More About Bandarawela

History

History of the Bandarawela area is coming from the time of great Sinhalese King Walagamba who fell back and regrouped in the Dhowa area to fight against Indian attackers called “solli”. During the period of British colonial era, the city occurred rapid development of the infrastructures and human resources due to tea plantations and migration of the British and other local people to this area.
Originally Bnadarawela is one of the Sinhalese motherlands before the establishment of tea plantations under British administration. But today there is a mix culture due to the migration of Tamils to the plantation sector as laborers from India under British colonial times. Bandarawela famous as having been the camp in Ceylon of the Boer prisoners of war and some of the buildings erected for the temporary accommodation of the captives are now used in connection with the permanent camp health recuperation established here for the Navy , military and volunteers. There is few buildings remain which were built in the British colonial period with British architectural influence such as Bandarawela Hotel,Cargiles building, post office, etc.

Heritage

The main heritage sites in and around Bandarawela are ancient Dhowa Buddhist rock temple, Bandarawela Roman Catholic Church, St. Anthony’s Church, and Methodist church Bandarawela. Dhowa ancient rock temple is squeezed between Bandarawela – Badulla road and the stream in the bottom of the valley. It is lacated about 6km away from the Bandarawela city.The cliff face has an incomplete carving of a large standing Buddha statue with an exquisitely carved face, while inside the cave there are murals & first century BC inscriptions. The inner cave has a “House of Cobra”

Geography and climate

During colonial times, the picturesque town of Bandarawela was once hailed as possessing one of the healthiest climates in the world, & nothing much has happened here to change that. Therein is the most favourable climate in the island. Geographically, the Bandarawela area is hilly and surrounded by the large number of mountains in Uva and Central Province.According to the local climatic zone classifications, Bandarawela is classified under Up Country Intermediate Zone (UCIZ) which is spread over the Badulla and Moneragala Districts. The elevation above sea level at Bandarawela is 1300 m, the annual average rainfall is between 1100 and 1400 mm and the monthly average temperature are between 15 ºC (in February) and 27 ºC (in May and June). The Bandarawela area consists mainly at Red Yellow Podzolic soils which are strongly acidic and favorable for the tea plantation.

Demography

Bandarawela is a Sinhala majority city; there are sizeable communities belonging to other ethnic groups, such as Indian Tamils, Sri Lanka Moors and Sri Lanka Tamils.

NO Ethnicity Population % of Total
1 Sinhala
46,843
72.42
2 Indian Tamils
10,521
16.26
3 Sri Lankan Tamil
3,647
5.63
4 Moors
3,127
4.83
5 Malays
267
0.41
6 Burghers
147
0.22
7 Other
123
0.19
Total
64,675
100

 

 

Religion

Bandarawela area has multi religious population. Buddhism and Hinduism constitute majority of the religious faith. There is also a minority of Islams and catholics. Pushparama Buddhist temple, Sri Sivasubramania Swamy Kovil and Masjid Mohideen Muslim mosque are the main religious places situated in and around Bandarawela Urban area. There is also three catholic churches which has long historical background with colonial periods situated very close to the city.

Religion
Persent
Buddhism
70.92
Hinduism
18.31
Islam
5.44
Roman catholic
4.13
Other Christians
1.15
Other
0.02

 

Economy

The main livelihood of the people living in this community is agriculture farming and tea plantation. Majority of the people are directly involved in farming and some are working as laborers in tea estates. There is large tea plantations which produce worlds best quality tea for the foreign tea market to earn vast income for Sri Lankan economy. Although Vegetable gardens also used to be a common sight around the town, vegetable cultivation presently generate good income for the farmers due to high vegetable prices in local market. About one tenth of the population works for government, private establishments and run their own businesses. So the majority of the people in the area fall in the low and middle income groups.

Education

During the second world war, many families moved to Bandarawela as leading schools in Colombo such as Visakha Vidyalaya and Royal College completely shifted to Bandarawela due to the fear caused by the Japanese bombs. This caused to improve the education background of the people in Bandarawela. Bandarawela has good education background to generate intelligent people for the country’s development. It consists of many popular schools in the Badulla district with better facilities for primary and secondary education. Bandarawela Central college is the most popular and best school in the Uva province. It is annually generate hundreds of university students for local universities . It is one of the oldest colleges in Badulla district as well. Some of the other popular schools are Little Flower Convent, Vishaka girls school, and St. Joseph college Bandarawela. These schools are governed by the central government of Sri Lanka. There are also two private schools which are popular in island wide. They are St. Thomes college Bandarawela and St. Thomes college Guruthalawa.
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