AVISSAWELLA
 
  The main attractions of Avissawella are more in its surroundings, particularly being close to Kitulgala, rather than the town itself, though what remains of the royal residence of Sitawaka is all within easy reach of the town centre. The seat of power under King Rajasinghe I, Sitawaka is far less well-known than Sri Lanka’s more popular historical destinations of Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.

Of course there is not so much to see here, but the ruins and the history behind them are no less fascinating. It is, 56 km east of Colombo, is an interior destination many regular travellers in Sri Lanka think of as a lively, junction town where roads fan out towards Hatton or Kandy; Ratnapura or Badulla.
 
It is a marking point on the way back from the hill country stations of Haputale or Bandarawela, when you know it’s now not so far until Colombo. Avissawella was formerly the ancient kingdom of Sitawaka. It is also the end of the Kelani Valley railway line, constructed in far more modern times. Depending on when you travel it may not be possible to return to Colombo by train the same day, as often the train you catch will return shortly after its arrival. However, there are adequate bus services. Accommodation is limited in Avissawella, but there are several small guesthouses in the vicinity.

Three-wheelers are commonly found and they will take you to places such as the Berendi Kovil, about 1km from the town. This incomplete temple, believed to be dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, whom Rajasinghe revered, was still being constructed at the time of his death. When you look carefully around this site there are carvings which are said to symbolise hidden ancient treasures, such as a parrot and a squirrel. There is also evidence to suggest modern-day thieves with access to dynamite have drilled two holes next to the parrot, hoping to find the treasure. Other ruins can be found a similar distance from the central hub of Avissawella.

 
(Content Source: Travel Sri Lanka Magazine)
(Image Source   : lakdasun.com)
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