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Sri Lanka, the Land of Delights 

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Must Visit Locations

Belihul Oya, Sri Lanka

Nature & Adventure, River, Streams, Water Falls, Trekking, Canoeing, Tea plantations, Paddy fields, Reservoir.

Must Visit

Altitude: 570m above sea level
Distance from Colombo: 160km

The road from Haputale of Central highlands to the lovely valley of Ratnapura (City of Gems) descends through abundantly beautiful scenery. Around 30km from Haputale, amidst the tea plantations, is the picturesque settlement of Belihul Oya by the side of River Belihul Oya. Paddy fields surrounding the settlement are fed by streams from the river. Belihul Oya is a fine example of Sri Lanka's reputation of having the highest levels of species richness per unit area of any country in Asia. Belihul Oya is home to 15 fish species, 50 reptile species, 150 bird species, 30 amphibian species, 80 butterfly species, 40 mammal species, 60 land & water snail species & about 150 flora species.

River Belihul Oya

The River Belihul Oya, just 20km in length, originates on Horton Plains National Park (1524m) high above, then flows, gushes, tumbles & drops through an assortment of eco systems all the way to into modern man-made Samanalawewa Reservoir. The river, watched over by series of mountain peaks including Gon Molliya ("The Hump of an Ox") & Paravi ("Pigeon"), crates some very beautiful waterfalls in its downhill path, including Baker's Falls on Horton Plains, Pahanthuda Falls & Demodara Falls. Paddy fields surrounding the settlement are fed by streams from the river.

Bambarakanda Falls

Belihul Oya is also the jumping off point for the Bambarakanda Falls, whose triple jump, with a total height of 241m make it the highest in the island.


The settlement at an altitude of 570m provides an array of trekking opportunities. Numerous trails amidst tumbling waterfalls, rock pools, gushing streams, abundant wildlife is complemented by fresh & crisp climate, a result of its location in the intermediate Upland zone, a climatically transitional area linking the dry & wet zones. The vegetation consists of moist semi-evergreen forests, tropical savanna forests, dry patana grasslands and montane temperate forests, making it a bio-diversity hotspot, perfect location for nature lovers: it's a diverse floral & faunal wonderland.

The most popular trails are Appalagala Trail, Samanalawewa Trail (Samanalawewa modern man made reservoir), Horton plains Trail (via Bambaakanda Water Falls), Kinchigune Trail, Hawagala Trail & Belihul Oya - Ohiya trail via Satan's steps & Devils's Staircase. That sounds like "The Road to Hell"

Samanalawewa Reservoir

Samanalawewa provides the opportunity for Canoeing.

Sabaragamuwa University

Belihul Oya is definitely a small town, but given the scenery, terrain, & vegetation, "the principal agricultural educational establishment of the island" couldn't have been better located.

Church of St. Mary

Overlooking the terraced paddy fields is the whitewashed church of St. Mary with an interesting three-tiered spire.

Uggal Aluthnuwara Dewalaya

The Hindu shrine is dedicated to God Kataragama & Buddhist stupa next to it was built by King Senarath Yapa in 1304.

Seelagama Dagoba

Tucked into the hillsides, over the paddy fields is little white Buddhist Dagoba.

Forest Hermitage

The hermitage welcomes people of all faiths. An ideal place for meditation & relaxation.

Sri Lanka Hotel Guide - Hotel Information, Special Offers, News and Trends and much more

Sri Lanka Travel Guide - Travel Information, Special Offers, News and Trends and much more

Photo Gallery

click on photo to enlarge

Belihul Oya Camp Site

Bambarakanda Falls

Belihul Oya Landscape

Belihul Oya Landscape

Belihul Oya Landscape

Trekking at Belihul Oya

Kayaking at Belihul Oya

Samanalawewa Reservoir

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