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How To Reach Habarana
A small city in the Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka, Habarana is a popular tourist destination and is one of the starting points for Wildlife Safaris to the closest Habarana jungle and the Minneriya National Park. Located close to Sigiriya’s ancient rock citadel, Habarana’s populace nears 10,000 people approx. Sitting amidst a primary intersection that’s equally distanced between Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa and close to Ritigala and Sigiriya, Habarana’s main tourist attraction is the beautiful lake that’s encircled by a pathway that’s best covered in about an hour and a half.
Habarana’s situated at a major junction of bus routes, however, the easiest way to get here is by train. Traveling by bus is convenient to travel short distances between the Cultural Triangle cities.
The Bandaranaike Airport is the main international airport for Sri Lanka and is located 35 km north of Colombo City, making it one of the busiest airports in South Asia. There are plenty of flights from India to Sri Lanka from all the major cities. From New Delhi, flight carriers Air India and Jet Airways have nearly a 100 combinations operating on the route, while Srilankan Airlines has the fastest flights which can have you in Colombo in less than 4 hours.
There are some economically cheap flights by Air India from Mumbai with a single stop but they take around 23 hours in flight, with the fastest options being those offered by Jet Airways and Srilankan Airlines. Then there are over 100 flights in the Chennai-Colombo sector with Spicejet’s direct flights being the fastest and cheapest, followed by Air India and Srilankan Airlines. The route of Kolkata-Colombo has both direct flights and flights with double stops on the sector, with the travel time varying between 6 ½ hours to 34 hours.
The fastest way of reaching Habarana from Colombo is to take a flight from the Katunayake Airport to Sigiriya, which is the closest airport to Habarana and takes just 30 minutes to reach. You can cover the distance of 12.7 km/ 18 minutes between Habarana and Sigiriya by taxi.
The cheapest way to reach Habarana is to travel by train, which costs anything between INR 180-400 and takes about an hour or so. There are trains thrice a day from Colombo to Trincomalee that take an hour and 11 minutes costing INR 80-270, and from there Habarana is just 2 ½ km away by cab, costing INR 100-130.
Although there are plenty of buses plying on the road, traveling by bus is best recommended for moving short distances between Anuradhapura, Dambulla and Polonnaruwa (the cities of the Cultural Triangle). To travel by road, the next best alternative is to drive down from Colombo covering a distance of 172.9 km/ 2 hours and 52 minutes to Habarana. The fuel cost works out to be approx. INR 950-1,400.
You can also hire a taxi which amounts to INR 6,000-7,500 one way. The usual cab operators on the route are Colombo Taxi (colombotaxicabs.com) or Kangaroo Cabs (2588588.com).
Although Habarana doesn’t really have any special tourist spots of its own, from a tourism perspective it turns out to be one of the most popular stay-over sites given its closeness to most cultural and natural attractions, some of the most premium properties to stay at. Getting around Habarana is easy with the neighboring villages connected to direct train or bus lines, while any day trips can be made by hiring cabs or jeeps. To move around in Habarana or to some of the closer tourist sites, you can hire tuk-tuks as well. While, to enjoy the countryside, riding a bullock cart or a bike would be interesting.