Officials to re create the Bridge on the River Kwai in Sri Lanka's Kitulgala
Officials in the Sri Lankan town Kitulgala have announced plans to re create the bridge that was made famous in the 1957 Word War II movie "Bridge on the River Kwai". It is hoped that the reconstructed bridge will attract film lovers and neutralize the loss of tourism expected with the upcoming construction of a dam at the river, which is popular with white water rafters.
Officials have announced plans to re build the bridge that has helped to earn the 1957 movie "Bridge on the River Kwai" a place in film history. The bridge, which was famously blown up in the Second World War film, is now a key tourist attraction for film buffs and, arguably to an even greater extent, for thrill seekers who travel to Sri Lanka and visit Kitulgala to white raft down the river.
The decision to re build the iconic bridge was made in order to address fears of a loss in tourism thanks to a decision to dam the river as part of $82 million USD hydro-electric project. Chief project engineer Kamal Laksiri, explained:
"We have offered to rebuild the bridge at the same location. Today there is no bridge, only a few concrete posts remain. But we have looked at drawings and pictures of the bridge and we will recreate it."
Some see the decision to the rebuild the bridge as a suitable comprise, as it is expected that fans of the Oscar winning movie will flock to the site, located just a couple hours drive from Colombo, to see the reconstructed bridge. One local stated:
"My husband was an extra in the movie and we earn a living by guiding tourists."
However, others argue that the damming of the river will undoubtedly tame the rapids and make Kitulgala less appealing for tourists.
"If there is no rafting, there will be no need for tourists to come here What is the income you can get by issuing tickets to see a brand new bridge? That is not what we want. Even if you build it, what is the point? There will be no water under the bridge."
Stated Priyantha Pushpakumar, the secretary of the Sri Lanka White Water Rafting Association.
Sri Lanka has ambitions of becoming one the top holiday destinations in the Indian Ocean, in the short term Sri Lankan tourism officials are aiming for 1.5 million tourism arrivals for 2014 with a long term goal of 2.5 million by the year 2016. Recent figures show that the country is quickly working its way towards these key milestones with 861,324 visitors during the first eight months of the year- representing a 24.7 per cent increase in arrivals when compared with the same period last year.
Destinations like Kitulgala certainly play a key role in attracting holidaymakers and as a result many will be looking on with a keen and critical eye to see the impact of the changes at the iconic site.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Sri Lanka Browse all
Discover the beautiful Sri Lankan nature, located beside a perfect strech beach on the Island's West Coast
- Beautifully located beside a perfect stretch of sandy beach on the island's west coast
- Modern and comfortable rooms with breathtaking sea views
- Choose from the open air terrace offering delicious traditional and international cuisines
Take advantage of a this twin destination combination treat
- Enjoy themed nights with flavours from around the world in Sri Lanka
- Discover the wonder of Old and New Delhi with a guided, full day city tour
- Visit the City Palace, an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways
Embark on a holiday of a lifetime with this amazing twin centre special offer
- Indulge your senses with the amazing spa treatments at the Avani Kalutara
- Enjoy an authentic Rajasthani meal with a local Indian family in Jaipur
- Buy some amazing souvenirs made by sculptors who claim to be direct descendants of the craftsmen who built the Taj Mahal
Marvel at the Magnificent Taj Mahal and discover the Forts of Rajasthan then head south to enjoy an all inclusive beach holiday in Sri Lanka
- Enjoy a Horse Carriage & ride while visiting the Taj Mahal & Elephant Ride to Amber Fort*
- Enjoy a Rajasthani Feast in Jaipur
- Complete your stay with an All Inclusive break in Sri Lanka - Staying at the Beachside Haven Tangerine Beach
Discover a world of peace and relaxation at the all-inclusive Mermaid Hotel Club in the gorgeous Kalutura Beach, Sri...
Sri Lanka has quietly become a leading tourist destination as tourists seek to soak up the sunshine that pours down on...
A luxurious gem of a five-star hotel, the Heritance Ahungalla is a living piece of astounding architecture that allows...
Stay in a world of luxury and comfort at Citrus Waskaduwa, a fantastic beach retreat with top of the range amenities and...
Set upon Sri Lanka’s southern coast, the Hibiscus Beach Hotel offers tranquillity and seclusion at an affordable price....
Take a trip to Sri Lanka and enjoy the warm hospitality at Avani Bentota. It is a resort located along the popular...