Mahiyanganaya, a gem nestled in the eastern slopes of the central hills

Mahiyanganaya, (a Pali word when translated means flatland) is an ancient city steeped with natural beauty, coupled with great historical and cultural significance, unknown to many travellers. The city features large open spaces of land, lush grasslands, arable land, picturesque lakes and manmade reservoirs against the backdrop of large mountainous terrains of the central hills. Supporting the region’s agricultural economy, the longest river in Sri Lanka, the Mahaweli flows through this beautiful city, replenishing and nourishing its abundant plant, animal and human life.

Steeped in historical significance

Historic chronicles of ancient Sri Lanka in the Mahawansa reveal that Lord Buddha visited the Mahiyanganaya Raja Maha Viharaya on his first visit to the island on a Duruthu (January) full moon Poya day to resolve a dispute between pre-historic inhabitants belonging to the Yaksha, Naga and Deva tribes. Today, this temple is regarded as one of the 16 most sacred temples in the country and is declared as an archaeological site.

Rich in culture

Located about 19 km off Mahiyanganaya, in Dambana bordering the Maduru Oya sanctuary lies one of the world’s oldest aboriginal tribes, known as the ‘Vedda’ community. A minority population of about 1000 individuals at present reside enjoying the natural habitat, seclusion and protection of the forests. Peek into the unique culture and traditions of these indigenous people and observe how they hunt and gather, cook in open-air fires, collect bees-honey, engage in traditional song and dance – a few of the rare opportunities to be witnessed whilst in Mahiyanganaya.

An abundance of nature and wildlife

Situated within a short 30min drive lies Rathna Ella waterfall, a truly mind-blowing experience accompanied by a scenic hike of about 3km both ways. The hike is about 1.5hours in duration and takes one through lush paddy fields, forests and streams leading up to the awe-inspiring waterfall that gushes in drapes of water, a truly serenely experience worth the effort.

Moreover, the Wasgamuwa and the Maduru Oya National Parks are located within an hour’s drive from Mahiyanganaya. Both national parks are home to numerous wildlife species from over 100 species of birds to herds of elephants, the purple-faced langur monkeys, wild boar, sambar, spotted deer, buffalo including leopards and sloth bears on rare occasions. Take a boat safari over Sri Lanka’s largest lake, at the Gal Oya National Park and discover elephants swimming between islands and exceptional birdlife including migratory birds that swell their ranks from December to April.

A spectacular drive

Situated approximately 5 hours (about 245km) from the capital city of Colombo, the drive to Mahiyanganaya is yet another spectacular experience. The popular Mahiyanganaya- Kandy road can be accessed through the historical city of Kandy. Commonly referred to as the ‘road that needs both your hands on the wheel all the time’ or the ‘daha ata vanguwa’ in Sinhala is a winding road with 18 arduous hairpin bends leading up to Mahiyanganaya. A 41km stretch through the 18 bends, is a challenging yet scenic drive with a couple of lookout points on top of the mountains gazing down to the beautiful valley of Mahiyanganaya. During a road redevelopment conducted in 2011, the number of hairpin bends was reduced to 16 from 18, yet it continues to be a very popular drive among tourists and local travellers alike.

The base for an adventurous road trip

Another interesting aspect about Mahiyanganaya is that it is a central location that connects a traveller to many other tourist destinations of interest within a drive of 2-3hours from Mahiyanganaya, making it an ideal base for an adventurous road trip of Sri Lanka. Mahiyanganaya is situated within 1.5hours from Ella, 2hours from Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla and within 2-2.5 hours from Yala and Arugambay.

Experience the best of Mahiyanganaya with Mapakada Village

Situated just 15mins away from the Mahiyanganaya town lies the secluded getaway – Mapakada Village, a sprawling property overlooking the serene Mapakada Lake with an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife.

Mapakada Village is a four-star contemporary resort with tasteful elements that pay homage to its locale. The resort has a large garden with numerous flora and fauna including an infinity pool overlooking the lake. It comprises of 14 well-appointed rooms with views of the garden, infinity pool, wildlife and the lake. It is an ideal retreat for individuals, couples, families and friends seeking to have a memorable holiday away from the busy city life amidst the solitude of nature and an array of unique experiences.

“Mahiyanganaya is truly a spectacular city that is not widely spoken of. It is a locale that has something for everyone. If you’re looking for adventure, nature, wildlife, history, culture or simply a relaxing holiday – Mahiyanganaya has got it all. At Mapakada Village we carefully curate our guest experiences to allow guests to immerse in what Mahiyanganaya truly is. Our ‘wewa addara’ lake fish restaurant is a speciality restaurant that serves traditional Sri Lankan style dishes on a Banana leaf that enhances the flavour of the food, for example. We also offer the guest the flexibility to dine anywhere they like, at the restaurant, lunch by the lake, on a treetop, high tea and picnic by the lake, sunset cocktails, barbeque under the stars, breakfast in bed or on a boat –anywhere and in any setting, they prefer. The resort is designed to give guests the privacy and seclusion they seek whilst being attentive to their individual needs. We also arrange for excursions to many places of interests from the magnificent Rathna Ella waterfall, village tours to game safaris and more. Our staff is ready to welcome you to experience Mahiyanganaya with Mapakada Village” Said Mr Kumudula De Silva, Managing Director, Mapakada Village.

To find out more about how to book your next holiday at Mapakada Village, call our reservations team on +94 777 926 790 or email [email protected] and avail yourself of a special discount with the offer code ‘MVPR20’.

The post Mahiyanganaya, a gem nestled in the eastern slopes of the central hills appeared first on Adaderana Biz English | Sri Lanka Business News.

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Author: Isma Izzath
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