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Kalutara.

Kalutara is a city in Sri Lanka, Located in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is also the third largest city in Western Province after Colombo and Negombo. Kalutara is a resort city. It is also the administrative capital of the Kalutara District, located approximately 40  km south of the capital Colombo.

 

 

Etymology

Once an important spice-trading center, the city's name is derived from the Kalu Ganga River ('Black River' in native Sinhala). In the 11th Century, the town was temporarily made a capital on the orders of a South Indian Prince. The region was later planted with coconut trees, whose by-products are used for both internal and external trade. The location also boast fortifications dating back from the times when Portuguese, Dutch and British vied for control of the area.


The 38-meter long Kalutara Bridge was built at the mouth of the Kalu Ganga River and serves as a major link between the country's western and southern border. At the southern end of the bridge lies the 3 stories-high Kalutara Vihara, a Buddhist temple built in the 1960s which holds the distinction of being the only stupa in the world that is hollow.

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Kande Viharaya

Known also as Aluthgama Kande Vihara or Bentota Kande Vihara due to its proximity to both towns, this historic temple at Kaalawila is just a few kilometres from the Induruwa Beach Resort. It is situated atop a hill, thus the name Kande Vihara (meaning temple on the hill). Thousands of devotees still flock to this temple, which was established in 1734, in search of mental and spiritual solace from the worries and troubles of daily life.

The Kshethrarama Pirivena, founded by the famous monk, Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera in 1904, is also located within these sacred premises, and acts as a vital centre in Buddhist education in the country.

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Bentota

Bentota is dominated by package tourism. It is rightfully claims its popularity with a wide arc of sandy beach with numerous sun-kissed havens along the south west coast. The best stand in splendid isolation on the narrow peninsula between the Bentota river and the sea, with palm-fringed beaches on both the seaward and river side.

Boat Safari…

The Boat Safari which takes about 1 ½ - 2 Hours, Gives the Nature Lover an opportunity of experiencing a touch o Nature and the Life Style of the inhabitants of the Island s of Mdau River, Bentota River. The mangroves that provide breeding ground for Fish, Prawns and Crabs, Birds and water monitor are some of the spectacular sights of this safari.

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Turtle Hatchery - Kosgoda

Kosgoda is famous for its turtle hatchery- operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1981 to protect Sri Lanka's turtles from extinction. The hatchery pays fishermen for eggs that they collect at night along the sandy beach. Visitors can see huge tanks filled with new born turtle hatchlings. After being fed, the baby turtles are taken to the sea and released when they are 2-4 days old, usually during the safer hours of darkness. Although October to April is the main laying season, some eggs can be found at Kosgoda throughout the year.

The beaches of Sri Lanka are the nesting grounds for five species of marine turtles. They are the Green Turtle, the Leatherback, the Hawksbill, the Loggerhead and the Olive Ridley. All 5 species have been recorded to nest along specific areas of Sri Lanka's coast. Studies have indicated that beaches can be categorized in accordance with visitation by different species of turtles. For example Leatherbacks nest at Walawe Modera and Godawaya. Hawksbill nests at Bentota while Green Turtle nests at Rekawa and Kosgoda. Loggerheads nest at Welipatanwala. Olive Ridleys are the only species of turtle that nest everywhere.

There are 18 hatcheries found along the southern coastal line; of them, nine hatcheries are found in the district of Galle and one is found in the district of Hambantota (Darwin's Cabana). According to statistics from 1996 to 1999, nearly a hundred thousand sea turtles were hatched and released to the sea from these hatcheries. A growing interest is manifest in the field of turtles everywhere in the world. While an infinitesimal minority of carnivores are bent on destroying this disappearing breed of marine turtles for their flesh and shell, a preponderant majority of people in many countries are keen to protect them and provide them sanctuaries.

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Ambalangoda

A quiet town which has yet as escaped the attentions of the tourism development industry. Home of the low country masked dancing(devil dancing). The main attraction here is the thriving mask and puppet making industry. An interesting mask museum and a delightful beach for sea bathing.

Masks in Ambalangoda

The town is famous for masks & puppets. The traditional masks are carved from light Balsa like Kaduru wood (Nux vomica). Kaduru trees grow in the marshy lands bordering paddy fields. The wood is smoke dried for a week in preparation. The hand carved & hand painted masks in traditional dance dramas are vibrant & colorful. The colourful & vibrant naga raksha (Cobra demon) mask of the Raksha Kolama (Demon dance), consist of a ferocious face with bulging, popping & staring eyes, a bloodthirsty carnivorous tongue lolling out of wide mouth armoured & armed to the hilt with set of fanglike teeth, & all topped by a set of cobra hoods

 

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Moonstone

Sri Lanka is famous for its precious gems and moonstone. Moonstones belong in the semi-precious category but are an important component of the gem business. Meetiyagoda, located between Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa, is one of the few places where they are found in such high concentrations. It is believed by the villagers that this piece of land, around an acre in extent, is blessed by the moon. The moonstone is grey and feels cool and smooth to the touch when polished and has a glow like that of the moon. The finest are bluish in colour and there are quite a few of them in these mines. At Meetiyagoda, you can see or even go down into the deep, narrow shafts from which the stones are mined. The small visitor centre will provide information related to this stone while the large shop on the premises sells moonstones as well as other stones.

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Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is located in theSouthern Province, about 17 km north-west of Galle. Hikkaduwa is famous for its beach, surfing, corals and night life.

It was affected by the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Villages affected were Telwatta, Paraliya (Queen of the Sea rail disaster), Dodanduwa, Kahawa,Rathgama. The place is on the way from Colombo to Galle on the famous Galle road. It is primarily a tourist destination, and serves as a great beach with options to surf,snorkel and enjoy the sun. The town is arranged around the one main road which runs from Galle to Colombo. This road is extremely heavily trafficked and pedestrians and tourists are advised to exercise caution when crossing.

In the wake of the tsunami, many of the families who had lost everything were givensewing machines as part of the relief operations. As a result, the town has a multitude of tailors who will custom make shirtspants, and shorts. The area also has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife. Hikkaduwa is also very popular with board-surfers. It's a well-known international destination for board-surfing. Hikkaduwa was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's television show No Reservations.

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Galle

Galle is the largest town in the region. It is the most important southern town with an old-world charm. Its natural harbour was a famous fort in days gone by. Famous for its Dutch fort, lace making, emboney carving and gem polishing.

The Dutch Fort
A continuous rampart, built by the Dutch from the mid 17th century onward and added to by the British, encircles the city, interrupted by 14 massive bastions.


Dutch Museum
A splendid Dutch building, the oldest within the Dutch fort has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur and consists of three units. The Museum contains a collection of rare and antique items dating from pre Portuguese period to British Colonial era. Jewellery, pottery, coins and Chinese porcelain items are on display.

Galle National Museum
Located in the historic Dutch fort of Galle. This museum displays objects connected to the history and life of people of Galle. Products of handicrafts include reed ware, embroidery, horn and shell objects.

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