Kuruwita is a town in the Ratnapura District of Sabaragamuwa Province. It is located at the A4 main road, 10 km north of Ratnapura and 87 km south-east of Colombo.
Kuruwita is not at all a major tourist destination and it’s not an intersting place in itself, but worth to stay here a day or two to avoid the crowds and see some off-the-beaten-track places in its surrounding.
Kuruwita’s main attraction are the very picturesque Bopath Ella and Dondan Ella waterfalls just a few kilometres outside town. Bopath Ella, also a bathing place, is very popular with Sri Lankan travellers, mainly from Colombo, however, foreign tourists seem not to know this beautiful spot in the tropical jungles.
Another attraction just outside town, but at the other side of the main road, is the Royal Temple of Delgamuwa, once the hiding place of the Sacred Tooth Relic, before it was transferred to Kandy. Thus, this typical Sinhalese temple is of some significance for the island’s history and for Buddhism.
Kuruwita is well-known among pilgrims, as it is the starting point of the Kuruwita Erathna Trail, which is one of the three major trails to Siri Pada (Adam's Peak). Trail Head is Trail Head is Adevikanda, Erathna. Erathna is at the en of a cul-de-sac branching off from the A12 at Kuruwita’s main junction.
Two interesting caves can be seen at sideroads of this cul-de-sac, namely Batadomba Lena and Batatota Lena, both of them important prehistoric sites, where remains of the Balangoda culture were excavated. Additionally, Batatota Lena, under the name of “Divaguhawa”, has become a major Buddhist pilgrimage site, because it is believed to be one of the places in Sri Lanka visited by the Buddha.
Kuruwita is the home of one of Sri Lanka’s renowned anthropologists, former Director-General of Archaeology Dr. Siran Upendra Deraniyagala (born 1942), a specialist for Balangoda culture. Deraniyagala became famous in 1968, when he discovered ancient human burials in Pahiyangala (Fa Hien Cave). He received an MA at the University of Cambridge and a postgraduate Diploma at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, and his PhD at Harvard University.
In May, a series of four blogposts will describe the above-mentioned four attractions in Kuruwita and its immediate surrounding in some more detail.
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