Surrounded by low wooded hills, the small village of Kitulgala is perhaps best known for being the location where David Lean filmed Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). A path signposted from the main road leads to the banks of the Kelaniya river, where the filming site can be seen. Those familiar with the Oscar-winning film will recognize some of the riverside scenery and the remains of the bridge’s concrete foundations.
Kitulgala serves as a base for a range of adventure activities, such as White Water Rafting. Most hotels in the area can also arrange rock climbing, cycling, abseiling and overnight river trips. A boat trip across the river leads to the Forest Reserve, which offers good bird-watching and trekking in lowland rain forest. Among the many birds that can be spotted here are the grey hornbill, the yellow-fronted barbet and various kingfishers.