Dowa Temple

The highlight of the charming Dowa Temple, 5km east of town, is a 4m-high standing Buddha cut into the rock face. The walls of the adjacent cave shrine, carved from solid rock, are covered with excellent Sri Lankan–style Buddhist murals. It's said that King Valagamba (Vattajamini Ahhya) took refuge here in the 1st century BC during his 14-year exile from Anuradhapura. Legend also has it that a secret underground tunnel stretches from this temple all the way to Kandy.

The temple, which is on the road to Badulla, is easy to miss (and the tunnel even easier) if you’re coming by bus, so ask the bus conductor to tell you when to alight.

Ravana waterfall

The popular hill resort of Ella with its views, Ravana waterfall and cosy cafés catering for young-at-heart tourists and backpackers is 12km by road or train from Bandarawela. To the south the former Boer prisoner of war camp and now a naval and military outpost is 6km distant in the forested valley of Diyatalawa.

Lipton’s Seat

Near the Dambatenne tea factory, the Lipton’s Seat lookout rivals the views from World’s End (and it’s free). The Scottish tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton used to survey his burgeoning empire from here.

Take the signed narrow paved road from the tea factory and climb about 7km through lush tea plantations to the lookout. From the tea factory the ascent should take about 2½ hours. The earliest bus leaves Haputale at 6.30am. Look forward to the company of Tamil tea pickers going off to work as you walk uphill to Lipton’s Seat.

Adisham Bungalow

A four km drive from Haputale will lead you to Adisham, a monastery run by Benedictine Monks. Wrapped in the tranquility of the misty hills, Adisham Bungalow attracts every eye that falls on it. The pages of history reveal that the creator of this enthralling place is Sir Thomas Lister Villiers. Sir Thomas Lister Villiers was born in 1869 in Adisham, an ancient village which lies in the hollow of the Kent country side. He was the son of Reverend Prebendary Henry Montegu Villiers who belonged to Clarendon family and his mother was Lady Victoria Russell the daughter of (Grandfather of Sir Thomas Lister Villiers) who was twice the prime minister of Britain (1846 - 52, & 1865 – 66). As leader of the Whig party, he was most responsible for changing its name to the Liberal Party.