had the opportunity to visit this place last month, as an excursion from bandarawella, where i was staying in a relative\’s holiday bungalow. This was a favorite look-out point for Sir Thomas Lipton (the great tea planter) when surveying the surrounding region of his tea plantations at Dambatenna near Haputale. To get to the viewpoint, one can take two routes (as far as I know) and the road is all the way mortorable up to the end point (4×4 is better but not mandatory). One is from Haputhale town, and the other is from Bandarawell town. Road is quite easy to find with boards marking Lipton Seat, and probably wise to check the road conditions (the last 1km, through a private tea estate), from a 3-wheeler driver, in either of the towns. full road length is paved and good, except the last 1km, which is gravel and possibly heavy mud during rain, which also charges Rs. 100 to enter, if you want your vehicle to pass.
The main road connects Haputhale town and Bandarawella town, with a scenic road amid lush green tea plantations. Some parts of the road still in its original glory, with many remains of original stone construct.
When you go there, the view is full 360, but clouds can really mess the visit, both hiding what you came to see, but also making the road very very dangerous to drive.
On the road from Haputale, any small motor car will take you quite close to the final ‘turn off’ to LS. But, on the road through Nayabedda Tea Estate, the part of the road connecting Nayabedda Tea Estate with Dambetenna Tea Estate will be rather difficult to tackle for a car (that’s if you like your car) as this part of the road is sort of paved with ‘kalu gal’. Anyway, the condition of the road from the last ‘turn off’ (to the LS) can be from ‘ok’ to really bad depending on the level of maintenance / over night rain. A 4×4 will not have any problem to tackle this part. But, be cautious when you drive if there is mist.
If you like to walk up to LS, my suggestion is to take the route through Haputale. Take a bus from Haputale (town) up to Dambetenna (Tea Factory) and start the walk from there. But, remember that what ever the time of the year, on a clear day it won’t be (that) enjoyable to walk through tea estates due to the lack of shade and the Sun will literally ‘burn’ you. A misty / overcast day is superb for walking through the tea estates but then on a misty day you will most probably not ‘see’ the view from Lipton’s Seat.
Be very cautious about the fact that the mist can set in a couple of seconds without any prior notice. In thick mist, visibility could be only up to a couple of feet. Make sure that your directions are correct. Don’t take a wrong turn. Roads through tea estates go ‘round and round’ and ‘up and down’ and they also lead you to dead ends.
You can also ‘find your way partly through the tea fields and partly through scrub up to the LS point. But, that’s if you really want. You should also be able to ‘read’ the geography of the surroundings and be able to navigate.
Take enough water with you and DO NOT drink water from the sources within the estate even though you will see notice boards indicating the efforts taken by the management to keep water clean.
Also, take sufficient food if you plan to stay there for a while On an overcast day (may be) you will thank your self for bringing a rain coat / umbrella. It can be cold and windy especially at the top. So be aware and cautious of it.
There will obviously be lots of (what I like to call ‘Tea Activity’). I am not sure if they would allow you to see inside the factory. But, may be you could contact one of the managers at either of the Thotalagala, Pitarathmale, Damdetenna or Nayabedda Tea Estates and try to arrange for such a visit before you actually visit the area.
This is also a high point within the Nayabedda Tea Estate which is (once again) from where a visitor could have a panoramic view of the Uva Basin extending from Haputale to Namunukula mountain range. On a clear day, this too is a fantastic view. Route 1 will be the best to get there. Here too the condition of the road up to the last ‘turn off’ to St. CS, is good but from there it would depend on the level of maintenance and over night rain. It would be no problem for a 4x4.
A small detour (walking) from a point close to the Dambetenna factory will lead you to the water fall. It isn’t much of a waterfall and looks interesting only during the rainy season. You could also see it from a distance while you are on your way to Dambetenna from Haputale. Don’t ask the people in the area for it. For most of them it is not a waterfall. They would also not refer to it with the name ‘Lemasthota’ as the place called by that name is somewhere close to Koslanda.
There are a number of nameless waterfalls in the area. But these have water (at least to look nice) only during the rainy season. If you are travelling from Haputale to Dambetenna, you have got to walk down (to your right) quite a bit to see these waterfalls. No vehicles please unless it’s a 4x4 or a tractor. If you are not a fan of waterfalls then forget it.
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