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Clean, unspoiled, unexplored, hidden tourist paradise in Sri Lanka.

Tourist has a lot to explore in this hidden paradise. The people, retain the true Srilankan charm and hospitality. Ruins of ancient kingdoms, Wildlife sanctuaries, Ayurveda/Spa centers, Adventure activities & Sun drenched tropical beaches fringe warm, pure seas and placid lagoons make ideal bases for relaxed, enjoyable, fun filled vacations and for sight-seeing the Wayamba’s diverse and exciting attractions.

Wayamba is served by an extensive network of roads that connect to all the major cities in the country. Transportation is quick and easy while the communication facilities are extensive and reliable. Therefore Kurunegala (main city of wayamba) is an ideal base to make day trips to many major tourist attractions like Pinnawala elephant orphanage, Kandy, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, ect…

If you are going to plan a round trip, don’t forget to stay couple of days in this region and discover this rising tourist paradise & experience the real Sri Lankan lifestyle.

The North western provincial council has already developed many infrastructure facilities in the region to make your stay in “Wayamba” a memorable one for life.


Kurunegala , is the capital of the Wayamba Province, Sri Lanka and the Kurunegala District. A transport hub, it has a railway station, and several main roads linking important parts of the country. Kurunegala is situated about 94 ;km from Colombo, and 42 ;km from Kandy. Ethagala a rock reaching 316 meters, towers over the town, which is located at an altitude of 116 meters above sea level. The shape of Ethagala resembles an Elephant.

Kurunegala has been named after the Elephant rock. “Kurune” means Tusker or an Elephant with protruding teeth and Gala in Sinhala means rock. Kurunai means Tusker or an Elephant and Gal in Tamil means rock or hill. Kurunegala’s old name was Hasthishaila-pura, which can be translated as The city of the Elephant rock in Sanskrit. In some ancient literature the word Athugal-pura is also employed to describe the city of Kurunegala.

Nearby are three archeological cities - Parakramapura with remains of a moated palace and monasteries from the 12th century, Dambadeniya , and Yapahuwa .

Kurunegala enjoys a pleasant location overlooked by huge rocky outcrops some of which have been given names of the animals they resemble Elephant rock, Tortoise rock etc. According to folklore legend, long time back the city had experienced a severe drought. To exacerbate matters for the humans, animals had threatened the city’s storage capabilities by consuming huge amounts of water. Fortunately for the humans, a witch had volunteered to alleviate the problem, transforming some of the animals magically into stone figures.

Kurunegala had a citadel in the thirteenth century. It’s ascendancy as an ancient capital of Sri Lanka, began with a series of events that took place during the late 12th century at Yapahuwa. The sacred tooth relic which was in the Yapahuwa Kingdom was taken away by a warlord Arya Chackrawarthi to the Pandyan country during the rule of Buwaneka Bahu I from 1272 to 1284. The tooth relic was brought back by King Parakrama Bahu III who ruled from Kurunegala between 1287 to 1293. Over the next half a century Kurunegala was the capital and the governing centre for three other kings of Sri Lanka.

After the death of King Parakrama Bahu III, Kings Buvanekabahu II who was followed by Parakramabahu IV ruled from Kurunegala. The ruler in Kurunegala from 1326 to 1335 was Buwaneka Bahu III alias Wanni Buwaneka Bahu. He was the son of Pandith Parakrama Bahu II and is believed to be the last king to rule the country from Kurunegala.

Kurunegala, a royal capital of erstwhile days, is overlooked by massive rocky outcrops christened on the names of the animals they resemble: elephant rock, tortoise rock etc. Etagala, a black rock, is the most famous among these rocks. Kurunegala served as royal capital only for half a century, beginning with the reign of Buvanekabahu II (1293-1302) who was followed by Parakramabahu IV (1302-1326). Tooth Relic Temple of Kurunegla was once very famous, but now, only the remains of the temple are there. Kurunegala is a naturally beautiful town with a lake in the middle of the city and colossal Elephant Rock in the background.

Three earlier capitals sit in the neiguborhood of Kurunegala - Panduvasnuwara (north - west) with remains of a moated palace and monasteries from the 12th century, Dambadeniya (south - west, mid-13th century), and Yapahuwa (north).

Kurunegala Attractions

The Seven Rocks

Kurunegala Vewa

Ancient monarchs made this huge water reservoir for the consumption of their subjects.

Kurunegala Clock Tower

Kurunegala Clock Tower was constructed in the memory of soldiers who fought valiantly in the World War I. The tower which was built in 1922 was in 1945 dedicated to the officers who died in Second World War.

