2018-10-18 26 People
Travelling through the island of Sri Lanka, you sometimes stumble upon places, you won´t find in the typical trip advisors and brochures. Places, that are still relatively untouched from mass tourism. Places, where you can still experience the original, natural and historical culture of Ceylon. One of these places is Mahiyangana. Located in the heart of Sri Lanka, it offers amazing landscapes, mountains and forests, untouched lands and the beautiful Mapakada Lake.
Right next to the lake, you can stay at Mapakada Village, a pretty and very appealing hotel with the best location and trip offers in the region. The view to the lake is simply fantastic and there is no traffic noise that disturbs your hiatus at Mahiyangana.
We arrived in the evening and spend the night in a cozy standard triple room with simple but very pretty wall decorations. It´s natural design, as well as the wooden furniture, are well-matched with the surroundings and flair of Mahiyangana.
The bathroom is equipped with a big shower and some nice hotel toiletries.
The deluxe rooms have some additional facilities and provide you a unbeatable view to Mapakada lake.
We had a very good sleep in the comfortable beds and were excited what the landscape around would look like in the morning. The answer is: stunning! The morning sun is bathing the lake and the forests around in a golden light.
We had the chance to enjoy this ambiance during our breakfast. Not only we could enjoy the view to Mapakada Lake, we actually had breakfast ON it. The hotel owns a boat with some seats and a table that you can use for having breakfast, lunch or even a romantic candlelight dinner, while floating on the calm and stunning waters.
Two very friendly and eager staff members joined us on the trip and served us a delicious and rich breakfast. It is a great thing to enjoy some scrambled egg and fruits, while watching the water birds taking their flights.
You can see impressive trees and pretty lotus flowers as you explore the lake and head back to the hotel. What a great way to start your day!
For lunch, they even prepared us food packages with European and Chinese snacks, so you can definitely be sure that you will find something that you like.
And that is only the beginning. There are so many things to do and places to explore, inside and outside the hotel.
If it´s your first day, you might want to try out the infinity pool for kids and adults, that overlooks the hotel garden and the lake.
I really loved this view and the pool blends in very well with the green surroundings, so instead of being isolated from the nature, you are truly surrounded by it, even while staying in the hotel.
If you prefer some sports activities, you can try out some games in the spacious garden of the hotel, such as cricket and badminton.
To rest, you can lay in the rustic and charming hammock right next to the lake and watch the birds passing the garden.
When it comes to water activities, there is the possibility to rent a kayak and explore the beautiful surroundings of Mapakada lake. Go bird watching and discover the beauty of nature. Maybe you are lucky see to elephants taking a bath at the shores of the lake.
Or join the local fisherman and catch your own lunch and let it be prepared by the hotel. If you are in the mood for another great dining location, there is a beautiful tree house close by where you can have a meal while having a great view to the Mahiyangana surroundings. Afterwards, you might want to go on and adventurous hiking tour in the area.
Even if this part of Sri Lanka is still quite infamous compared to other regions, the name Mahiyangana is known for one thing: The Veddhas. The first people of Sri Lanka, populating the country long time before Singhalese and Tamil, are one of the few still existing indigenous populations in the world. They are following a lifestyle close to the nature and with ancient traditions.
Close to Mahiyangana, in the village of Dambana, you can visit the Veddhas and learn about their life, beliefs and values or maybe watch traditional dancing and singing ceremonies.
If you prefer to explore Mahiyangana, the Raja Maha Viharaya temple is highly recommended. It is not only a beautiful buddhist temple, it also has a big historical value. According to beliefs, Gautama Buddha came here during his first visit to Sri Lanka and left a hair strand as a proof of his presence, which became a part of the first stupa in Sri Lanka.
The Olagamgala Archaelogical Reserve, which can be reached within 10 minutes by car from the hotel, lets you explore ancient caves and imagine antique life and sceneries.
If you are more into discovering raw and untouched nature, go on a hike to the Rathna Elle Water Falls. The track leads you through beautiful landscapes and in the end you reach the majestic cascades of water gushing between the rocks.
There are also 3 National Parks close by, for example the Maduru Oya Park. Would you like to see elephants? THIS is a must-see for you! You can not only watch the large population of amicable elephants, but also buffalos, monkeys, fowls, sloth bears and even leopards! This place is definitely worth a visit and you can easily reach it from Mapakada Village within 25 minutes.