Kitulgala

Kitulgala is located about 80 kilometres from Colombo on the A7 main road that runs to Nuwara Eliya via Avissawella. Kitulgala is a pleasant town set amidst green hills thick with tropical vegetation. The name Kitulgala itself is derived from the Kitul palm tree, groves of which are abound in the expanses. Kitul sap is concentrated and then crystallized to produce jaggery. Kitul sap is also fermented to make palm wine
Kithulgala is a small town in the west. 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 and also popular as a location for adventure based training programs.
The Kelani river is wide at Kitulgala, but it is shallow apart from a deep channel near the opposite bank, so in the drier months it provides a safe and attractive place to swim, wash and play.
The river can be crossed by walking out across the shallows and crossing the deep channel in a dugout canoe, which is stabilised with an outrigger.
Sri Lanka's most recently discovered bird, the Serendib scops owl was originally heard calling by Deepal Warakagoda in these forests.
The hills above the rubber plantations also have mountain hawk eagle, crested treeswift and Layard's parakeet.
 


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