Maligawa Ancient Ruins

These ancient ruins give us a glimpse of the past glory of Kurunegala. Whatever has remained of the ancient structures are enough to remind us of the old glory of the country. Elegant stone entrance, steps, rock pillars and ruined walls of the royal palace can be seen here. Several tall old trees can also be witnessed here.


Ridi Vihariya

Ridi Vihariya, 18km off Kurunegala, is known for its ancient Buddhist temple site with rock cave hermitages and an image house with Kandyan paintings. Most of Ridi Vihariya has relations to the 18th century. Those who are interested in architecture can witness Buddha idols, a door frame elegantly carved and inlaid with ivory, and a curious altar bedecked by Dutch tiles with Biblical figures. An artificial lake at the foot of the hills would also interest you.


Arankele is located 24km north of Kuruneglala. Main attraction here is a 6th century cave hermitage up a forested hillside. Once meditation halls, stone-faced double platform structures and ambulatories for the Tapovana (Forest-dwelling) sect were located here. Ancient Brahmi donative inscription testifies this.


Dambadeniya sits 30km south-west of Kurunegala. It gained prominence in the mid-13th century when the capital was moved there by Parakramabahu II (1236- 1270) together with the Tooth Relic. Little remains of the palace buildings now. However 6 ponds can still be seen in Dambadeniya. The 2-storey temple here is very famous. It has images of Buddha. Few interesting frescos adorn the temple walls here.


Lying north of Kurunegala, this is the ancient fortress and capital built in the year 1301. Yapahuwa is a rock rising to a height of 90m. Many traces of ancient battle defaces can still be seen. But the ornamental stairway is its biggest showpiece.


Panduwasnuwara is the oldest temple in the district. Located in northwest direction, it hosts several sites of historical and conventional importance like the Ektemge and the moated tower. Princess Unmada Chitra was incarcerated in this tower because of an ominous prophecy of untimely demise in the family. Tomb of King Vijay lies in the forest.

How To Reach

Kurunegala is lucky to become an important cross-roads town. It lies on the route from Kandy to the Puttalam and Colombo to Anuradapura. The town lies 116km from Colombo and 60km from Kandy. It is well-connected to various places in the country by rail and road. Kurunegala Station is one of the major railway stations along this railway line.


The history of this dry zone district goes back to the arrival of North Indian Prince Vijaya, 2500 years ago in Tammanna in the coastal belt above Puttalam. This happened when his vessel was washed ashore. Thonigala the homeland of Kuweni is deep in the district. The name "Puttalam" may be a modification of in Tamil Uppuththalam , i.e, Uppu means Salt and Thalam means the place where salt production. So finally the name came Puttalam.


Placed 150 km north of the capital, Colombo, the Kalpitiya region is one of the most beautiful coastal areas located in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. Kalpitiya is a peninsular that separates the Puttalam lagoon from the Indian Ocean and is a marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangroves swamps, salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches. Given the investment opportunities available, in 2008 the Sri Lanka Tourism launched the Kalpitiya Dutch Bay Resort Development Project.

Wayamba Cultural Square to promote tourism

The Central Cultural Fund will start a Wayamba Cultural Square.

The Cultural and National Heritage Ministry said that under the Wayamba Cultural Square project, they hope to launch publicity programs to develop tourism and make a contribution to the country's economy under the project.

The Wayamba Cultural Square project will be launched to conserve Dambadeniya, Panduwasnuwara, Kurunegala and the Yapahuwa ancient cities. As the first stage of the project, they will map out all the archaeological sites of these ancient cities, included in the above square. Thereafter they expect to excavate the sites and conserve the funds. The fund plans to record all the ancient wall paintings, buildings, archives and every other artifacts of the temples, covered by the Wayamba Cultural Square.

Wilpattu national park opened after 25 years

Sri Lanka’s largest national park, Wilpattu which was closed down due to the war in 1985 was declared opened on 27th February 2010.

Wildlife park/sanctuary/reserve located at , North Central and North Western Provinces., Sri Lanka. Plan your adventure holiday or vacation with the information and reviews by users and experts. Find out about when to go, how to get there, what to do, best season to visit, its wildilfe, habitat and much more...

Wildlife and adventure opportunities

Wild Life:Elephant, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Water Buffalo, Sambhur, Spotted Deer, Mongoose, Mouse, Shrew, Owls, Terns, Gulls, Eagles, Kites Buzzards, Garganey, Pin tail, Whistling Teal, Spoonbill, White ibis, Large white Egret, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Monitor, Mugger Crocodile, Common Cobra, Rat Snake, Indian Python, Pond Turtle, and Soft Shelled Turtle.

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