Situated at 193 km from Colombo
- Nanu Oya (Close to
England) - Badulla
road & railway line sits
at an elevation of
1579 m (4736 ft). Lying along a mountain ridge of the southern edge of
the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, Haputale is one of the most
spectacularly situated towns of Sri Lanka. The high elevation vantage
location of Haputale allows us birds eye view to the north as well as
to the south. To the south are plains that run into the coast. To the
north are hills after hills, hills next to hills, hills over the hills
of the highlands: that's a glorious sight.
Arrival into the town by car, the sudden descent is startling. The bend
of the road leading to the town is so acute, you would feel like the car
is about to airborne over the cliff.
Haputale Gap is one of the most spectacular views in the country. The
great amphitheatre of the upper Uva spreads out to the north and east.
It is bounded by the mountains of Idalgashinna, Ohiya and the
Plains National Park
, the peaks of Hakgala (Hakgala Botanical Gardens
located there), the purple cone of Namunukula, and Poonagala and
. On the other side is an equally breathtaking view & the foothills
of the lower Uva, the southern Sabaragamuwa followed up Southern
Province right down to the sea. On a bright and cloudless day, one could
see the ocean as a bright blue line in the distance, disclosing the
stabbing rays of the little lighthouse of Hambantota, far south.
A walk in the surrounding hills
As we walk down the main street from the Station Road crossing, again we
witness the apparent disappearance of the road off the cliff. The
terrain being similar to magnificent paradise village Ella
the hill station of Haputale provides us the pleasure of walking, hiking
& trekking in the surrounding hills. The highlight is the tranquil
Lipton's Seat bringing in a panoramic view that sweeps you off the feet.
While hiking you wouldnt miss the famous tea factory, old country
mansion of Adhisham & Diyaluma Falls.
A little distance off the town, some of the tea plantations are geared
to welcome the tourists. The colonial heritage of Ceylon is brought to
life by St. Andrew's, neo-Gothic church located just north of the town
along the main road Haputale-Bandarawela
The graveyard of the church takes solace in providing the final resting
places to the illustrious British tea planters.
Dambatenna Tea Factory
East of Haputale, a 10 km scenic road along the edge of the
escarpment through beautiful rambling tea estates to leads us to
legendary Dambatenna Tea Factory, built in 1890 by Sir Thomas Lipton
the tea magnate whose name is immortalized in Lipton's Tea. The colonial
Dambatenne Tea Factory brings in an unmistakable message of philanthropy
in addition to the efficient industry: the workers' quarters of the
famous factory accommodates over 4,000 people; the 20,000 sq ft factory
employee 1,600 workers. At the entrance is a quote from John Ruskin:
"Quality is no accident. It is the result of intelligent effort." In
spite of the on-going modernization, some of the machinery of the
colonial era is still in operation in this ISO certified factory.
The first estate that Lipton bought in Ceylon was known Downall
Group in Haputale & included Estates Dambatenne, Llaymostatte &
Monarakande. In his memoirs, he wrote, "between the Estate I had bought
& the big sum of money I left with my agent I think I must have invested
well over a 100,000 pounds in Ceylon
within a week of my
arrival in that lovely & delectable island of spicy breezes.
Lipton's seat is the highest point of the mountain range, where the most
famous Tea planter of Ceylon, Sir Thomas Lipton used to admire & enjoy
the panoramic view served by Haputale. Although the 7km hike is
tiresome, the arrival at one of the finest view points in the
country-the famous double of famous World's End
your tired feet & soothes your nerves. We must rush in the early morning
before the mist set in.
Greenfields Bio Plantations
A very pleasant walk leads us to Greenfields Bio Plantations, 3 km from
Dambetenne, one of the few organic tea producers in the country. We will
have the opportunity to view a tour demonstration of the whole process
Benedictine monastery of Addisham
A few kilometers from Haputale in Colombo - Kandy road is Benedictine
monastery of Addisham. The sign at the main gate reads 'Silence is
Golden', a golden saying hardly adhered by the million mutinies of the
modern world devoid of collective responsibility yet clamoring for
individual rights. The old Colonial British planters' bungalow was
converted into a monastery by an industrious team of monks with tons of
stonework. The original bungalow was built by a Kentish gentleman, who
having filled it with imported carpets, porcelain, furniture &
glassware, even had an English chauffeur brought in for his Daimler.
Today the monastery runs a domestic industry of food products such as
jams & jellies from guavas & fruit cordials. The monastery bordering the
Tangamalai bird sanctuary
, the garden is home to blue
magpies, paradise flycatchers, green barbets, brilliant orange plumaged
mini-verts hornbills, golden orioles & a host of other bird life.