Hot Water Springs in Sri Lanka – Madunagala Spring

Hi everyone, hope you are doing well. Today, let’s talk about a hot water spring in Sri Lanka. There are several hot water springs in Sri Lanka, situated in the Eastern half of the country. There is a reason for that, let’s get into it later. They are in various sizes and formats. Some of them are famous tourist attractions while others are not. What I’m going to tell you about today is a famous tourist attraction among Sri Lankans, but not much among foreign travellers.

Madunagala Hot Water Spring

Madunagala Hot Water Spring
Entrance of the Madunagala Hot Water Spring

Madunagala is a little village situated in Hambantota district, close to Sooriyawewa town. Madunagala is famous for its Buddhist hermitage also. You have to take a turn from Sooriyawewa – Padalangala road and travel about 4km to reach the hot water spring. See the map below for a clearer idea.

This hot water spring is well built in the recent past. Before that, there were only the well (spring) and two or three tanks on an empty land. Unlike Kanniya hot water spring, here is only one spring (there are several springs at the same place in Kanniya, Trincomalee).

bathing at hot water spring

bathing at hot water spring

The hot water spring is at the center here, others are just tanks. Water flows from tank to tank on both sides, creating different temperatures in different tanks. The water is significantly hot in the spring and the first tank. Changing the tank (changing the temperature) is an interesting thing to do while bathing. If you have little kids, don’t just pour water on them at once. Start from the last tank (lowest temperature).

Unlike some world famous hot springs, you can’t jump into the water here. But bathing is allowed using provided small buckets (you can’t take buckets from outside). That rule is imposed to keep the water level without dropping. Changing rooms are provided for both males and females.

If you are hoping to have a bath here, you have to keep this in mind. On some holidays, especially on long weekends, this place gets crowded. Therefore on those days, the officials prohibit bathing here, for obvious reasons. But at the evening, when the place becomes less crowded, they may allow people to have a bath again.

We faced this situation last weekend. When we arrive here, there was a notice like this.

bathing is not allowed due to excessive visitors
It says, ”Due to excessive visitors, bathing from hot water spring is not allowed today”.

We were frustrated. But an official said if the number of visitors becomes less in the evening, they will allow us to bath. That happened as they said, and we had a refreshing bath in the evening. So if you are going there on a long weekend and you must bath, go there in the evening.

crowded hot water spring
This is how it looked like when we arrive there.

The surround of the spring is well built and being well maintained. The place is managed by ‘Ruhunu Tourist Bureau‘.

Well maintained surround of madunagala hot water spring

Other than the hot water spring, there are some other things to see there also. There are some animals like rabbits, turkey, ducks and swans. There is a very small aquarium also. The newest addition is a children’s park (OK, that’s little odd). To be frank those things are prepared by officials to attract more visitors, but they are not much significant.

cute rabbit
This cute one was spotted there

There is a small entrance fee for both locals and foreigners. Parking spaces are available for free. And there are a number of shops where you can buy various types of local foods and beverages (both prepared and raw).

How does the water get heated up?

It is said that the hot water springs are created by deep cracks of the bedrock on earth. We all know that the temperature gets high when moved towards the crust of the earth. So the water in deep also has high temperatures. So when there is a deep crack on bedrock, hot water comes out as springs.

In Sri Lanka there are about 10 hot water springs. All of the springs are situated on the Eastern half, on a single line (almost straight). It is said that the there is a continuous crack of the bedrock along that line.

So that’s about Madunagala Hot Water Spring. Hope to cover other hot springs also in the future. If you have any doubts or need further information, feel free to leave a comment.

Click here to find your hotel if you are hoping to visit Hambantota.

One last thing, don’t bring liquor inside (it is prohibited) and keep the water in the tanks clean (especially when you are soaping).

Safari Park Ridiyagama Name Board
Saw this name board so close to Madunagala Hot Water Spring. Let’s talk about this also in the future.

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