White Water Rafting is a challenging recreational activity and an exhilarating water sport. Yet contrary to the public belief, White Water Rafting is not a sport that demands great physical strength.
An average level of physical fitness and a strong spirit would do. White Water Rafting, generally enjoyed in the white-waters as well as in other turbulent waters, brings about an enthralling experience to the water sport enthusiasts.
Though the ability to swim is a definite advantage, a compulsory Personal Flotation Device will be provided, a necessary outfit for a White Water Rafting as it is guaranteed to save you from drowning if you fall overboard.
However those suffering from heart ailments, epilepsy as well as those who are uncomfortable in turbulent waters aren’t advised to go White Water Rafting. Some of the rivers of Sri Lanka afford the opportunity for recreational activists and water sport enthusiast to enjoy White Water Rafting. The small town of Kitulgala in the hill country is the most famous place in Sri Lanka to do so.
Kitulgala is located about 80 kilometres from Colombo on the A7 main road that runs to Nuwara Eliya via Avissawella. Kitulgala is a pleasant town set amidst green hills thick with tropical vegetation. The name Kitulgala itself is derived from the Kitul palm tree, groves of which are abound in the expanses. Kitul sap is concentrated and then crystallized to produce jaggery. Kitul sap is also fermented to make palm wine.
Kitulgala is the movie location of where David Lean’s 1957 epic, Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed.
A calm stretch in the River Kelani between two rocky outcrops on either side is the movie location where the railway bridge for the movie was constructed. The water flows silently in this stretch of the river, which is quite deep and sluggish.
Kitulgala Town and its surroundings
The town of Kitulgala is situated on a particularly delightful stretch of the Kelani River where the rapids over the rock-strewn river bed are exhilarating. The high banks of the river are sheltered by tall bamboo trees.
Kitulgala White Water Rafting takes about a 90 minute run each for 6.5 km with five rapids graded 2 and 3. The Rapids with their own distinctive characters are aptly named: Head Chopper, Virgin’s Breast, Butter Crunch, Killer Fall and the Rib Cage. Riding modern rafts equipped with safety gear, White Water Rafting at Kitulgala is safe for even kids over 10 years in age.
The Best Period For White Water Rafting in Kitulgala
The best time to enjoy White Water Rafting at Kitulgala is the period between May to December. During periods of heavy rain, the river could turn out to be very volatile and White Water Rafting becomes very unsafe. The adventure operators on site would advise all water sports enthusiasts on the matter. However water levels could drop surprisingly fast, turning the river to its regular state during the rainy season as well.