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kitulgala

Kitulgala

Kitulgala is a small town in the west of Sri Lanka. It is in the wet zone rain forest, which gets two monsoons each year, and is one of the wettest places in the country. Nevertheless, it comes alive in the first three months of the year, especially in February, the driest month. The Academy Award-winning The Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed on the Kelani River near Kitulgala, although nothing remains now except the concrete foundations for the bridge (and, supposedly, the submerged train cars that plunged into the river in the climactic scene). Kitulgala is also a base for white-water rafting, which starts a few kilometres upstream.

The Academy Award-winning film “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was filmed on the Kelani River near Kitulgala, although nothing remains now except the concrete foundations for the bridge (and, supposedly, the submerged train cars that plunged into the river in the climactic scene) is still attracting travellers to the town.

The beautiful tributary of the Kelani River, over which the bridge was built is still attracting fans to the town. Other attractions include Keleni Forest Reserve a bird watching location.

Kitulgala Forest Reserve [area: 263ha; altitude: 100-820m; annual rainfall: 3500-5250mm; temperature: 27 degrees Celsius] is similar to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sinharaja Tropical Rain Forest (6648ha) of Sri Lanka, though it doesnt spread as extensively as the latter. The ornithologists and birders searching for lowland endemic species of birds would find Kitulgala Forest Reserve an ideal nature attraction for their purposes.

Trekking

There is an exhilarating trekking opportunity through the virgin forests, lush green tea estates & gurgling waters. 5 km ahead are caves called Beli-lena lying beneath a waterfall where you could have a plunge. In these partly excavated caves several skeletons of Modern Man & pre-historic tools have been found dating back 28,000 years. Though area around the caves is a wonderful site to watch birds & butterflies, but the interior of the caves are full of dangers: cobras & vipers. Still ahead is the pleasing view of Kitulgala Tea Estate

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