North West Zone


North Western zone of the country once had been popular for its kingdoms and the area is known for its coconut plantations. Ethnic majority is Sinhala Buddhists and there’s a percentage minority in Sri Lankan Tamils and Moors. The climate of Wayamba is tropical, with a marked dry season, and temperatures averaging between 30 °C in January to 34 °C in March. The South of the province is wetter, with almost 2000 mm of rainfall per year, but the North of the province is one of the driest regions in Sri Lanka, averaging less than 1100 mm of rain in parts. Area Total is 7,888 km2 (3,046 sq mi) and a population of 2,370,075 as of 2011 stats inhibits. The zone’s economy is based mainly on agriculture and that mostly is rice production and vegetable related agriculture. As with other agricultural based regions North West has got the fair share of lakes in which water is saved. The province is also popular for mineral Silica Sand, the best known silica sand deposits are found in the Marawila, Madampe and Nattandiya areas of the province. Also the largest deposits of Miocene limestone are found in the North Western coastal belt near Puttalam. The limestones are used for cement manufacturing. Other than such, the zone is also known for Graphite, Mica, limonite sand and also clay.


A few kilometers away from the Bandaranaike International Airport, Negombo is a beach destination that Sri Lanka has to boast about. A popular beach destination among the tourists, the city also has its amount of luxuries and hotels and is well equipped to accommodate tourists.

Being mostly a Catholic town, because of the Portuguese ruling during the colonial times, Negombo has a lot of Colonial churches adding color to the ethnicities that they call home. Commercial city as per say Negombo also has a fishing and fishermen as a highlight of the city. Don’t forget to go to fish markets in the morning to witness the fish trading happening in front of you. 

Negombo has been a landmark in Cinnamon trading in the colonial times. Though Negombo beach is not the best beach to boast about the Indian Ocean, you can still get a glimpse of the majestic seas surrounding the island in Negombo.



Though easily accessible by causeway from the main road, few travelers choose to explore this narrow, sandy spit of land particularly through sea and is well off the beaten track. Kalpitiya’s position at the head of Puttlam lagoon in history have made an important port for Arab traders from seventh century and the peninsula remains predominantly dwelled by Muslims to date. Kalpitiya is well known for the adventure sport kite surfing and known for sightings of dolphins during season. Kalpitiya is up and coming in tourism and is known for quaint accommodation which is authentic to the area.



Kurunegala is an important crossroads town astride the route from Colombo to Anuradhapura and Kandy to Puttlam. It enjoys a pleasant location overlooked by huge rocky outcrops, some of which have been given names of the animals they resemble: elephant rock, tortoise rock etc. According to a legend, these animals were magically turned into stone when they threatened the city’s water supply during a drought. Situated at the foot of 325m black rock, Ethagala, there are excellent views across the lake from the temple, where an enormous Buddha statue is being constructed.


Wilpattu National Park

Willpattu National Park believes to be backed up by most number of history related factors. Wilpattu had a unique topographical landscape of gently undulating terrain dominated by villus, natural sand rimmed water basins, which fill up with rain and to which animals come to drink. These are the best places to see a leopard. The species categories of Wilpattu is Deer, Leopards, Elephants, Water Buffalos and Birds. The birds in Wilpattu are both migratory and resident and the park also has a very healthy reptile population.

The best time to visit Wilpattu is from May to early September, which is the dry season. The drought clears some of the bushes making it easier to spot wildlife.


Important tips:

Distance   –   Approximately 188 kms away from capitol Colombo

Entrance Gate   –   Hunuwilgama Enterance (Main Gate)

Park visiting hours   –   6 AM to 6 PM

Mode of safaris   –   Only Jeep safaris

Best time of the day to visit the park   –   6 AM to 10 AM and 3 PM to 6 PM

Type of animals in the park   –   Leopards, Elephants, Bears, Deer, Crocodiles, Reptiles and many verities of birds

Closest town to the park entrance   –   Nochchiyagama, Puttalam and Anuradhapura

Best months to visit the park   –   February to October, however the prime time is May to late September

Climate   –   The annual temperature in the Park is between 27°C to 30°C and its annual rainfall is approximately 900 mm.



Up a forested hillside is the sixth century cave hermitage. Ancient Brahmi donative inscriptions have been found in some caves. Excavations have revealed meditation halls, stone faced double platform structures and ambulatories for the Tapowana (forest dwelling) sect of austere Buddhist hermits here. Typically, the platforms aligned East West with the entrance porch to the East, would be bridged by a large monolith. The smaller of the double platform structure here was probably divided into nine cells or mink dwellings-the roof being supported on columns.


Ridi Viharaya

The “Silver Temple” marks the place where a silver ore was discovered in the second century BC, during the reign of King Dutugemunu. It is an ancient Buddhist temple site with the rock cave hermitages and an image house with Kandyan paintings. Among the finds, which mostly date from the 18th century, are Buddha statues (seated & reclining), a door frame beautifully carved and inlaid with ivory, and a curious alter with a Dutch tiles illustrating with biblical figures gifted by a Dutch counsel. There is an attractive artificial lake at the foot of the hills too.



Dambadeniya became prominent in the mid 13th century when the capital was moved there by Parakramabahu II (ruled 1236-70) together with the tooth relic. Legend says it was the sight of the monumental battle with the Indian king Kalinga, during which 24,000 men were successfully repelled and the tooth relic was kept safe, though shortly afterwards it was moved to the more secure site at Yapahuwa. Little remains of the ancient rock palace buildings through six ponds, where the courts used to bathe, are still there.



The oldest of the royal capitals in the district, Panduwasnuwara was used by King Parakramabahu I as a stepping stone to his great citadel at Polonnaruwa. Legend states that Pandwasadewa, Sri Lanka’s second king, had his capital here in the 5th century BC. A forested mound has been believed to be his predecessor King Vijaya’s tomb. The archeological remains, in a sprawling, only excavated, 20ha site dates to 12th century AD. There is an impressive 1¼ km long ancient wall around the citadel with a moat in which crocodiles may have acted as extra deterrent.



Yapahuwa, arguably Wayamba’s most impressive ruins, lies off the route north from Kurunegala to Anuradhapura. Here there is a vihara with 28 carved pillars, an elaborately carved door, and an ancient clay image house and a library. A vast granite rock, rising 100m from the surrounding plain is encircled by a 1km long path rising to the top. The fort palace built of stone is surrounded by two moats and ramparts and there are signs of other ancient means of defense. The impressive ornamental stairway with some fine lions and guard stones is still very well preserved.


Accommodation choices for North West Zone

We’ve selected a range of accommodation options when you visit the North West Zone. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities, and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

Suggested itineraries featuring North West Zone

These sample itineraries will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in the North West Zone, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.


Contact our Travel Consultants to start planning your tailor-made holiday of your dream vacation to tropical Sri Lanka.

Call one of our specialists on : +94 112712100

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