With such a poetic-sounding name, it is apt that modern Awissawella stands on the site of the mediaeval capital of the Sitawaka kingdom, which takes its name from a character of the epic poem, the Ramayana. An interior town, Avissawella has some interesting though limited archaeological ruins and makes for a great excursion from Colombo using the railway. So join our travel correspondent on her journey to the interior.
Awissawella, 60km east of Colombo, is an interior destination many regular travellers in Sri Lanka think of as a lively, junction town where roads fan out towards Hatton or Kandy; Ratnapura or Badulla. It is a marking point on the way back from the hill country stations of Haputale or Bandarawela, when you know it's now not so far until Colombo. Awissawella was formerly the ancient kingdom of Sitawaka. It is also the end of the Kelani Valley railway line, constructed in far more modern times.