If you are a travel enthusiast, make sure Sri Lanka is on your bucket list because this beautiful island has so much to offer. From the tropical weather, scenic surroundings, fiery sunrises, sunsets, friendly people, delicious food, unique fashion to great culture, Sri Lanka has it all to make it the perfect tourist destination. Especially, if you enjoy sightseeing, there are so many places in Sri Lanka to visit and collect amazing memories. Among them, Mandaram Nuwara is a peaceful and serene little village situated in the heart of Sri Lanka.
The dreamy location started getting more recognition with the latest social media trends. There are endless beautiful sceneries in this sensational local village. So, add Mandaram Nuwara to your to-do list in Sri Lanka right now, and keep reading to know all the facts you should know before visiting this local elegance!
Why Visit Mandaram Nuwara?
Mandaram Nuwara is a small village nestled at the foot of the Piduruthalagala rock which is the tallest mountain of Sri Lanka. This village is in the Nuwara Eliya district, in the Central province.
The beautiful Mandaram Nuwara has a great historic story behind it. The literary book, ‘Mandaram Purawatha’ reveals the story of the village as a hideout of the ancient Kandyan Kingdom. Besides, there are beliefs that the history of the village runs back to the time of King Ravana as well. So, it is clear that this lonely village amidst the mountains has been keeping many secrets for centuries. This mysterious vibe and the surreal beauty of the area make it more interesting.
There’s a ring of mountains around the village creating breathtaking views. In addition, there’s a certain mysterious vibe to the place with its misty weather which makes it more interesting. The alluring nature of the village will add a great chapter to your traveling memory book. Here are some reasons why you should consider visiting Mandaram Nuwara on your vacation in Sri Lanka.
Imagine a small village amidst the misty mountains in nature with the clearest ice-cold water. Well, that is simply Mandaram Nuwara for you. The jaw-dropping nature sceneries are the number one factor why so many travelers visit this beautiful village now. But of course, there is so much more to the place.
Actually, Mandaram Nuwara is so surreal that it looks like a scene from a movie. Then, this village can offer a different experience than any other popular tourist destination in the country. The mountainous grasslands with their enchanting biodiversity portray Sri Lankan villages in a different light. This is an ideal place to experience a relaxing escape at the charming retreat.
The mystifying vibe in the area adds divergent colors to the views. The secluded location surrounded by the mountain ranges of Piduruthalagala, Gonapitiya, Kabaragala, and Udagabbala is what makes this place outlandish and stunning.
Furthermore, the peace and the quietness of nature will make your travel feel therapeutic. So obviously, the perfect combination of everything like this in Mandaram Nuwara will amplify your happiness. Nature is not just a place that we visit, it’s our home. So, the scenic surroundings with the abundance of nature out there give out the feeling of a natural homeliness.
Pleasant Climate of the ‘Misty City’
Mandaram Nuwara is famous as the ‘misty city’ or ‘the village that never sees the sun. Since there’s a ring of mountains around the village, it is placed at the bottom of a basin-like location.
Because of the overshadowing mountains, the sun rises to this village very late and the sun sets at a very early hour. Thus, the village is wrapped in mist for the most part of the day. The word ‘mandarama’ in Sinhala means shadowy or the darker stage of twilight. As the village receives only a little amount of sunlight and it is almost always shadowy and misty, the village has got its name, Mandaram Nuwara.
Many areas of the Nuwara Eliya district are very cold throughout the year. Mandaram Nuwara also has very cold weather.
The average temperature of the village stays between 15°C to 26°C. Furthermore, the village receives considerable rainfall for the majority of the year. The climate of the area is noticeably refreshing. Since the village is like a little hideout in nature, the air pollution is very low. The high humidity and clean air are such a delight. The cold weather in the lush greenery is reviving and it adds another dimension to the beauty of the paradise island. The beachside and the low country area of Sri Lanka have dry hot weather. So many tourists love to experience the cold weather of the upcountry for a change. For that, Mandaram Nuwara is a must-visit in the Nuwara Eliya district.
