Mahapelessa Madunagala Hot springs (මහපැලැස්ස මදුනාගල උනු දිය ලිං)

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Madunagala Hot Water Springs lie among vast paddy fields between Sooriyawewa and Ridiyagama, Today this hot water well is one of the most popular destinations for pilgrims to the South. The spring was first recorded by Leonard Woolf, Assistant Government Agent of Hambanthota (1908-11) in his diaries recording the haphazard journey through wild animal-infested jungles and boat rides to reach the hot spring where he had taken samples to be analyzed.

The spring was rediscovered again in the early 1960s with the Uda Walawe development project when the areas coming under the Walawe Basin were turned into a vast agricultural area. Embilipitiya was made the primary town of the project where several trunk roads from the main towns in surrounding Embilipitiya were terminated. Sooriyawewa, about 15 km east of Embilipitiya became the central hub of the left bank region of the Uda Walawe reservoir.

In the 1970’s number of elephant calf deaths by falling into the well were reported during the dry seasons. With most water sources drying up during the dry season, baby elephants who tried to satisfy their thirst from the Hot Spring had fallen into the well. With the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka making representations to the Mahaweli Authority two wells with walls were built surrounding the hot springs for males and females in the 1980’s.  These two wells were the only development this spring until the early 2000 and to access it you had to travel over gravel roads and cross a paddy field. Wild elephants were a frequent sight after dark.

In the 2000’s this spring was identified to be developed into a major tourist attraction. Today four wells have been built surrounding the main spring with varying degrees of temperature. The area is now landscaped and separate changing rooms and toilets for the two sexes also have been built. A play area, a mini zoo, and an aquarium have also been built for the children. To enter the area,  Rs 60 is charged from a local adult and Rs 300 from a foreigner.

Unfortunately, the site has been over-publicized and you will find  10-15 busloads of pilgrims during long holidays taking away the mystique of the location found before the turn of the century.

Also See

Map of Mahapelessa (Madunagala) Hot springs

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Travelling Directions to Mahapelessa (Madunagala) Hot Springs

Route from Colombo to Madunagala Hot Spring Route from Nonagama to Madunagala Hot Spring
Through : Panadura – Ratnapura
distance : 191 km
Travel time : 3-4 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Siyambalagoda
distance : 32 km
Travel time : 45 mins
Driving directions : see on google map


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