things to see and do
Singha Sanasa is the ideal destination from which to explore the hills of Sri Lanka. There are many attractions close to Singha Sanasa; we've listed just a few to whet your appetitie . . . .
1. Mlesna Tea Castle (35 mins from Singha Sanasa)
The Mlesna Tea Castle is situated overlooking the Devon Fall and picturesque Devon and St. Clair valley. It is built in a medieval Scottish style as a tribute to the father of Ceylon Tea, Scottish tea planter James Taylor and offers tea connoisseurs a selection of Mlesna Teas to sample.
The Castle Museum displays interesting tea artifacts of yesteryear with educational photographs depicting the early years of the tea industry. The specially designed Viewing Tower at the Mlesna Tea Castle offers an opportunity to enjoy the magnificent view of the Devon Fall and St. Clair valley complete with the mist and lush green hills of this breathtakingly beautiful landscape.
2. Holyrood Tea Factory (25 mins from Singha Sanasa)
The name Holyrood, is an Anglicization of the Scottish "haly ruid" meaning holy cross. Undoubtedly the pioneer planters who sailed from Scotland named their tea garden after the principal residence of the kings and queens of Scotland called the Holyrood Palace.
Nestling between the Great Western mountain range and the Kothmale Oya Holyrood Estate is one of the most accessible estates in the tea district of Dimbulla. The factory manufactures an array of the best High grown teas ranging from BOP, BOP Fannings to Pecoes.
3. St Clair Falls (40 mins from Singha Sanasa)
St. Clair Falls is one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka. It is called the "Little Niagara of Sri Lanka" and derives its name from a nearby tea estate. St. Clair's falls comprises two falls called "Maha Ella" (Sinhalese "The Greater Fall") at 80km high and "Kuda Ella," (Sinhalese "The Lesser Fall") which is 50m high and was created by a tributary of Kotmale Oya.
4. Devon Falls (40 mins from Singha Sanasa)
Devon Falls is named after a pioneer English coffee planter called Devon, whose plantation is situated near the falls. Then, coffee was the main crop of Sri Lanka until 1869 when it the coffee-rust fungus, killed the majority of the coffee plants and estate owners had to diversify into other crops, mainly tea, in order to avoid total ruin. Thus the "Ceylon" tea industry was born. The Devon waterfall is 97 metres high and was also formed by the Kothmale Oya, a tributary of Mahaweli River. Sandy, one of your hosts at Singha Sanasa has close ties to he Devon Tea Estate, as his father who was a tea planter, was the Manager there for many years.
5. Dunsinane Falls (15 mins from Singha Sanasa)
Only 10-15mins from Singha Sanasa (hire our ATV and enjoy the scenery) the impressive 100m-high Dunsinane fall (Pundalu Oya Ella) cascades in a spectacular sequence of steps before flowing to the Pundalu Oya (river), the Kotmale River and finally the Kotmale Reservoir.
6. Blue Field Tea Gardens (35 mins from Singha Sanasa)
Bluefield Tea Gardens offers:
• A factory tour with experienced guides,
• A tea Center where you can purchase “ Garden Fresh “ varieties of tea
• A Restaurant which serves Breakfast and Lunch,
• A Tea Lounge to taste Tea accompanied by home made cake
7. Mackwoods Tea Centre (40 mins from Singha Sansas)
Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre, is in the heart of Labookellie Estate and is a popular stop providing an opportunity to experience Mackwoods Tea at its best in the salubrious hill country clime as well as providing an instructive glimpse of the manufacture of Ceylon Tea. Mackwoods provides visitors with a free guided tour of Labookellie tea factory, an educational experience in the tea cultivation and manufacturing process.
8. Ramboda Falls (45 mins from Singha Sanasa)
Ramboda Falls is 109m high and 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka (729th highest waterfall in the world.) It is formed by Panna Oya which is a tributary of Kothmale Oya.
