Peradeniya Sangili Palama : Hanging Bridge (පේරාදෙණිය සංගිලි පාලම)

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Peradeniya Suspension Bridge (Sangili Palama)
Peradeniya Suspension Bridge (Sangili Palama)
Photograph by Rilwan Saeed

Sangili Palama is a type of a narrow suspension bridge (hanging bridge)  which lies across rivers in various part of Sri Lanka. The ancient Sangili Palama’s were built using large ropes but now steel cables are used in building these bridges.  These bridges are so narrow only pedestrians can use them and most of the time barely 2 people can pass each other. Wooden planks are laid across the cables but in most cases due to non maintenance some planks can be found missing creating gaping holes. the  The thrill of a Sangili Palama is the walking across it with the whole bridge bouncing with every steps and swaying side to side. With the bouncing and swinging increasing as you move towards the center of the bridge with rattling notices from stretching cables and loose planks , most people find walking across these types of suspensions bridges nerve wrecking.

There are few long and popular suspension bridges in Sri Lanka. Some of them are Peradeniya Hanging Bridge across Mahaweli Ganga and the Ruwanwella Sangili Palama across Kelani Ganga which is believed to be the the longest in the country.

Peradeniya Sangili Palama lies across the mighty Mahaweli Ganga (River) connecting the Peradeniya Botanical Garden and the Gannoruwa School of Agriculture. Two pairs of 9.5 meter high steel pillars hold the steel cables of the 127 meter long bridge.  It has been built in 1931, during the British rule of then Ceylon.

This bridge lies a at the far end of the Peradeniya Botanical Garden. Walking straight in to the garden from the entrance, you will come to the great circular park. Continuing straight through this park brings you to the Royal Palm Avenue, adorned with tall palm trees on both sides. The bridge lies at the far end of this road where it meets the Mahaweli River. This is about a 1.2 km walk from the entrance.

Peradeniya Suspension Bridge (Sangili Palama)
Peradeniya Suspension Bridge (Sangili Palama)
Photograph by Elios Amati

Also See

Map of  Peradeniya Sangili Palama

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Travel Directions to Peradeniya Sangili Palama

Kandy can be reached from Colombo on the old Colombo – Kandy road (option 1) which is scenic but heavy in traffic, especially on Fridays and Sundays. However, the new Central Expressway (option 2) has opened up a new route which is longer but less cumbersome.

Route 1 from Colombo to KandyRoute 2 from Colombo to Kandy
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala
Distance :150 km
Travel time: 3.20 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala
Distance :150 km
Travel Time: 3.20 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Route From Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
Through : Walapane – Raja Mawatha
Distance :100 km
Travel Time : 3.0 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Route from Kandy Railway to Peradeniya Sangili Palama (up to the entrance of the Peradeniya Gardens)
Though : William Gopallawa Mawatha
Distance : 5.3 km
Travel time : 15 mins
Driving directions : see on google map


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