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Haputale

Haputale

Boasting some of the most stunning views of the country, located on the southern edge of the hill country, Haputale is a town clinging on the long narrow mountain ridge which falls off on both sides. This produces some amazing vistas which can be viewed in its full glory at sunrise and sunset. On a bright and cloudless day, one could see the ocean in the distance, but usually the horizon is covered by clouds and mist. A cloudless night can reveal the rays of the little lighthouse of Hambantota.

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The Adisham Bungalow is monastery of the Sylvestro Benedictine monks and is a delightful site to visit near Haputale. This large stone building was initially built by Sir Thomas Lester Villiers in 1931 who was a tea planter and later sold in 1961 to the Benedictine monks. The novice monks are trained for a period of a year at this monastery. There are a few rooms for occupation by visitors, but these are kept strictly separate from the quarters of the novice monks. The building has a unique old world charm which is brought out by the antique furniture and architecture. There is a welfare shop which sells jams and other fresh produce made by the monks.

Lipton’s seat is one of the best observation points of the surrounding landscapes and is located on the top of the Poonagala hill which is close to the Dambetenna tea factory. This place gets this name after the famous tea planter Sir Thomas Lipton who was said to have used this spot to observe the surrounding region of his tea plantations. In order to reach the spot one needs to climb around 7 km through lush tea plantations. Certain parts of the road are still as British built them. From the Lipton’s view itself one gets an astounding view of the Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Eastern provinces which includes 7 districts.

On a clear day the view will be breath taking and the best time to visit is early morning as the mist starts rolling in. This place gives a stunning view of areas such as the Handapanagala lake, Chandrika tank, Udawalawe Reservoir and the Wedi Hiti Mountains, as well as the Hambantota Harbour on the Southern Coast.

This charming old church was said to have been built by a gentleman named James Andrews in 1875, who worked at Sherwood Estate as well as Richard Wylie from Pita Ratmale Estate. The atmosphere of this little parish seems timeless and peaceful.

The interior of the church is small but cozy and well furnished. The pews and kneelers are richly laid with red velvet and leather to suit the blissful lifestyle of those bygone days. The sides of the pews are decorated with beautiful woodcarvings. The altar is surrounded by stained glass windows imported from Scotland that depict the significant events in the life of Jesus. An ancient marble baptismal font, now rarely used, and which was brought down from England, stands at the end of the church. A charming journey to a bygone era of English planters who left their mother land to seek employment in the old Ceylon growing tea.

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