Haputale is a city in Uva, in the central mountain area of Sri Lanka. It's a relaxed little place with about 5000 inhabitants. Mostly Tamils mixed with some Muslims and Buddhists. It's a wonderful place to retreat for a while. There is many Tea estates around and one can walk virtually for several weeks, without ever taking the same path twice. As it is located on top of a mountain range, the views are exceptional. Though being quite high above sea level, the sun should be minded.
By rail. Haputale is halfway Nanu Oya and Badulla, towards the end of the railway line that snakes through the Hill Country. Trains go to Colombo and Kandy from here. The fares are ludicrously cheap in 2nd and 3rd class and the views spectacular. It's usually no problem getting a seat in 2nd/3rd class going to Colombo or Kandy, as the trains from Badulla are quite empty until reaching Nanu Oya. However the reverse is true going up to Haputale and it can be quite crowded until the last 2 or 3 hours of the journey.
By Road. Haputale is on the direct route 99 Colombo-Ratnapura-Bandarawela-Badulla. For southbound connections, take bus 99 in direction of Ratnapura and exit at Pelmadulla; here you can take buses to Uda Walawe, Embilipitiya and onwards the south coast.
Walking or by rickshaw, as usual in Sri Lanka. One can also take the train to visit smaller places around Haputale (the also tiny places Ella, Bandarawella or Badulla, for example). It's also quite common to take the train to one of the neighboring villages and simply walk back that same way on the rail tracks. It's totally normal in Sri Lanka to walk on rail tracks. Trains are slow and using their horn more than permanently. Those rail track walks offer one of the best views Sri Lanka has to offer.
A lot of tea estates surround the tiny city. Just wandering around in the plantations and watching the tea workers collecting the leaves.
Dambatenne Tea Factory: Well known tea manufacturers (eg Lipton Tea) cultivate their plantations around Haputale. "Dambatenne" is one of the tea processing centers (located 9 km from the city). Sir Thomas J. Lipton was living on this estate and the factory still maintains most of the machinery already in use one century ago. The possibility to visit and watch those traditional production techniques as well as try different kinds of tea makes this quite a popular tourist attraction. (fee 250 Rps.)
Lipton's Seat: Famous Viewpoint 1970m above sea level. Incredible views, on good conditions (it may be cloudy already from 10 am on, so go early!) you can see the sea. Located about 18 km from Haputale (7km from Tea Factory), you can reach it either by tuktuk (800 Rps. return including waiting time at Lipton's seat and Tea factory if needed) or take the local bus to the tea factory and walk the rest. The bus (no.326) and minibuses leave behind the main bus stop. There's a 'Dambatenne' sign. There are also more comfortabel and more expensive taxi buses to hire.The fee RS 50/- per soul and vehicle Rs 100/-
Drink a tea at the top. It's only 30 rupees including some cookies! (Apr 2013)
Adisham Monastery: This large granite country house, surrounded by gradens and orchards, was constructed by the British Planter Sir Thomas Lister Valliers in 1931.
Walking. A popular day trek (several hours depending on where one starts) takes you through tea fields, a monastery and then through the woods to the train tracks which one can follow back to the main road/train station.
The "Website Link" cybercafe and tea shop offers a good high speed connection. 60 Rs per hour (2013). The owner Loga is extremely friendly and regularly offers complimentary tea to the guests. His services also include long distance phone calls and a wide selection of local teas available for purchase. Directions: located on the same street as the train station, 20 meters from the railroad crossing.
There is the standard range of eateries.
- FarahGuestInn, 118, Welimada Temple Rd. (home: 0572268228, mobile: 0773471536, s 350 RS, soon also dormitory(2009)) or it's neighboring guesthouse "Bawa Guest House" (s 350 RS, dormitory also planned (2009)). To find them, beginning from the railway station, just walk back on the rail tracks, in the direction Kandy. After 400 meters one can see a sign "Olympus" on the hill, left to the rails. Climb up the stairs to that sign. There, up that hill, you reach Temple Road (parallel to the rails). Then, in your back you can see a yellow sign indicating a schoolboy and a schoolgirl. At that place a little way is leaving from Temple Road in a parallel manner into the right direction. Follow that small muddy way for approximately 200 meters. There comes a green wall on the right side. Don't mind you're not lost.... . At the point where that green wall turns gray, small steps are leading downwards. Descend them and you will already see the roof of "FarahGuestInn". Continue that small track for another 50 meters and the roof of "Bawa Guest House" appears. There the track ends and one has to descend another small steps down to the road (also parallel to the mud track) which the entry gates of Bawa Guest House and "FarahGuestInn" are facing to. From Rupees 700/= to 1200/= for double/triple. edit
- Amarasinghe Guest House, Thambapillai Av, (Colombo road or Temple road), ☎ 0572268175. checkout: 12.00. price range from Sri lankan Rupees 500/= to 900/=.(Room Only).meals can order throuhgh the Menu. 500/=. edit
- Cuesta Guest House, 118, Welimada Temple Rd. Room with incredible views from the balconies and the nice lounge. Good homecooking also. From Rupees 700/= to 1200/= for double/triple. edit
- Melheim Resort (Melheim Resort), Lower blackwood, Beragala, BD 90126 Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 (0) 57 5675969, . Providing both comfort and convenience, all equipped with Satellite TV,Private toilet and bath and Complimentary breakfast. One of the very few in this area with an outdoor pool. USD 110.36. edit
- Olympus Plaza hotel, No 75 Welimada Road, . By far the biggest hotel around, hence also often used by tour groups. Good restaurant. Due to its location and height almost all rooms have good vistas, either to the south or to the valley to the north of the mountain ridge. edit
- Bawa Guest House, 32. Thammbipillai Ave. (down under Welimada Temple Road), ☎ +94(0)57 226 82 60. Friendly place with big clean rooms, hot water and delicious home cooking. Hosts can provide a lot of information about the area.,Free pickup service call Fazmi +94(0)72 915 76 16. Email: [email protected] Sri Lankan Rupies 1000. (6°45'56.32,80°57'4.79) edit
- ABC Guest Inn, 109 Sherwood Part (200 m from main junction, People´s Bank downstairs, turn right at bottom of stairs) (email [email protected]), ☎ +94572268630 / +94771012113, . checkout: 12:00pm. ABC Guest Inn has a very friendly owner with clean rooms and great views. There are two single, four double and three triple rooms. One triple has a balcony, most with attached bath. All bath rooms have hot water shower. Rooms have mosquito nets, towels, extra blankets, toilet paper and soap. Free WIFI and PC use. Internet 100 Rs./h. Sat-TV (99 channels) is available in hall and lobby. There are also Radio and DVD player. 3 TVs are free to use for rooms.Daily newspapers free by order. Laundry service. Saman has games for your children like a carom board, cards and chess.There´s also a luggage room for your bags. You can hire here a Honda 250 R motorbike (1.000 Rs./day) or a 3-wheeler for 30 Rs./km. 6 cars can park in front of the house. Guides for trekking tours 1.500 Rs./day. Check reviews on Tripadvisor. Rooms from 1500 Rs (crappy one) or 2200 (OK standard and great view).. edit
- Ali Home, Temple Road, ☎ 072-6157484. Ali Home has 3 rooms. The room is comfy and the hot water shower is good. They also provide dinner (Rs450) and breakfast (Rs350). Ali's daughter cooks very well, and it is warm to have this home-cooked Sri Lankan dinner while chatting with the owner's family. Some guests may like to drink with Ali as well. The guesthouse has a great view too. Email: [email protected] Rs1500. edit
- Haputale Gap Guest House, Colombo Rd. (Upstairs from the 'UK Rice Shop'), ☎ 0729545324, . Haputale Gap Guest House offers 5 small rooms located in central Haputale. The owner Farouk is extremely friendly and provides a genuine, safe and welcoming environment. All rooms are clean,have their own mosquito nets, as well as bathrooms with hot water showers. Prices per room are between 800 - 1000 RP. Farouk also offers cheap tuktuk services, tour guides around the surrounding areas, and scooter rental. He also offers to take you home to his family for a complimentary rice and curry meal. 800-1000. edit
- Awinco Rest, A16 / No 122, Badulla Road, Haputale (6°46'27.9N, 80°57'47.0E), ☎ +94 572268620. A16, Badulla Road, Haputale - 6°46'27.9"N, 80°57'47.0"Email: [email protected] Internet, WiFi & IDD available. Single/double: 1.100-1.500 Rs. - Triple: 1.500-2.000 Rs. (updated 02.2013) Breakfast: 200-350 Rs. - Lunch/Dinner: 300-350 Rs. Take away: 165 Rs. Service charge +10%. Free pickup service from Haputale bus stand and railway station. edit
- Sleeping Warrior Guest House, 118 Welimada Road, Haputale, ☎ 057-2268110, 088-7799222, [email protected]. equipped with hard wood and other furniture from colonial times, but features wifi to fulfill modern needs. The simple rooms (hot water) have full bay windows offering gorgeous views of the valley at sunrise and beyond. Meals here are delicious, cheap and cooked to order. They are more than willing to assist travelers with trekking, transport, errands, etc. 2000 lkr. edit
- White Home, 211 Magiripura, Haputale, ☎ "071-6401545” (“[email protected]”). Lovely home stay style guesthouse a short distance away from main town. Delicious homecooking and comfortable rooms with a view. Free wifi, hot wate and, carom board. Tour options available with tuk-tuk or van. Friendly family and quiet, peaceful place. Free pickup from bus and railway stations. 1500/= to 3500/= rupees. edit
The owner of the above mentioned internet cafe knows the area quite well and will certainly be pleased to give you a helping hand if you require informations: Mr Loga, mobile: 0779975051, [email protected], [email protected]
By train or by bus.