BANDARAWELA
 
  Established as a market outpost supplying farmers, plantation workers and other inhabitants, Bandarawela has always been a popular crossroad, not a cultural Mecca. At 1,230m above sea level, the town boasts the pleasant, healthy climate that makes it the beating heart of the Health Triangle. The commercial hub is concentrated into a few lanes northeast of the central traffic roundabout. To its west, along Welimada Road and Esplanade Road,
are the nearby hotels and guesthouses, municipal buildings and a sports ground that is a common evening meeting place for people of all ages. A few minutes on foot from the roundabout, the colonial structures which are still surviving should not be missed: the train station, the redbrick post office, the Bandarawela Hotel and a supermarket. All around the town you can find places of worship (Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim) serving a highly multicultural population.
 
For longer treks, you would be well advised to take a guide, both for the comfort of knowing where to go and the introduction to the nature and cultures through which you trudge. Witness the 90-minute route through gardens and paddies to Komarikagoda; the up-to-two-hour trip to the Ellathota reservoir; the 90-minute up-and-back walk to Poonagalla with fantastic views and small villages along the way; and the two- to three-hour trek from Amunudawe on quiet local paths past the Konthahana Buddhist temple and through farmland.

The most captivating part of Bandarawela is the lush and green land around it. By travelling less than a km from the centre on any road, you will witness the Uva hill country, fertile and abundant, tilled and terraced, healthy and healthful. There is no place like Bandarawela for all these.
 
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