Doctor Ajantha Senevirathna also known as Dr. AJ, was born and grew up in Walapane, Sri Lanka and he knows the region as well as any local. Having travelled the world both professionally and for leisure, Dr. AJ has more than a reasonable understanding of the worth and beauty of the area of his birth.
Although Dr.AJ has lived overseas since 2002, he continues to visit Walapane when the opportunity permits and often brings his friends from abroad with him. He has noticed over the course of these visits that it doesn’t take long for his companions to fall in love with the wonderland that is Walapane and its surrounds.
The reaction of his friends over the years and his own love of the region is what spawned the idea of constructing a small, boutique, tourist hotel in the region and that is how Auslink Hotel Sri Lanka came to be.
The name ‘Auslink’ represents the link between Dr.AJ’s current country of residence (Australia) and the place where he was born. The hotel logo (as seen on the picture above) with the infinite knot signifies this link. As a Buddhist, Dr.AJ also acknowledges the knot as a representation of endless love, affection, honesty and kindness- all of which you will experience at Auslink Hotel.
Sri Lanka is a country of rare beauty with many wonderful places to visit; destinations ranging from awe inspiring splendor to the magical and mystical. Auslink Hotel is well placed as a jumping off point for a visit to many of these attractions.
Walapane town in which Auslink Hotel is situated is approximately 3,000 feet above sea level and is ringed by a range of mountains. The breathtakingly beautiful valley in which the town sits is always green due to its rich fertile soil and the rain which falls throughout the year. Rivers, lakes and waterfalls decorate the landscape and eventually feed into the ‘Randenigala’ inland water reservoir which is visible from the 360-degree panoramic lookout situated on the rooftop of Auslink Hotel.
Some of the better-known and unique local attractions are the ‘Golumale Rock Pools’ which are found in the local river bed, ‘Kurunduoya waterfall’ and the ‘Randenigala Wildlife Reserve’.
‘Mini World’s End’ is another magical and awe inspiring local attraction. After climbing an easy nature trail, you can view one of the largest landscapes in the area from the edge of this steep escarpment. It is like being in the clouds and looking into a deep abyss. This spectacular location is only about a half hour drive from the hotel. You can visit in your own car or as part of a tour.
Up in the hills above Walapane is a Japanese Government sponsored peace temple. It is an easy one kilometre walk or a ten-minute drive from the hotel. There are then around four hundred steps up to the temple. When in residence, a Japanese Buddhist monk may be seen climbing down from the temple to the town early in the morning to collect his breakfast from the alms givers all the while chanting and drumming. This is a very humbling event to witness and well worth the visit.
A visit to ‘Kurundu Oya Waterfall’(at 189m the second largest waterfall in Sri Lanka) is a day trip by four-wheel drive from Auslink Hotel. The area through which you pass is breathtaking – it is a location unlike any other. Whilst enjoying the panoramic views from the mountains as you travel, you will pass through some of Sri Lanka’s famous tea plantations which provide a spectacular display of green terraces. Once you arrive at the waterfall you will be amazed at the majesty of this wonder of nature, you can even get up close and personal with the falls if you wish. A recently-built hydro power station in this area is also worth a visit.
Speaking of tea, one of the local tea manufacturers, ‘Lover’s Leap Tea Factory’ operates as a tourist destination. Guests are warmly welcomed and can take a tour through the full factory process with an English speaking guide. The tour also includes tasting a fresh cup of pure Ceylon tea – a must for any visitor to the region.
As mentioned earlier, ‘Golumale Rock Pools’ is an amazing site near the village of Walapane. The name given to the place is due to a large rock pool with a couple of holes in it through which all of the water from the river passes at one end and emerges again from the other side (see the video “Golumale” on auslinkhotel.com). The feature can only be seen when the water level is reasonably low. At other times,it is submerged in the river bed but even then, the location is worth a visit.
The whole area around Golumale is a wonderland surrounded by glorious evergreen vegetation. On one side of the river there is a wildlife sanctuary. Tree-houses have been built along this human and wildlife interface to enable the locals to keep an eye on their crops by day and night. A fence along the river bank also helps control the elephants in the sanctuary and it is one of the safest places for visitors to view elephants in their natural habitat, particularly during the late evening.
For the more adventurous, you can even sleep in one of the tree-houses. The villagers are more than happy to meet, greet and feed guests during a visit to this area. Or perhaps you would rather get back to a comfortable hotel bed as night moves in.
For visitors who like to maintain their fitness regime while they are on holiday with an outdoor workout, some of the activities that are available in Walapane are water sports and fresh water fishing, golf, hiking and mountain climbing. Or perhaps a visit to Auslink Hotel’s fully equipped gym is preferable to guests who want to keep up with their exercise regime indoors.
The climate in Walapane is one of the best in the country. The median daytime temperature ranges from 20-25 degrees and drops down to around 15 degrees at night – perfect sleeping weather. Mosquitos, flies and other pests are unlikely to spoil your sleep or your holiday while you are staying in the mountains at Walapane.
Auslink Hotel has 30 well appointed rooms. There is a range to choose from, depending upon your requirements and budget. You can enjoy your visit whilst staying in the basic room which is very well appointed or why not try our deluxe or luxury rooms? There are unimpeded views from the top floor units and from the panoramic lookout on the rooftop.
