Kitulgala Overview


  • Country: Sri Lanka
  • Location: Sabaragamuwa Province
  • Mean Sea Level: Approximately 60 meters (197 feet) above sea level
  • Type of Activity: Adventure sports, nature exploration
  • Area: Kitulgala town covers around 10 square kilometers
  • Coordinates: 6.9885° N latitude, 80.4190° E longitude

Kitulgala is a small town known for its lush rainforests and adventure sports, located in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. It gained fame as the filming location for the Oscar-winning movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” The Kelani River is a hotspot for white-water rafting, attracting adventure enthusiasts looking to experience the thrill of navigating its rapids. Other popular activities include kayaking, canyoning, and waterfall abseiling, making Kitulgala a prime destination for adrenaline seekers.

The surrounding forests of Kitulgala are perfect for bird watching, jungle trekking, and exploring hidden waterfalls. The area is rich in biodiversity, with numerous endemic species of flora and fauna. Visitors can also explore the Belilena Cave, an archaeological site where prehistoric human remains were discovered. Kitulgala’s combination of thrilling activities and serene natural beauty offers a unique escape for those looking to immerse themselves in the outdoors.

Top Activities in Kitulgala

  • White-Water Rafting on the Kelani River: Experience the thrill of navigating the rapids on one of Sri Lanka’s most popular rafting rivers.
  • Kayaking: Enjoy a peaceful or adventurous kayaking trip along the scenic Kelani River.
  • Canyoning: Engage in the exciting activity of exploring canyons, including rappelling and climbing.
  • Waterfall Abseiling: Descend waterfalls using ropes and harnesses, a thrilling activity for adventure seekers.
  • Jungle Trekking: Explore the lush rainforests of Kitulgala, discovering diverse flora and fauna along the way.
  • Bird Watching: Observe a variety of bird species in the rich biodiversity of Kitulgala’s forests.
  • Visiting Belilena Cave: Explore this archaeological site where prehistoric human remains were found.
  • Exploring Hidden Waterfalls: Discover and enjoy the beauty of secluded waterfalls in the area.
  • Nature Photography: Capture the stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant plant life of Kitulgala.
  • Camping: Spend a night under the stars in the serene natural surroundings of Kitulgala.
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