The quaint town of Kitulgala derived its name from the Kithul palm trees, which are found in abundance here. These trees yield a unique type of honey called Kithul palm honey, which is used in a variety of traditional Sri Lankan sweets and desserts. The beautiful settings in Kitulgala were used as a backdrop for the filming of the Oscar-winning 1957 classic ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’, which was shot on the Kelani River. Although the concrete foundations of the famous bridge are the only remains left today, the legacy of this movie lives on in the town folk of Kitulgala.
Kitulgala is famous for adventure activities and offers thrilling opportunities for white water rafting in Sri Lanka with several rapids down the majestic Kelani River. It is also one of the best places for canyoning, jungle treks and bird watching in Sri Lanka. Amidst forest-clad hills and low-country tea and rubber estates, Kithulgala is also ideally positioned for travellers to enjoy excursions to Adam’s Peak, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya.