Udawatta Kele Sanctuary – Kandy


Discovering the Serene Wilderness in the Heart of Kandy

Hidden amidst the bustling city of Kandy in Sri Lanka lies a tranquil oasis of nature and serenity – the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary. Nestled in the hill country, this enchanting forest reserve offers a sanctuary for both wildlife and weary souls seeking respite from the urban chaos.

With its rich biodiversity, historical significance, and serene ambiance, Udawatta Kele Sanctuary is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike.

Attractions and Landmarks

Udawatta Kele Sanctuary is blessed with an abundance of natural attractions and landmarks. As you explore the sanctuary’s winding trails, you’ll come across scenic viewpoints, picturesque ponds, and ancient trees that provide shade and shelter to a variety of bird species. One of the highlights is the Mahaweli Viewpoint, offering panoramic vistas of the majestic Mahaweli River and the surrounding mountains.

Cultural and Historical Significance

Beyond its natural beauty, Udawatta Kele Sanctuary holds significant cultural and historical importance. The sanctuary encompasses several ancient Buddhist temples and meditation retreats, such as the Asgiriya Rajamaha Vihara and the Senkanda Cave Hermitage. These sacred sites are deeply intertwined with Sri Lanka’s religious heritage and offer visitors a glimpse into the country’s spiritual practices.

Authentic Experiences

Exploring Udawatta Kele Sanctuary is an opportunity to experience the authentic charm of Sri Lanka’s wilderness. Engage in guided nature walks or birdwatching excursions led by knowledgeable locals who can share their insights into the sanctuary’s flora and fauna. Take part in a meditation session at one of the serene meditation centers nestled within the sanctuary, immersing yourself in a truly peaceful and reflective experience.

Natural Beauty

Udawatta Kele Sanctuary is a treasure trove of natural beauty. The dense forest canopy, interspersed with clearings and meandering streams, creates a magical ambiance. The sanctuary is home to a diverse range of plant species, including towering trees, vibrant orchids, and medicinal herbs. As you explore, you may encounter playful monkeys swinging through the branches or colorful butterflies dancing in the sunlight.

Adventure and Recreation

For adventure enthusiasts, Udawatta Kele Sanctuary offers thrilling opportunities. Trekking through the forest trails provides a sense of adventure and discovery. Capture breathtaking views, listen to the symphony of bird songs, and keep an eye out for wildlife sightings. The sanctuary also features designated picnic spots where you can enjoy a leisurely meal surrounded by nature.

Relaxation and Leisure

Udawatta Kele Sanctuary provides a serene setting for relaxation and leisure. The tranquil atmosphere and lush surroundings create a perfect backdrop for rejuvenation. Find a quiet spot to meditate or practice yoga, or simply sit back and absorb the soothing sounds of nature. The sanctuary’s peaceful ambiance allows you to escape from the stresses of daily life.

Local Cuisine and Dining

After exploring Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, satisfy your taste buds with a culinary adventure in Kandy. The city is renowned for its vibrant food scene, offering a variety of traditional Sri Lankan dishes and international cuisines. Indulge in mouthwatering delicacies such as Kandy’s famous rice and curry, hoppers, and street food snacks like kottu roti.

Shopping and Souvenirs

Kandy is a haven for souvenir hunters. Explore the bustling markets and boutique shops to find unique handicrafts, colorful textiles, and intricately designed jewelry. Take home a piece of Sri Lanka’s vibrant culture and craftsmanship as a memento of your visit to Udawatta Kele Sanctuary.

Hospitality and Service

Kandy boasts a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, you’ll find comfortable and welcoming places to stay in the nearby area. The local hospitality is renowned for its warmth and genuine care, ensuring that your visit is memorable and enjoyable.

Safety and Security

Udawatta Kele Sanctuary takes the safety and security of its visitors seriously. The sanctuary has designated walking paths and trained guides to ensure a safe and pleasant experience. It is advisable to follow the guidelines and recommendations provided by the sanctuary authorities to ensure your own safety and preserve the sanctuary’s natural ecosystem.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Udawatta Kele Sanctuary is during the dry season, which extends from December to April. During this period, the weather is pleasant, and the trails are less muddy, making it easier to explore the sanctuary. However, nature lovers can visit throughout the year, as each season offers its own unique charm and beauty.

Weather Type

Kandy experiences a tropical rainforest climate, characterized by warm temperatures and high humidity. The average temperature ranges between 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F) throughout the year. Be prepared for occasional showers, especially during the monsoon season from May to September.

Best Hotels in the Nearby Area

  • Theva Residency: A luxurious boutique hotel offering stunning views of Kandy and the surrounding mountains.
  • The Kandy House: A beautifully restored colonial-era mansion that provides an elegant and tranquil retreat.
  • Earl’s Regent Hotel: A modern hotel offering comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool, and panoramic views of Kandy.
  • Cinnamon Citadel Kandy: Nestled on the banks of the Mahaweli River, this hotel provides a scenic and serene escape.
  • OZO Kandy: A contemporary hotel located close to the city center, offering comfortable accommodation and modern amenities.


As you embark on your journey through Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, be prepared to immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of nature, discover the rich cultural heritage of the region, and find solace in the peaceful surroundings.

Let this sanctuary be your gateway to a memorable and rejuvenating experience in the heart of Sri Lanka’s hill country.

Location On Google Map

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