Matale

Matale often written as Mathale, is a large regional city located at the heart of the island lies in a broad, fertile valley at an elevation of 364m. It is the administrative capital and largest city of Matale District, Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is 142 kilometres from Colombo and near Kandy.

Matale is yet another bounty of nature’s abundance with captivating landscapes of fertile greenery and scattered mountain ranges decorated with blankets of cascading water. At a distance of 105 kilometres from Colombo and 26 kilometres from Kandy, the history of Matale is mottled with tales of heroism, such as the Matale Rebellion of 1848, a battle that led to the siege of the British Garrison in Fort McDowell and its ultimate defeat at the hands of a colonial superpower. Today, the town of Matale is a centre of activity, propelled by the daily hustle and bustle of urban life, with thousands of commuters thronging the urban centre for sundry errands. Many are the sights and sounds of this old agricultural village called Matale that beckons the visitor to feast the eyes upon its dignified beauty.

Matale

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Riverston

Situated approximately 30 kilometres from the town of Matale is Riverston, a beautiful mountain range, which is part of the Knuckles Mountain. Described as the ‘mini world’s end’, the Riverston peak with a sheer drop of 300 metres, offers a grand view of the central hills, the Knuckles mountain range and beautifully terraced paddy fields in the Thelgama valley.

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Aluviharaya Rock Temple

Three kilometres from the town of Matale, which lies at the foothills of the Knuckles Mountain Range known as Wiltshire, is the historical Aluviharaya Rock Temple, pouched between boulders and cliffs, where the teachings of the Buddha were transcribed into text on Ola (palm) leaves. The monastic caves contain unique murals and inscriptions; the main cave has a statue of the reclining Buddha accompanied by standing and seated images of the Buddha. Ascending to the site of the stupa at the summit of the rock renders an excellent view of the topography of the North Central Province.

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Sembuwatta Lake

Although a man-made pond, the Sembuwatta Lake is still a breathtaking sight set amidst scenic mountains and forests. Situated in the Elkaduwa plantation, the lake is filled by natural spring water, with a depth of at least 30-40 metres, which the locals would advise is not suitable for a plunge despite its beckoning beauty. Adjacent to the lake is a pool that has been built for visitors yearning for that uncontainable impulse to dive into the inviting waters of the larger Sembuwatta Lake.

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Sera Ella

Nearly 45 kilometres from Pitawala Pathana is Sera Ella, a beautiful waterfall, which at a height of 10 metres drops down a rock face like the cascading veil of a bride, an indescribable sight of magnificence. The name of the waterfall is derived from a species of fish named ‘sera’ that inhabit its waters. With a year round flow, the waterfall spills with all its splendour during the monsoonal season of November and March. The cascading water covers a cave that could be reached even when the water is surging at its peak.

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Nalanda Gedige

Leaving behind nature’s trails, one could take a walk back in time at the Nalanda Gedige, situated 20 kilometres north of Matale town, a Buddhist temple, which is a hybrid of Buddhist and Hindu temple architecture. Described as a masterpiece of sheer beauty, where Hindu sculptural tradition meets Buddhist art, the edifice wrought on stone and crystalline limestone is a demonstration of Hindu temple architecture with the inner sanctum and pavilion blending with the Buddhist elements of the moonstone, the crocodile balustrades, the elephant guards and the dwarfs on the architrave of the doorway. Nalanda Gedige was considered by our forebears as the centre of Sri Lanka, so take a trip to Matale and feel the ground at the heart of one of Sri Lanka’s interior, throbbing with the extravagance of nature and the master strokes of artists.