Matale often written as Mathale is a large regional city located at the heart of the island lies in a broad, fertile valley at an elevation of 364 m (1,194 ft) above sea level. It is the administrative capital and largest city of Matale District, Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is 142 kilometres (88 mi) from Colombo and near Kandy. Surrounding the city are the Knuckles Mountain Range, the foothills were called Wiltshire by the British.
Matale is a town in the hill country of Sri Lanka. The Knuckles Mountain Range is a special landmark of Matale. The Matale administrative district also contains the historic Sigiriya rock castle, Aluwihare Temple and Dambulla Cave Temple. Surrounding the town are the Knuckles foothills called Wiltshire. It is a mainly agricultural area, where tea, rubber, vegetable and spice cultivation dominate.
The Aluvihare Temple, on the North side of the town, is the historic location where the Pali Canon was first written down completely in text on ola (palm) leaves. Situated near Aluvihare are numerous monastery caves, some of which exhibit fine frescoes.
About Central Province
The Central Province of Sri Lanka consists primarily of mountainous terrain. The province has an area of 5,674 km², and a population of 2,421,148. Some major towns include Kandy, Gampola (24,730), Nuwara Eliya and Bandarawela. The population is a mixture of Sinhalese, Tamil and the Moors.
Both the hill capital Kandy and the city of Nuwara Eliya are located within the Central Province as well as Sri Pada. The province produces much of the famous Ceylon tea, planted by the British in the 1860s after a devastating disease killed all the coffee plantations in the province. Central Province attracts many tourists, with hill station towns such as Kandy, Gampola, Hatton and Nuwara Eliya. Temple tooth or Dalada maligawa is the main sacred place in Centrel province.
The climate is cool, and many areas about 1500 meters often have chilly nights. The western slopes are very wet, some places having almost 7000 mm of rain per year. The eastern slopes are parts of the mid-dry zone as it is receiving rain only from North-Eastern monsoon. The Temperatures range from 24°C at Kandy to just 16°C in Nuwara Eliya, which is located 1,889 m above sea level. The highest mountains in Sri Lanka are located in the Central Province. The terrain is mostly mountainous, with deep valleys cutting into it. The two main mountain regions are the central massif and the Knuckles range to the east of Kandy.