The falls consists of three sections. There is a good view of the middle section from the A5 highway, however if you're feeling adventurous you can to climb the pathway to the top, (just before the bridge). It's not an easy climb but you will be compensated with the great view of the top fall and the surrounding area.
9. Kotmale Reservoir (Can be seen from Singha Sanasa)
The Kotmale Dam is a large hydroelectric and irrigation dam in Kotmale. The dam is the second largest hydroelectric power station in Sri Lanka. Construction on the dam began in August 1979 and was ceremonially completed in February 1985. No need to travel, the beautiful river, man made lakes and surrounding tea hills can be easily seen from Singha Sanasa.
10. Lovers Leap Waterfall (2 hours drive from Singha Sanasa)
This fall is said to derive its name from the tragic tale of a prince, who while hunting in the jungle, lost his way. He was rescued by a beautiful damsel, and the two became inseparable lovers. But the match was not to the liking of the prince's subjects, so the two decided to immortalise their love by leaping from the top of the fall to their death. Superstitious villagers avoid the fall at night.
11. Adams Peak (2 hours drive from Singha Sanasa - and on a clear day you can see the majestic mountain from your balcony)
Of significance to almost all religions, Adams Peak gains its name from the belief (by Christians and Muslims) that the 'foot-print shaped mark' on top of the mountain is that of Adam, left when first setting foot on Earth after having been cast out of paradise.
It is also named Sri Pada which is derived from Sanskrit, used by the Sinhalese people in a religious context; and may be translated roughly as "the sacred foot" . Buddhists believe the imprint to be that of the Buddha, and the peak boasts a large Buddhist temple on its summit. Hindu tradition refers to the footprint as that of the Hindu deity Shiva, and thus names the mountain Shiva Padam (Shiva's foot) in Tamil.
Tourists and pilgrims alike climb the sacred mountian at night (during the season from December to May) to enjoy the sunrise across the mountain ranges and visit the temple. The climb takes between 2.5hrs and 4hrs depending on fitness levels.
12. Worlds End (2 hours drive from Singha Sanasa)
World's End is located in Horton Plains National Park. It is a sheer cliff, which about 4000 ft drop that gives fabulous view of mountains, tea estates and on a clear day you can see all the way out the the Indian Ocean which is 81km away. Quite a view!
13. Nuwera Eliya Golf Club (45 mins from Singha Sanasa)
Fancy a game of golf? The Nuwara Eliya golf course has a interesting history. Built in 1889 it stretches across about 100 acres of land & was originally built amidst the tea plantations of this central highland region. As Nuwera Eliya is at an elevation of 6000 ft, apparently the ball does travel faster – at least 6 % faster. The course is a 18 hole, 6070 yard, Par 70 layout.
The course was built by a Scottish soldier of the Golan highlanders for the British servicemen and officials who were posted at Nuwara Eliya. It was completed in 1889 and has large changes in elevation. Its designed in a manner that you can never really let your guard down and that is what makes a game at the Nuwara Eliya course a fabulous experience.
The golf course is hemmed in by the city on all sides & you need to cross the road on more than one occassion to get to the next bunch of holes. The highest mountains in Sri Lanka are also located alongside the course – Piduruthalagalla (Mount Pedro), The Great Western and Haggala.
14. Kithulgala (white water rafting) (2hrs from Singha Sanasa)
Looking for adventure? Ktihulgala is located along the Kelani River and offers a range of activities from white water rafing to bird watching, jungle and rainforest trecks tomountain bikings and more. Movie buffs may be interested to know that the 'river' in the movie 'Bridge on the River Kwai' is indeed the Kelani River, and you can visit the location where the movie was filmed.
15. Eton Estate Falls (5 min drive, 15 min walk from Singha Sanasa)
Perhaps not as spectacular as some of the other waterfall attractions near Singha Sanasa, the waterfall on our estate is a great place to take a picnic and go for a dip in the refresing spring water.