Kaladiya Simple rustic charm well off the beaten track near to the Golden Temple at Dambulla and the other sites of the Cultural Triangle.

This hinterland bungalow in Raja Rata, with three double rooms (sleeping 8 people) is a real find. You're wrapped up in 140 acres of mango orchards. Stroll though them and you will be accompanied by butterflies and birds; come in season and you can pluck the fruit from the tree.

This is a newly-built house that's been nicely designed in the old colonial style, with a red tiled roof, a wrap-around veranda, shuttered windows and white-washed walls. A very informal place, so come to feel at home. It's simple yet comfortable, rural yet elegant. You'll find more than just a touch of style. Haansi Puutu (easy chairs) are sprinkled around the veranda, fresh flowers adorn the rooms and the odd piece of art hangs on the walls. Don't miss the night sky either.

Kaladiya makes a good base to explore the sites of the cultural triangle for those looking for something a bit more relaxed, rustic and remote.
Distance From Colombo : 150 km
There are three rooms, but four double beds (one room has two). You sleep in a little style: all rooms have wooden four-posters, each with its own mosquito net. There's air conditioning, though a cool breeze blows through Kaladiya at night, so you probably won't need it. Expect colourful bedspreads, big wooden cupboards, mats on the floor and screens on the windows. Delightfully simple bathrooms have terracotta-coloured plastered walls and steps up to deep baths and 24-hour hot water. The two larger bedrooms each have their own en-suite bathroom, but the smaller room does not and has to share with one of the other bedrooms making it only suitable for families.

One of the quirks of Kaladiya is that you can bring your own food with you. You can get pretty much whatever you want at Dambulla on your way in. However, we recommend the half-board option which makes life a lot easier! Breakfast is a choice of a full English spread with eggs and bacon, or a typical Sri Lankan one with Kola Kenda (porridge), string hoppers and chicken or fish curry. Lunch and dinner are both available upon request and there is a choice of Sri Lankan or basic Western fare. You eat in the light-filled dining room with views over a paddy field, though there's a summer house (a sort of giant, thatched parasol), and if you ask nicely, you can probably decamp out here.

Who goes:-
Visitors who want to experience the lifestyle of rural Sri Lanka and explore the cultural sites around Dambulla and Sigiriya, cricket fans who want to watch international cricket matches at the Dambulla Cricket Stadium, locals and foreigners who want to take a break and get away from it all. If you are tired of crowded hotels and long buffet queues, Kaladiya is the ideal choice!

Children are welcome. Under 6 year old children can stay free. Ideal for adventurous bigger kids who are not afraid of insects and lizards etc. Not as suitable for babies due to the insects.

When to go:-
January through September is probably the best time. July through September is ideal for elephant watching. Mid October through November and most of April and December can be quite wet due to inter-monsoon and monsoon weather patterns.

How long:-
For Two to four nights is ideal, but if you are really into wild life or the cultural sites, you may want to stay longer.

What to take:-
Mosquito repellent, walking shoes and a hat or cap, binoculars for bird watching.
Positive :
  • Sitting out on the veranda enjoying afternoon tea or a beer looking out over the paddy fields and banana crops in the distance
  • Peaceful (and remote) rural setting
  • Comfortable, homely rooms
Negative :
  • It can be difficult to find, so if you are hiring a driver, it would be useful if they were aware of it beforehand
  • You'll need a hire car to get here and to explore the surrounding sites
Activities :
  • Laze around, and enjoy the art of doing nothing!
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