Mandaramnuwara – the ‘Foggy City’ | Sunday Observer

Mandaramnuwara – the ‘Foggy City’

9 January, 2022

Mandaramnuwara is a small village in the foothills of Pidurutalagala in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. The village is also literally known as the ‘Foggy City’ as it is shaded by the surrounding mountains and is foggy most of the day. Traveling to Mandaramnuwara has become a fad among the youth in the recent past. However, given the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, Mandaramnuwara has seen a considerable reduction of tourists visiting the area.

When travelling from Kandy to Padiyapelella via Hanguranketha, one would meet Elamale Junction. From there, one can reach the beautiful village of Mandaramnuwara after walking about 11 kilometres through the side road slopes. It is possible to travel to the village even by a small vehicle such as a van.


If the journey is from Nuwara-Eliya, the road to Mandaramnuwara via Kandapola is more beautiful. This road runs through many tea estates and offers beautiful views.

This mountainous area is called Mandaramnuwara because the sun rises later and sets earlier than in the surrounding villages. Due to this the sunlight is rarely seen in the village, which has caused Mandaramnuwara to become a village with a cool climate with frequent rains and haze.

This village belongs to the Nuwara Eliya District and is in a valley between the four mountains of Pidurutalagala, Gonapitiya, Kabaragala and Udagabbala. According to ancient divisions it belongs to the Hewaheta administrative division in the up-country.

The question that comes to the mind of anyone who comes to Mandaramnuwara is why the sun they saw on the way is not visible in this village. During the Kandyan kingdom this village was called Mandaram Pura.


Over time, the village became known as Mandaramnuwara. It is a beautiful village in the foothills, surrounded by mountains. A bazzar can also be seen in the village, which is misty most of the time. Gradually the rural features in the village were removed and the urban features leaked into this village as it has happened in many other such areas in the country.

The villagers are now moving to a modern life instead of their self-sufficient livelihood. The main livelihood of the villagers is farming. Upcountry vegetable cultivation can be seen everywhere, especially on the slopes of the hills.

The way farmers take care of their crops and water them is a common sight for those who visit the village. Tea plantations on the slopes can be seen in the distance.

Mandaramnuwara was relatively cold until the 1980’s, but it is said that the climate has now become somewhat warm. The reason is that the mountains have been cleared for cultivation. It is said that in the past, the villagers wore winter coats like those in Nuwara Eliya.

About a hundred years ago, many lands in Mandaramnuwara were used by the British for tea cultivation and were later given to the locals. Today also one can see an old tea factory which is reminiscent of that ancient era.

It is very difficult to reach the farmlands which are between the hills.


Both local and foreign tourists are interested in mountaineering in Mandaramnuwara. Therefore, the tourism industry has become a major source of income for a significant number of people there in the recent past.

Facilities such as accommodation and food and beverages are provided at the household level. Several small lodges have also been set up here.

Unauthorised construction of camps and lighting of fires in Mandaramnuwara is illegal as the forest reserves belong to the Forest Department.

Kolapathana waterfalls is a popular destination for tourists visiting Mandaramnuwara. It is located in a beautiful forest environment. It is a small waterfall that cascades down the Rankothanagala Range, but during the rainy season a large body of water flows through it.

The water of Kolapathana Falls is used for the cultivation of the people in Mandaramnuwara and the water joins the Belihuloya and then feeds the Victoria Reservoir. To reach the falls, one has to walk about two kilometres on a small footpath. This road is across a mountain range. Although the road is difficult, the view of the trees and waterfalls on both sides of the road is breathtaking.

Beragahana Falls is another beautiful place to visit in Mandaramnuwara. To reach this waterfall one has to walk a short distance on the road to Kodiaragala and turn around and trek through the forest.


It is said that the name of this waterfall is derived from the sound of the drums when the water falls. It seems that the sound echoes because it takes the form of a rock being dug inwards. Many other waterfalls such as Kabaragala Falls and Gonapitiya Falls beautify Mandaramnuwara.

However, due to the activities of persons visiting Mandaramnuwara at present, this valuable ecosystem has seen a number of adverse effects.

In particular, activities such as disposing garbage have caused great damage not only to the beauty of this ecosystem but also to its biological value. Therefore, people visiting this valuable ecosystem should ensure that this ecosystem, which gives them a unique experience, is passed on to future generations in its original form.