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.
Haputale lies on the train line between Colombo and Badulla. Trains from Colombo leave at 5:55, 8:30, 9:45 and 20:30, taking about 9 hours to travel the 250km. Fares are LKR 470/300 2nd/3rd class, and some 1st class carriages with reserved seating should be available.
Walking or by tuk-tuk, as usual in Sri Lanka. One can also take the train to visit smaller places around Haputale such as Ella, Bandarawella or Badulla. It's also quite common to take the train to one of the neighbouring villages and simply walk back that same way on the rail tracks, as the locals do. Those rail track walks offer some 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.
- 1 Dambatenne Tea Factory. Well known tea manufacturers (e.g. Lipton Tea) cultivate their plantations around Haputale. "Dambatenne" is one of the tea processing centers (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. Rs 200.
- 2 Lipton's Seat. Famous Viewpoint 1970m above sea level. Incredible views, on good conditions (it may be cloudy already from 10AM on, so go early!) you can see the sea. Located about 18 km from Haputale (7 km from Tea Factory), you can reach it either by tuktuk (Rs 800 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. There are also more comfortable and more expensive taxi buses to hire.
- Adisham Monastery. This large granite country house, surrounded by gardens and orchards, was constructed by the British Planter Sir Thomas Lister Valliers in 1931.
There is the standard range of eateries.
- 1 Farah Guest Inn, Thambapillai Avenue, Down Under Welimada Road (just off of Beragala-Hali Ela north of Golden Hill Tea Centre), ☏ . Breakfast and dinner available if requested. Nice views.
- 2 Amarasinghe Guest House, Thambapillai Av, (Colombo road or Temple road), ☏ . Check-out: noon. Wifi available, and meals can be ordered through a menu. Rs 3350.
- 3 Leisure Mount View Holiday Inn, Temple Road, Magiripura, ☏ . Room with incredible views from the balconies and the nice lounge. Good homecooking also. Rs 1861 to 2791.
- 4 Bawa Guest House, 32. Thammbipillai Ave (down under Welimada Temple Road), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 72 915 76 16. Rs 1675.
- Melheim Resorts, Lower blackwood, Beragala, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Satellite TV, private toilet and bath, breakfast included. USD 110.36.
The "Website Link" cybercafe offers a good high speed connection. Rs 60 per hour (2009). Just walk from the railway station for about 100 m in the direction main crossing. You'll find the place on the left hand side. The owner of this cafe knows the area quite well and will give you a helping hand if you require information: Mr Loga, mobile: 0779975051, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.