Lion sculpture at Yapahuwa+

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage*

Places of interest near to HPH
Kandy in the Central province and other areas of interest in the Northwestern province

NEW! HPH now offers one- and two-day excursions to and from HPH. Please see this document for details.

As well as the Cultural Triangle, HPH is close to other places of interest in Kandy and the Northwestern province.

Kandy & area

Many temples are found near Kandy including Natha, Embekke, Degaldoruwa, Maha Vishnu and Gadaladeniya, displaying splendid wood carvings, stone carvings and copper reproductions of the column motifs.

Other places of interest include:

The Kandy Tea Museum is a unique display housed in a real tea factory with a knowledgeable retired tea planter in charge. Shouldn't be missed by anyone interested in a product for which Sri Lanka is internationally renowned.

The Kandy Museum features artifacts primarily from the time of the last kings of Kandy prior to the European invasions.

The Kandy Garrison Cemetery is a well-tended military cemetery dating back to the two World Wars.

Udawattekele Nature Sanctuary - a little gem of a tropical forest right in Kandy town!

Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium, about 7 km from Kandy, is the venue of many international cricket matches in a country where the sport is considered its "fifth religion!"

Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is considered by many to be the Asian equivalent of Britain's Kew Gardens. Not to be missed!
*(photo courtesy Bernard Gagnon)

Traditional dance performances are held in several locations in Kandy town, in the evening.

Distance from HPH: approx. 20 km.

Kandy town (photo courtesy of Bernard Gagnon)

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is an internationally unique facility with dozens of elephants of both sexes and at various stages of development. An ideal visiting time is early in the day, at feeding time, after which the whole herd of pachyderms can be observed frolicking in the water as they take their “daily dip.” 
*(photo courtesy Bernard Gagnon)

Distance from HPH: approx. 35 km.

The Elephant Rock forest in Kurunegala is in the heart of the modern town. This arboreal gem is a pleasant surprise indeed!

Distance from HPH: approx. 20 km.

Arankele is a unique 6th century cave hermitage. It is on a forested hillside, and had an intriguing selection of meditation halls, stone-faced double platform structures and ambulatories for the austere Tapovana Buddhist hermits who used it. It is also a haven for bird-watchers and butterfly enthusiasts.

Distance from HPH: approx. 44 km.

Yapahuwa, the one-time capital of Sri Lanka, is a rock fortress complex from 1273 AD, famous for its imposing flight of stone steps leading to a gateway which displays Cambodian influences. Beautifully carved friezes, particularly the distinctive “Lion of Yapahuwa” are among the other impressive remains here.
+ (photo courtesy of Kurun@en.wikipedia)

Distance from HPH: approx. 73 km.

Panduwasnuwara was the home to King Panduvasdeva, successor to Sri Lanka’s first king, Vijaya, who ruled from here. The subsequent royal palace complex of Parakramabahu, dates from the 12th C and is said to have been from where he went on to build the capital at Polonnaruwa and establish Sri Lanka as “the granary of the east.” While not as extensive as Polonnaruwa’s, the ruins of Panduwasnuwara are impressive in their own right, particularly with regard to the layout and ground-plan of a mediaeval Sinhalese royal palace of that time.

Distance from HPH: approx. 47 km.

Ridi Vihare(“Silver Temple”) owes its name to the discovery of a rich vein of silver which enabled King Dutugemunu, in pre-Christian times, to continue constructing the (very expensive) Ruwanweliseya. Much of the material of interest dates from later times and includes a set of marble tiles depicting 40 stories from the Bible presented by a Dutch Consul more recently!

Distance from HPH: approx. 50 km.

Dambadeniya was a mid-13th Century capital for more than 50 years and excavations have uncovered the remains of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the royal palace, ponds and gardens, moats and city walls.

Distance from HPH: approx. 50 km.

Nelligala Saama Chaitiya epitomises peace and tranquillity and provides an unrivalled view of the North Western Province plain, made that much more impressive if viewed at dawn or sunset.

The magnificent 67.5 foot tall granite Samadhi Buddha at Moneragala, one without equal anywhere in the world constitutes a morning’s journey from HPH. The history of this massive work of art is truly unique. It was the response of the Chief Incumbent of the Moneragala Vidyasagara Pirivena Vihara, the Ven. Egodamulla Amaramoli Thero, to the Taliban’s destruction of the huge (sandstone) Buddha statues in Afghanistan, an act of horrendous vandalism without equal in recent times. Words do not do justice to this wonderful example of the (South Indian) stone-sculptors’ art. It and the large pool carved out of the same massive piece of granite at its foot has to be seen to be believed!

Distance from HPH: approx. 13 km.

With adequate advance notice, transport can be arranged for an additional fee.

Peradeniya Botanical Gardens*

Moonstone at the Degaldoruwa Devalaya

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