Countryside Lifestyle of Sri Lanka
The real luxury is in the simple, countryside life. Life feels so easy and perfect in nature with a cold breeze.
The small village of Mandaram Nuwara has a population of only about 550 people. The villagers live away from the hassle bustle of the city and they mostly dwell on tea plantations and agriculture. Amidst the lush forest and the avid waterfalls, the soil of the area is so fertile. These people are so blessed to live in probably the most coveted place in Sri Lanka. Tea pluckers are a usual sight when you travel through the tea plantations of Mandaram Nuwara. While the villagers are leading simplistic lives in the beautiful countryside, they also work hard for their livelihood.
You may have heard that beautiful people are living in beautiful places. Well, the people of Mandaram Nuwara are living proof for that. The villagers are so welcoming and friendly. You can get to know more about their lifestyle directly from them. In fact, some villagers will even offer to guide your tour in the village for free. Some villagers will even offer help for your catering and bathing needs too. A tourist can have a good day in the gorgeous countryside with the beautiful people of Mandaram Nuwara.
After all, Sri Lanka is well known worldwide for its people’s heartwarming hospitality. You will be driven by the simple and happy lifestyle of the countryside while you are stunned by the beauty of the Mandaram Nuwara.
Things to Do in Mandaram Nuwara
Are you wondering how to plan your much-needed vacation in Mandaram Nuwara? Here’s a list of things to do as a tourist there. Make a well-informed choice from the below list to have a memorable visit to the misty city along the lines of your interests.
- Hiking and Trekking
- Waterfall Hunting
- Visiting Tea Plantations
Continue reading to know more about the delight of these activities.
The Mystical Beauty of Mandaram Nuwara is perfect for sightseeing. The time spent exploring nature is always time well-spent. If you love visiting places, there are many scenic locations in this area that are second to none of the other tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Take a walk around the area as every corner of Mandaram Nuwara is as pretty as a picture.
You can find below some of the most significant attractions out there.
- Mandaram Nuwara View Point: This is a hidden gem in the area and it is one of the major tourist attractions in this town. The place has a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountain ranges. Here, the bonus point is that you can see the mountain peak of the Piduruthalagala mountain. You can enjoy the fabulous views while sipping a delicious Ceylon tea from the nearby snack shop. However, the road to the viewpoint is quite tricky but it is so worth a visit as the amazing views are always situated out of comfort zones.
- Endless Forest Views: There’s a forest reserve in Mandaram Nuwara. The forests in the area are so rich in biodiversity and are a sight to the sore eyes as the greenery is beautifully mingled with mist. However, tourists cannot roam in the forest without the permission of the Department of Wildlife Conservation. If you wish to travel in the forest with permission, make sure that you are accompanied by a tour guide or a villager as there’s a high chance of getting lost in the thick woods.
- Kollangala: Kollangala is a large rock that is visible to the Mandaram Nuwara village. Aside from this rock looks like a human figure which is pointing towards something and the villagers believe that the figure is pointing towards a hidden treasure.
2. Hiking and Trekking
Mandaram Nuwara is a remote area. The best way to explore through the glamorous sceneries of the mountainous areas is hiking and trekking. Trekking in the untouched routes of these cloud forests is an extraordinary experience. Further, the highest bicycle riding trek of Sri Lanka is located in Mandaram Nuwara. Trekking through bumpy roads is a fun and challenging task that will give you an adrenaline boost for sure.
You can hire a tour guide to hike with you. But keep in mind that you are not allowed to litter, smoke, drink, and shout in the forests and always keep the environment clean. Here are some ideal locations in Mandaram Nuwara for hiking and trekking.
- Kodiaragala Mountain: There’s a three hour hike to the peak of the mountain from the campsite. You can experience this wonderful creation of nature on your journey. This mountain is located more than 1700 meters above sea level. The weather in the area is unpredictable but nonetheless, the views are amazing. There are lots of leeches that you will meet on your way. There are steep slopes so look out for your travel mates when hiking and have a safe journey with your tour guide.