But the hotel is not just rooms and corridors, there are also a number of common or lounge areas available – somewhere for guests to rest and relax in quiet contemplation or mingle if they wish. The rooftop of the hotel and the panoramic lookout also provide areas for guests to spend time and relax whilst enjoying the view. Two staircases and an elevator provide easy access to all these areas.
Auslink Hotel’s facilities include a large lobby area, a bakery, a restaurant, and a laundry service for guests. The hotel has a large reception hall with capacity for 300 people, with another reception area available for smaller groups. The hotel also has a number of driver allocated bedrooms which can be included at minimal or no cost in packaged bookings for hotel guests.
All types of Sri Lankan delights are produced in the hotel’s onsite bakery and the head chef’s menu includes a range of local food that is enough to satisfy any visitor wishing to sample the culinary pleasures of Sri Lankan cuisine. One happy guest was quoted as saying “We were very pleasantly surprised with the range of Sri Lankan delights and fare offered to us during our stay and even when we craved good old fashioned sausages and eggs, they also magically appeared”.
Most of the vegetables cooked in the hotel as well as seasonal fruits come from the hotel’s own farm located in the nearby hills. While the cattle at the farm also contribute to the milk supply. Honey, sugar and toddy produced from the extracts of naturally occurring palm trees in this area are also available to try during the season.
As well as providing this produce for the hotel, the farm is the location of a secluded and comfortable hillside bungalow which can be booked through the hotel for a single person, family or group stay. This farm bungalow is the perfect location for a quiet retreat for those wishing to ‘get away from it all’.
The small village of Walapane is a perfect stepping off point for a visit to some of Sri Lanka’s better and lesser known tourist destinations. About one hour’s drive to the South, is the popular tourist city of ‘Nuwara-Eliya’ which has acquired the nick name ‘little England’ due to its cool climate and weather – misty and windy at times just like England!
‘Piduruthalagala Summit’, the highest point in Sri Lanka, is another spectacular site that one can visit from Walapane. It is worth noting that a security area at the top will prevent you from climbing the last few metres but it is still worth the visit.
To the North is the most sacred city of ‘Kandy’ which is the second largest city in Sri Lanka. The drive which passes through the beautiful countryside, can take up to two hours but is well worth the trip. It is an easy journey as the road system is well constructed and maintained even though it is hilly and winding. There are a number of other places to visit along the way to Kandy – hotel staff can advise on these. Local attractions in Kandy include the most sacred temple called ‘Dalada Maligawa’ (temple of tooth relic of Lord Buddha).
From Kandy it is an easy trip to other major cities of the country including the capital city of ‘Colombo’ (about a three-hour drive from Kandy).
To the west of Walapane, is the town called ‘Mahiyanganaya’ which is about forty -five minute drive by car. This area has the most tropical weather in Sri Lanka with higher temperatures and humidity. The day time temperature reaches the low thirties and at night it can remain at around 25 degrees. From Mahiyanganaya it is only about a half hour drive to ‘Dambana’ the indigenous people’s village of Sri Lanka – a very attractive and popular tourist site. While the world class surfing beach Arugam Bay is only a few hours drive from Mahiyanganaya.
A one and a half hour drive to the East of Walapane is the location of ‘Dunhinda Waterfall’. It is then a further one hour walk through a cool temperate rain forest to the waterfall itself. Along the path there are rest areas and boutiques where you can stop and rest and buy snacks and drinks. When you arrive at the falls it is possible to get quite close to the water – you can even reach out and touch it.
‘Badulla’, the capital city of the ‘Uva’ province is only about 15-minute drive from the Dunhinda Waterfall and you can complete a round trip via ‘Nuwara-Eliya’ to Walapane.
‘Ella’, another popular tourist site is a further half hour drive. It is also possible to reach the‘Bandarawela, Haputhale’ area for sightseeing. And worth remembering that in whichever direction you travel in Sri Lanka you will ultimately reach the beaches on the coastline as Sri Lanka is a small island. Nothing is very far away.
The team at Auslink Hotel invite you to visit and spend some time in Walapane with them. This could be as part of your Sri Lankan adventure tour or as a holiday destination in its own right to this most beautiful up country area of Sri Lanka.
The Auslink Hotel team understand that holidays are for happiness, fun, relaxation, serenity and recharge and this is why they dedicate their services to making that dream a reality. So why wait, come and stay. Guests are guaranteed a warm welcome when they arrive and some wonderful memories to take with them when they leave!
Auslink Hotel is proud to include local government agencies as well as non-governmental agencies (NGOs) working in the region as frequent guests at the hotel – there is no other comparable facility or service in the area. World vision Australia is one such NGO that has used the hotel as its base to conduct programs and provide education and training from time-to-time.
Of the hotel, one of the chief Buddhist monks in a local temple says “The people of Walapane are eternally grateful to Dr.Senevirathna and his family for their investment in the local community and the charity work also undertaken. No one has ever embarked upon such a big project in the area. The hotel provides not only facilities and services for guests and the local community but also employment opportunities to the people of Walapane”.
For more information and bookings please see the “book now” section of our website: www.Auslinkhotel.com
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E-mail us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may ring the hotel directly on 0094 52 2279403
Hotel fax number is 0094 52 2279402