Five places you should definitely visit while at Bandarawela
Bandarawela is a well known and famed hill city destination for both local and foreign travelers alike. Its temperate climate and sweeping vistas make it a great place to explore and hike to experience wonders of the hill countryside of srilanka. Being a very cosmopolitan hive of activity, Bandarawela offers something different from the more traveled destinations such as Ella, Haputale and nuwara eliya.
Reaching Bandarawela can be done either via road or rail ;with both modes of transport offering unique and unforgettable views and vistas.
Here are easy to reach places that you can visit while at Bandarawela. Most are easily reached via road - it's best to have your own transport, as it would be less time consuming to get there but, if you're in no hurry and don't mind a sweat - taking a bus or legging it is also not out of the equation.
1. Visit Pilkinton point and Millennium point.
A must and lesser known viewing point that offers unmatched views. To reach here you need to make your way almost to poonagala and past liyangahawela, that are small estate towns. Taking the road around Nayabedda mountain (via liyangahawela) ensures that you go to the viewpoint around the mountain rather than over it. This offers great views of rolling tea estates and reclusive mountain hamlets that are mesmerising as well as sublime.
2. Make your way up Nayabedda mountain.
Nayabedda mountain looms over Bandarawela like a green cloud ; all covered up in lush tea Estates and communication towers jutting from atop it's peaks. Nayabedda is not a singular mountain but a range that extends all the way to Haputale and effectively acts as a barrier wall, separating the wet zone from the dry (Bandarawela belonging to the latter)
The road is easily traversed by car and is well paved, with rolling switchbacks and cobbled parapet walls lining up as you ascend upwards to the summit.
There is a viewing station up on the top named St. Catherine's seat and you can make your way there to catch a glimpse of the mountains ranges and rolling landscape laid out below in all its glory.
3. Soak up the great views at Lipton seat.
This is perhaps the best known points of travel if you visit either Bandarawela or Haputale (roughly the same distance from both towns) you can go over Nayabedda mountain and then make your way to the viewpoint making it a great roadtrip : since most people will visit from the Haputale side via pitarathmale, you can be privy to a different landscape and views along the way. You can always make your way back to Bandarawela using the road that leads to Haputale making it a journey that takes you over multiple landscapes in one go.
The best time to visit Lipton's seat early morning before noon. Come evenings, the mist and clouds come rolling in and cover up the majestic view - that on a crystal clear day makes you see almost 7 provinces of srilanka at a glance. If it's raining be extra extra careful - the high vantage point is a magnet for lightning strikes and few sightseers met their sad end here (clicking away on their Ipads while lightning was coming down)
4. Take a roadtrip along the route 99 to Haputale
The road from Bandarawela to Haputale is one of our favourite routes to travel. Lined up with pine trees and undulating turns flanked by giant trees, it instantly takes your breath away. Especially in the evenings when the mist comes swirling in through the trees, the road begins to take on a magical touch.
Make sure you take on the road to Bandarawela both via route 99 and via diyathalawa in between. The road diverges at a point (aptly named Y junction) and you can either take the direct route Bandarawela or head on to the military garrison town of diyathalawa and make your way from there on to Bandarawela. The diyathalawa route is lined up with majestic pine and turpentine trees. A drive you will not soon forget.
5. Make a stop over at “porowagala” or axehead rock to gaze at Namunukula mountains.
Porowagala is located almost at the extreme edge of Bandarawela and if you make it there via kinigama it takes you along a steep road just to reach it. The location is easy to find on Google maps and is in close proximity to a Buddhist temple, that in way is also a place to visit as it perched almost the top of the same hill as the axehead viewpoint.
Alternatively you can visit here while taking the road to poonagala (on the way to see pilkinton point) and turn off close to sapala holiday resort - and after passing next to the mahaulpha temple you come to the viewpoint.
The viewpoint gives you glorious views of the majestic Namunukula range and the paddyfields that stretch far below. If you are lucky you could see the train as it snakes its way from heel-oya Station upto Kinigama Station (or vise versa) which is a treat for the eyes.
we hope this helps you to plan your itinerary the next time you visit Bandarawela - Till we meet again in another blog post here's wishing you happy trails and Safe travels!!