- Piduruthalagala Mountain Reserve: With the permission from the forest department, tourists can trek and hike inside the Piduruthalagala forest. The views inside are unbelievable and that would be a journey of a lifetime. You must be accompanied by a tour guide for the hike as there are high security zones which are prohibited for the visitors. This is a much sought after hike as it looks like a pathway to heaven.
Camping in Mandaram Nuwara without any permission is strictly prohibited. But there are proper campsites in areas like Kodiaragala and Piduruthalagala forest range where tourists are allowed to camp. These camping sites are like little palaces in a paradise for avid campers as they provide a proper camping experience. Imagine staying a night with such beautiful views around. It would be a relaxing night after a happening day in Mandaram Nuwara.
Camping here is one of the best camping experiences that you can get on the whole island. Besides, camping is the best method to get close to nature and enjoy the night keeping your worries away. At the campsite, there are English-speaking guides and you can get catering at the campsite itself. These campsites will provide you with a rather comfortable camping night in the forest. So, it is simply a wonderful experience to camp out there!
4. Waterfall Hunting
If you love waterfall hunting, then you must visit Mandaram Nuwara because there are about 14 well-known waterfalls there. The water streams starting from the mountain peaks have created picturesque waterfalls in the area. The crystal clear but ice-cold water in these freshwater bodies is so clean and the locals use this water for their daily needs. Therefore, tourists won’t get permission to bathe or litter in the waterfalls. But if you want to take a dip in the refreshing waters, ask the villagers to show the water bodies they use for bathing.
Waterfalls around Mandaram Nuwara
Here are the most popular waterfalls in Mandaram Nuwara.
- Kolapathana Waterfall: This is probably the most visited waterfall in this area. The water stream starts from the Piduruthalagala forest reserve and the height of the waterfall is approximately 50 meters. There’s a 45 minutes trail to reach the Kolapathana waterfall. This is a proper road and you need to purchase a ticket from the conservation centre there. The ticket would cost around SLR 100. This waterfall is a real beauty in the rainy season.
- Elamulla Waterfall: This is like a hidden waterfall situated 100 meters away from the road. Ask directions from a villager to reach this waterfall. There is a scenic route to the Elamulla waterfall and it is a perfect place to chill and relax for a while. However, it is not recommended to bathe in this waterfall.
- Mahakandura Waterfall: This waterfall is at the very beginning of the Mandaram Nuwara area. Many start their waterfall hunting from the Mahakandura waterfall. It is a rather small waterfall which is also visible from the main road. Don’t forget to pay a visit to this beauty at the start of your tour to the village.
- Bera Gahana Ella: ‘Bera Gahana’ in Sinhala means beating drums. As the villagers say, the waterfall got its name as it sounds like beating drums. You have to go through the Kodiaragala road to reach the waterfall. Since the waterfall is situated inside the forest, there isn’t a proper road to this place.
Apart from the above-mentioned waterfalls, there are several other waterfalls in Mandaram Nuwara such as,
- Ethini Watunu waterfall
- Kabaragala waterfall
- Mandaram Nuwara waterfall
- Upper Elamulla waterfall
- Kalu-Paalam Ella waterfall
5. Visiting a Tea Plantation
Ceylon tea is a well-known brand all over the world. The cold climate and the fertile soil in Mandaram Nuwara are ideal for tea plantations. There’s an interesting process behind making Ceylon tea from the tea leaf to your cup. You can see this for yourself in this town.
The majority of the villagers work in tea plantations. In addition, there are tea factories in the area where tourists can pay a visit and observe how Ceylon tea is made. Some of these factories are the oldest ones in the country. A factory employee will give you a proper explanation about the process. And of course, this tour is incomplete without tasting a warm and delicious cup of tea. It is also stated that the largest tea tree in Sri Lanka is found in Mandaram Nuwara which you can see with the help of a local.
Photography is one of the main reasons why many tourists visit Mandaram Nuwara. There are many picture-perfect locations in this surrounding that deserves to be in your travel memories forever. Photography is the perfect way to collect precious memories. And yes, Mandaram Nuwara will provide you with the perfect backdrop for your postcard-worthy photographs.
