The first place of interest is the Henerathgoda Botanic Gardens, about 30km northwest of Colombo.

About 50km from Kandy is Cadjugama, famous for its cashew nuts. At the 48km post is Radawaduwa, notable for woven cane items.

Kegalle, 77km from Colombo, is the nearest town to the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. Several spice farms can also be found around here. Nearby is Utuwankandu, a rocky hill from where the 19th-century Robin Hood–style highwayman Saradiel preyed on travellers until the British executed him.

At Kadugannawa, just after the road and railway make their most scenic climbs – with views southwest to the large Bible Rock – is a tall pillar erected in memory of Captain Dawson, the English engineer who built the Colombo–Kandy road in 1826.