Meditation Retreats and Spiritual Tourism
If this is your first visit you probably would like to take a look around. Please take a photo-tour or watch some of our videos. If you would like to stay in Umandawa for a short period of time, you can stay at the cottages. Or, if you have more time available, you can check out the Spiritual Tourism packages.
How to Get There
Umandawa Monastery is situated in Melsiripura, Kurunegala, 134 kilometers (83 miles) east of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Kurunegala is one of the major cities in Sri Lanka and is well connected by rail and road. Train services are available from all major cities to Kurunegala.
There are direct buses between Colombo and Kurunegala (you can check the bus timetable from the main bus station at Colombo Fort). After reaching Kurunegala, you can take a bus to Melsiripura and then take a taxi from Melsirpura to Umandawa. Local tuk tuks are the best way to get around in Melsiripura). Taxis can also be booked from the airport or Colombo Fort.
Once you arrive, the front desk at the Rawana Asapuwa will take care of your registration for participation in the activities.
At Umandawa, the Sangha living-in the monastery meditates through the experiences they get by being involved in daily chores. Those participating in the retreats will work side-by-side with Buddhist monks (Bhikkhus) and nuns (Mehenin Wahanses). For beginners, first Maithree Bavana, which is the meditation on loving, kindness and Anapanasathi Bavana that is focusing on your breathing is taught before proceeding to Vipassana mediation, which is learning to be mindful in every activity that one does. Everyone lives freely, without any disturbance from the pressures of daily life. All elements are linked to the environment. Mindfulness is woven into all daily activities, where training is given to be mindful throughout the day: while eating, walking, working, or enjoying a meal together.
The scenic Manel Asapuwa and Mayurashramaya are two other chalets providing accommodation to those participating in the retreats. The tree house is a unique feature providing triple accommodation. Open on all sides visitors can enjoy views of the paddy fields and the beautiful surroundings. The Cottages are convertainer rooms and are on a platform atop the pond. Each hamlet has double occupancy. Umandawa provides accommodation from luxury, semi luxury to standard, that totals 20 chalets. Visitors can embark on a journey of mindfulness by participating in retreats that are three to seven days or even longer. All facilities are provided by the Monastery.
Ravana Asapuwa is where the ayurvedic centre is located with the provision of wellness for body and mind. Further, a qualified ayurvedic doctor is also present to provide treatment. Digayu Café serves food and beverages including, tea, coffee, herbal beverages, fruit juices and refreshments. Dinner too is served at the Digayu Café for the participants of the retreat.
The Café is located in the Nandana Uyana with a waterfront view, where boat rides can be taken on the lake as well. The Ambalama and Mayurasanaya are multipurpose halls that are used for almsgivings, Dhamma discussions,meditation, yoga and other group activities. The Pyramid located on a small islet is a replica of the pyramids in Giza. The pyramid has no religion, and anyone can meditate or practice their faith in this tranquil space.
Mindfulness is inculcated not only through daily activities but visitors can engage in excursions and other programs. Hiking across the surrounding mountains (Galpaya, Madahapola Kanda, Udangaraya and Alumgala), excursions to Hulangala, boat rides and visits to neighbouring reservoirs, bird watching and witnessing wild elephants. As an activity of the retreat, participants can visit villages and schools in the surrounding mountains. They can experience the culture and lifestyle of village life, and during their visits, assist school children with the provision of educational materials. Visitors can also engage in tree planting programs to ensure that the environment is protected for posterity. Retreats can be organized throughout the year, according to personal preferences, and all-inclusive packages are offered with transport. Visitors can also travel by air, as Umandawa has its own helipad.
YOU CAN BOOK ANY OF THE FOLLOWING PACKAGES
Living In Programs
You can choose any of the above mentioned packages or customise your stay with us by staying at any of the following rooms or cottages.
The tastefully modern, container converted cottages all have single beds, A/C, fresh air supply and attached bathrooms. These are built on top of a beautiful lake so that you can enjoy a serene setting and have easy access to the rest of the monastery.
♦ Muditha Asapuwa
Muditha Asapuwa can accommodate eight people with a shared bathroom. This is perfect for a group of friends or family.
♦ Guesthouse – Jeewaka Asapuwa
This is the newest addition to our resident programs. It is a modern, two storied house with two large bedrooms, attached bathrooms, living area and a kitchen.
Please contact us for rates and reservations.