Recently, this charming town became an internet sensation because of the photographs uploaded to social media platforms by tourists. This gave a considerable boost to the tourism industry of the area. So while you are collecting memories of your travel journey with photography, in a way you are also supporting the tourism in the area too. Mandaram Nuwara is such a happy place and make sure that your camera has enough space to capture all your happy memories there.
How to Reach Mandaram Nuwara?
The distance from Colombo to Mandaram Nuwara is 198.6 kilometers via the Colombo-Kandy A1 road. The cheapest way to reach Mandaram Nuwara from Colombo is to take the bus. You have to take the bus to Labukele from Colombo and then take the remaining distance to Mandaram Nuwara. This will take about 5 hours. If not, you can catch the train from Colombo Fort station to Kandy and then take a bus or a taxi to Mandaram Nuwara. This journey will take about 4 hours. You can also book a taxi from Colombo itself which will take about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
There are about 77 kilometers from Kandy to Mandaram Nuwara. From Kandy, you have to take the bus to Padiyapalella from the Good Shed station and then take another bus to Mandaram Nuwara from there. You can also arrange a taxi from Kandy to Mandaram Nuwara.
Further, you can hire a tuk-tuk to travel in Mandaram Nuwara. Besides, you have the freedom to drive your vehicle almost anywhere if you are traveling from your own vehicle.
The most scenic route to Mandaram Nuwara lies via Kandapola. You can take this route if you are traveling from Nuwara Eliya. There are about 40 kilometers on that route. Some hotels provide transport to the tourists to pick up and to travel in the village. Furthermore, there are some hotels that can arrange a helicopter ride to Mandaram Nuwara from Nuwara Eliya which will take only 10 minutes.
What is the Best Time to Visit Mandaram Nuwara?
The climate in Mandaram Nuwara is really unpredictable. Thus, it is suitable for traveling throughout the year. Still, always be prepared for rain in the area as it would rain anytime there.
Anyway, February to May is considered the best season to visit Mandaram Nuwara as this season is mostly dry with very little rainfall. However, there’s a low temperature in Mandaram Nuwara at any time of the year. But if you wish to go waterfall hunting, it is better to go in slightly rainy months to get the most catchy view. But avoid traveling in heavy monsoonal rainy seasons such as November to January. It is better to keep alert on the daily weather forecasts if you are planning to visit Mandaram Nuwara.
Mandaram Nuwara is rather lovely throughout the day but in the morning you will see the beauty of the village at its freshest form. You’ll be able to see the colorful sunrise over the mountains if you visit before 11 a.m. Inquire from your service provider or the hotel beforehand to know whether your time of visit to Mandaram Nuwara is ideal for traveling.
Accomodation at Mandaram Nuwara
As mentioned before, many tourists choose camping to stay the night close to nature in Mandaram Nuwara. Apart from that, homestays are also another famous accommodation method in the area. You can arrange to spend your time at a local resident’s home. In homestays, you can taste a delicious home-cooked meal and get to know about Sri Lankan culture and the countryside lifestyle. You can feel like a local in Mandaram Nuwara for once if you choose a homestay. This way, you can experience Sri Lankan hospitality at its best and all this comes with exceptional views of the area. A homestay is kind of cheap yet a lovely experience.
If not, there are several hotels, bungalows, and villas that tourists can stay in Mandaram Nuwara according to any budget. From luxury hotels to average bungalows, there’s a wide range of accommodation that you can choose from. There are many facilities in these places such as different cuisines, swimming pools, transports and tour guides for you to have a comfortable stay. There are even old tea factories that are remodeled as hotels too. You can choose your accommodation from any of these places according to your interests.
The Bottom Line
The views from Mandaram Nuwara are second to none. In case you have wondered what heaven looks like, sometimes you will be convinced that it looks like Mandaram Nuwara because the sceneries are that bewitching. If you are a passionate traveler in Sri Lanka, then Mandaram Nuwara should be on your must-visit list. Here’s your chance to see Sri Lanka from a divergent perspective and be dazzled by this natural beauty. So don’t forget to visit the gorgeous village during your Sri Lankan vacation. Happy and safe traveling!