Muthiyangana Temple is considered as one of the sixteen sacred places in the country. Among the most interesting features of the temple complex are four Bo trees and every of them has its special story.
Lovers of the natural phenomena will be enchanted by the beauty of this inspiring waterfall. It is located around five kilometers away from Badulla. People consider it the most popular waterfall in the country – not without a reason. Numerous artists have left various artworks inspired by this 64-meter high waterfall.
If you happen to have a ride on the road from Badulla to Bandarawela, you should definitely make a stop at the stunning rock temple. It was built more than two thousand years ago in the natural surrounding. It’s tucked between the mountains, in the village with the same name. What makes Dhowa temple unique is the impressively large carving of Buddha in the rock. Twelve-meter tall statue will leave you speechless.
Once you find yourself in Badulla, you must see the bridge whose history goes around 400 years back in time. Located on the seventh kilometer western of Badulla, the old wooden Bogoda bridge is a real treasure of Sri Lanka. It’s the oldest completely wooden bridge that’s still in function. It was meant to link Kandy and Badulla. Bogoda Bridge is the legacy of the Dambadeniya era, slightly influenced by the Kingdom of Kandy.
Even though you may be able to travel by bus from Colombo, which is the cheapest option (around Rs 324 per ticket), the best way for getting in Badulla is by train since there are some great railways that connect majority of the larger cities, such as the railway starting in Colombo, going through Kandy and Hatton, all the way to Badulla. This line also provides you with some scenic views of both seaside and mountainous area, so its ideal for tourists that are not in a rush. A more expensive but at the same time faster option is traveling by taxi.
With the noticeable rainfall throughout the year, temperatures in Badulla don’t go above the pleasant 23-24 °C. So even though it has a tropical climate, its dry season is not as long as the wet one, and it doesn’t influence the average temperature significantly. The driest month is June while the heaviest rainfalls happen during November. The temperature reaches its peak in May (24.5 °C), and the coldest month is January, with the average of 21.3 °C. In accordance with these data, the best time for visiting Badulla and exploring its beauties is anywhere between May and July.
Eat and Drink
When it comes to eating in Badulla, its modest offer of restaurants doesn’t influence the deliciousness and tastiness of the available food – the street food is the specialty of Badulla, offering a wide variety of breaded savory snacks!
If you wanna try to prepare a meal on your own, check out the market to get some Indian gooseberries. Cook them and combine them with curry. This simple but tasty food will make you crave for more.
You can find tasty breakfasts and dinners at Rotitha Hotel. For less than Rs 150, you can have a decent meal. It usually consists of string hoppers, coconut rotti, sambol, and coffee. Tourists looking for a nice lunch should visit Ranjan Lanka Tasty Foods. The place is pretty small and simple, with no special ambiance. However, you should not worry since their creativity when it comes to food compensates everything. They also offer vegetarian meals based on soy meat and enriched with curry, as well as spectacular crunchy pappadums.
- If you’re traveling from the coast in the direction of Badulla, have an umbrella or raincoat with you. You don’t want the rainfalls in Badulla to surprise you.
- If you’re willing to experience the real local spirit of Badulla, you can rent a typical rural accommodation. It normally consists of cottages and bungalows.
Being the town of ancient temples and bridges that hide among the numerous Sri Lankan hills, Badulla represents a real treasure of the country. It offers a lot of opportunities for cultural and historical exploration, as well as stunning landscapes of gorgeous scenery. Even though you’ll have to adjust to the climate conditions which are challenging, with lots of rain, the trip to Badulla is definitely worth it.