Badulla, capital of Uva Province, is not a major tourist destination, although it’s the terminus of Sri Lanka’s famous highland railway line. Most foreigners prefer to leave the train in Ella. Bandarawela and Haputale, too, are more popular with tourists and provide a wider range of accommodation. For those having enough time to visit the town of Badulla, there is one great attraction a few kilometres to the north of the city. Dunhinda Ella formed by the Badulu river is one of Sri Lanka’s most scenic waterfalls and can be reached via a 2 km long jungle path. To the south of the city is Spring Valley, a tea plantation area, which gives access to Badulla’s backyard mountain, Namunukula.
Inside Badulla town, there are four main attractions. The Muthiyangana Vihara is one of the 16 Buddha-visited places of Sri Lanka and thereby one of the most important Buddhist temples. The Kataragama Devale, devoted to the warrior got known as Murugan in southern India, is a mainly wooden temple building in the typical style of the Kandy period. It is a Sinhalese Buddhist place of worship but also sacred to Hindus. There are several Hindu shrines of the local Tamil community, these are less worth visiting for their architecture but genuine places of worship allowing foreigners to join impressive Puja ceremonies. Last not least Badulla has several churches of the colonial period. The oldest one is St Mark's Church from 1857, it was built in memory of Major Thomas William Rogers, a famous hunter, who died after being struck by lightning near Haputale. Locals say, this was the result of his bad Karma due to the many killings of elephants.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka