Kondagala Mountain | Loolkandura-First Tea Plantation field in Sri Lanka

Travel Nov 29, 2022

The Loolkandura estate was the first tea plantation estate established in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in 1867. It is located in Rikillagaskada, Kandy District. Kondagala Mountain, Sri Lanka’s most popular tourist attraction, is located on the Loolkandura tea estate.

How get to Loolkandura

Both Kondagala and Loolkandura are at the same location. Both of these locations are located on the boundary between the Kandy and Nuwara Eliya districts. The distance from Kandy to Kondagala is approximately 32 kilometers. This is roughly 20 kilometers from Rikillagaskada and 12 kilometers from Hewaheta. To reach this location from Colombo, you must travel around 150 kilometers. Using Google Maps, the entrance to the Loolkandura tea estate can be easily located.

Attraction places in Loolkandura

1. James Taylors’ Cottage/Bungalow
2. Hike to Kondagala Mountain
3. James Taylors Well
4. James Taylors Seat
5. Field No 7 – The First tea field

James Taylor’s tea story of Loolkandura

James Taylor established Ceylon Tea. 17 years old when he arrived in Ceylon in 1852, he was housed at Loolecondera Estate in Galaha, a coffee estate in the Kandy District.

Taylor traveled to India in 1866 to learn about tea cultivation following the spread of coffee rust. Taylor, upon his return in 1867, planted Field No. 7 on Loolecondera with 21 acres of tea. The timing was fortunate, as the coffee crops were nearly eradicated within a few of years.

Taylor’s effort made it possible for a new industry to swiftly replace a failing old one. It revived the precarious situation in which investors, owners, and farmers had found themselves.

A statue dedicated in his honor and a log cabin that was formerly the planter’s home are located nearby.

Loolkandura Tea Estate

If you begin your journey in Kandy, you will undoubtedly pass through Delthota, a small town. Then choose the Rikillagaskada route to get to the Loolkandura tea estate. After a few kilometers, you will arrive at the Loolkandura tea estate’s official entrance. However, it is not your final destination. You must continue along that road until you reach a Kovil with a bridge. You must turn right from the bridge toward the hill. It’s a bad road with insufficient width. At the same time, after a few meters along that road, you will come across a barrier. You must now purchase tickets for your journey. They will request that you only take the tickets for your vehicle.

You must walk a few kilometers toward the hill after purchasing the tickets. You are now on your way to the upper fields of the Loolkandura estate. The surround effect will astound you. The first thing you’ll notice is a small tank just below the road. It’s time to pull over and pay them a visit. It appears to be quite lovely, and it is a pleasure to photograph it. In the center of the tank is a summer hut. You must cross a wooden bridge to get there. It’s worth stopping here for a few minutes to take in the scenery. However, this is not your final destination. From there, it’s about 1.5km to Kondagala Mountain and James Taylor’s Cottage.

James Taylor’s Cottage/Bungalow

James Taylor opted to stay in Loolkandura for the rest of his life after developing the first commercial tea estate there. His cottage was located in the estate’s upper tier. This villa will be waiting for you just before the Kondagala Summit. However, you can only see a small portion of his cottage now. The well of James Taylor is also visible. Turning right from the cottage, a small path leads to the top of Kondagala Mountain.

However, if you turn left, you will arrive at another important location. It is a location with a lot of tall tea trees. The area is regarded as Sri Lanka’s first tea plantation. They are now more over 150 years old. They appear to be tall trees as a result. You can now return to the cottage and take the right fork to the top of the Kondagala.

Kondagala Mountain

Kondagala is a scenic mountain located directly behind James Taylor’s Loolkandura Estate house. It is a popular hiking destination, having a 500 meter trek to the summit of the mountain. Hiking Kondagala exposes hikers to stunning vistas of the surrounding places, particularly when mist is draped across the valleys. One unique feature of Kondagala is that the granite exhibits two distinct features depending on the weather. On a sunny day, the peak of the mountain is scorching hot, however on a rainy day, the mist piled surrounding the mountain obscures the view from the top.

The summit of Kondagala Mountain is an exceptionally stunning location for stunning photography. In the Dumbara Valley, you may see some old houses, paddy fields, tea estates, and other topographies. From here, you can plainly identify the famed Hanthana Mountain Range, Victoria reservoir, Kukulagala, Piduruthalagala, Ambuluwawa and many places. Chariot path also situated near to the Kondagala.

Recommended Video for Kondagala-Loolkandura


James Taylor’s Seat

You can visit another gorgeous site at the Loolkondera Tea Estate after the Kondala Hike. It’s known as “James Taylor’s Seat.” This location is one kilometer from Taylor’s Cottage. There is a good park where you may park your vehicle. Then proceed to the “seat.” The location is made up of a large stone. James Taylor sat on the stone to take in the beauty of his surroundings. It’s a beautiful spot to wait and see the valley’s splendor.

Things to know before you go Kondagala

  • Begin the trek early in the morning. This will allow you to appreciate the true beauty of the journey.
  • There are extremely few public transportation options. It’s preferable if you can travel there in your own vehicle.
  • Take no plastic or polythene with you to the visit. If you take them, remember to return them. Don’t just toss it there.
  • Remember not to damage the ruins of the Loolkondera Tea Estate. The area has historically been important to the Sri Lankan tea industry.
  • The Kondagala hike is not difficult. It’s simple, and anyone can go.
  • Roads and other infrastructure are in poor condition. To enter the estate, you must purchase tickets.




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