Things to do











JIm's Farm Villas is ideally situated in the heart of the Cultural Triangle within easy reach of Sri Lanka's leading UNESCO World Heritage sites which are a must-see for most visitors.  We can recommend and hire excellent local driver-guides with their own good quality cars or minibuses for your day tours from the farm, or we can help you and your personal driver to plan each day’s itinerary so that you make the most of  your stay in the Cultural Triangle.  Here are some suggestions:

1. Sigiriya and Dambulla

Considered by many in Sri Lanka to be the “eighth wonder of the world”, Sigiriya is a twelfth-century summer palace built atop the famous Lion Rock by one of Sri Lanka’s powerful kings.  The Rock Temples at Dambulla, unchanged for 2,000 years, are a major site of Buddhist pilgrimage, crowned by the largest Buddha on the island.  The National Art Museum provides a fascinating insight into the development of Sri Lankan art and design. A visit to the bustling, multicoloured Dambulla vegetable market late in the afternoon is not to be missed - 40 minutes’ drive north from Jim’s Farm

 2. Polonnaruwa and Minneriya National Park

Enjoy a cycle or taxi ride around the extensive and peaceful ruins of thirteenth century Polonnaruwa, one of the major ancient capital cities in the heart of Sri Lanka.  En route, visit a local wood craft shop and return via Minneriya National Park or Habarana Eco Park to see Sri Lanka’s largest herd of wild elephants grazing in the late afternoon sun by the huge Tank (man-made lake)  - 90 minutes’ drive east from Jim’s Farm

3. Matale and Kandy 

Visit some of Sri Lanka’s most amazing Buddhist and Hindu temples in Matale, including the historically important Aluvihare Rock Temple; it was here that Buddhist texts were first written down in Sri Lanka, so paving the way for the Sinhalese alphabet. Then on to the Botanical Gardens in Kandy with its broad avenues and rare plants.  Plus seats at the unique early evening Kandyan Dance display, and finally a visit to the stunning world-famous Temple of the Tooth at sundown - 60 minutes’ drive south from Jim’s Farm

4. Anuradhapura plus Aukuna 

Anuradhapura is the jewel in the crown, the largest of the ancient cities, which remains a major centre for Sri Lankan Buddhism.  See the Buddha’s bodhi tree, brought here 2,500 years ago from India, one of the oldest living things on earth.  En route visit the Aukuna, the largest standing Buddha carved from a single piece of rock -- Two hours’ drive north-west from Jim’s Farm

5. Tea District 

Nearby Matale is home to some of the best tea estates in Sri Lanka. We can arrange visits to see the daily tea picking and weighing in, followed by lunch at a traditional estate bungalow, then on to a nearby tea factory to see the tea processing and enjoy a tea tasting session. Combine with a spice garden tour on your return One hour's drive south-east from Jim’s Farm

6. Elephant Orphanage

Visit the world-famous, unique Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala.  Feed the baby elephants; watch the whole herd parade through the village for their daily bath.  Great to combine with an afternoon visit to the Botanical Gardens in Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth tour - One and a half hour's drive west from Jim's Farm


Other local attractions include: Ehelepola temple in our village where the Chief Monk can explain the principles of Buddhist practice and philosophy; 
Kawatayamuna Budd
hist temple, with its famous wall paintings; Wahakotte Catholic Church, foremost in Sri Lanka;  Nalanda Gedige and Menikdena, two local hidden ancient sites; and  Popham's Arboretum, the leading collection of indigenous trees. 

7. Local/Family Activities

- Sri Lankan Cookery Lesson with our Chef - Find out how to select the best ingredients for a traditional Rice and Curry from the Farm's vegetable and herb garden and the local village stores; prepare your curry sauces, fruit and vegetables and then cook them to perfection.  Then share your own Sri Lankan Rice and Curry lunch with your party.  Cost $20 per person for your cookery lesson including, of course, your own lunch.

- Maps are available for local walks or short tuk-tuk rides; local sites include:

Paldeniya Raja Temple, 2 kms from Jim's Farm; easy walk or tuk-tuk ride.
Claims to be the original Buddhist Temple where the first Buddhist scripts were written - hence the first ever Sinhala texts - before the scripts were transferred to the Aluvihare Temple in Matale for safer storage.  The site is also the ancient home of the Prince of Ehelepola, who fought against the Kandyan King's capitulation to British colonialists. You can see the Prince's House, the beautiful Temple and the old Prison.

 As a national hero, the young prince is revered for his bravery and is commemorated by a golden statue in the village.

- Visit our local Buddhist temple - learn about the practice of Sri Lankan Buddhism and receive a blessing from the resident Monk

- Buddhist Seminary, home to two Buddhist nuns, in a beautiful paddyfield setting, again in Paldeniya, an ancient local village. Also visit the British Colonial Court, the new Court building and the adjacent Doctor's surgery and pharmacy.

- Go shopping in our local town of Pallepola, 2kms from Jim's Farm. Visit the Buddhist College in the heart of the town; supermarket, ATMs, cafe, pharmacy, doctor's surgery, newsagent, locally made handloom products, all available.

- Enjoy a fabulous Ayurvedic treatment or consultation in our new Bamboo Spa at Mango Villa with our resident Ayurvedic Doctor, Ranjith.

- Cycling  -  4 bikes plus helmets available on the farm free of charge

- Table-tennis, volleyball and badminton available - Dinusha at the Pool offers table tennis lessons

-  Golf - The Victoria Golf Club in Kandy has one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in Asia

-  Walking in the Knuckles Range - natural springs/lakes for bathing - we can arrange a guide for your treks plus transport

-  Bird-watching;more than 102 species have been spotted here on the Farm and in adjoining paddy fields, including wild peacocks and eagles.

Driving the hotel's Tuk-tuks around the farm

- Swimming in our beautiful Hilltop Pool any time of day

- Elephant and horseriding at Kandalama Hotel, Geoffrey Bawa's most famous, natural architectural project

- Local Spice Garden visit to learn about ayurvedic practice and massage

- Haggling with the Matale spice traders - amazing value v Western prices!

- Visit to colourful, bustling Dambulla Fruit and Vegetable Market 

- EcoPark or Minneriya National Park for elephants and wildlife

- Popham's Arboretum in Dambulla to see examples of indigenous trees and plants

Contact us at bookings@jimsfarmvillas.com for availability.