buttala river background image

Rivers of
Living Water

Rivers of Living Water

River of tall giants

A cascading mountain range lends a lofty aura to the river that begins atop the island’s central hills and meanders through Buttala before it cuts through two National Parks, Yala and Kumana before climaxing in an eternal embrace with the mighty Indian Ocean. The river covers a distance of about 117kms, never runs dry and is a popular camp site at it estuary in Arugam Bay, the island’s most popular surfing destination. A special feature of the river is the giant Kumbuk Trees which lines the river.

Suspension Bridge

An adrenalin pumping suspension bridge connects the hamlet of Dmbeyaya to the Yala Buffer Zone, across Kumbukkan Oya, whose name inspired the famous KumbukRiver Resort, in the vicinity of the bridge. Here you begin a breathtaking walk to Weli Ara - a beautiful tank frequented by Yala’s mighty elephants.

buttala bridge background

Weli Ara
Tank

Weli Ara Tank

buttala river and bridge
buttala river view

An adrenalin pumping suspension bridge connects the hamlet of Dmbeyaya to the Yala Buffer Zone, across Kumbukkan Oya, whose name inspired the famous KumbukRiver Resort, in the vicinity of the bridge. Here you begin a breathtaking walk to Weli Ara - a beautiful tank frequented by Yala’s mighty elephants.

Handapanagala
Tank

boat background
boat background

Buttala and its environs are replete with nature’s bounty including several picturesque tanks, large and small. About 4kms off Handapangala Junction on Buttala-Wellawaya Road is the Handapangala Tank, a favorite hangout for fishermen and elephants, who tend to keep to opposite ends and enjoy the serene vistas of nature. An idyllic for picnics, bird watching and spotting elephants, this large tank mutes testimony to a land blessed on one hand while being torn asunder by harsh realities of life.

Habessa
Ancient Caves

Habessa Ancient Caves

Lord Buddha statue
Lord Buddha Statue

Barely 3 kms into the forest across the river from KumbukRiver Resort is Habessa Caves offering telltale signs of a great bygone civilization. A recumbent statute of Lord Buddha remain mutilated, yet again, by fortune hunters but the caves offer a great experience to explorers. The ceiling of a cave is adorned with paintings depicting lasses similar to the beauties of Sigiriya.

A trek through the jungle may not be complete without sighting wild elephants.

World’s finest
gemstones

River of
Gems

Buffalo
Yoghurt

World’s finest gemstones

buttala gem mining
buttala gem mining

Sri Lanka has been famous for its rich brand of gemstones from time immemorial and the sleepy hamlet of Okkampitiya, as well as, the riversides of Kumbuk River and Menik River are among the hotspots. Mining is an organized trade while some locals too are in the habit of seeking their own fortune - running the risk of a visit to the Police Station.

River of Gems

river flow
river flow

The River of Gems (Menik Ganga) begins from the famous Namunukula Mountain Range and passes through Pelwatte and Kataragama meeting the Indian Ocean at the eastern end of Yala.

Buffalo Yoghurt

curd and honey
curd and honey

At a distance you may fool yourself into thinking that you may be spotting the elephant kind, but Buttala’s buffalo community too is thriving. Buffalo milk is the source of the legendary Buffalo curd, a variety of local yoghurt steeped in history.

The fermentation process of Buffalo Curd is quite fascinating and you’d do well to visit a household that produces it as a family business. Don’t forget to savor the mouthwatering combination of curd and honey – the all-time favorite desert of Kings and all Sri Lankans.