Places to visit in Ahungalla
Ahungalla is a tiny seaside village in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province’s Galle District. It is located at an elevation of 12 m above sea level, about 75 km from Colombo. Ahungalla Beach offers beachgoers the perfect getaway because it is mainly unaffected by mass tourism. Between January and March is the best time to swim in the calm waters. However, swimmers are cautioned to watch out for strong currents, especially during monsoon season. With the help of this comprehensive travel guide, enjoy all the interesting places to visit in Ahungalla.
1. Meetiyagoda Moonstone Mine
The name Meetiyagoda is well-known in the moonstone mining industry. Since it was first discovered in 1906, the community has been the most significant supplier of high-quality blue moonstones. Unlike other moonstones, Sri Lankan moonstones exhibit a milky-white colour tinted with a hue of blue and are incredibly rare. Moonstone deposits are created in the crystalline granite, also known as pegmatite, far below the Earth’s surface, in contrast to other gemstones, which are found in sedimentary surface deposits. Within a depth range of 10 to 40 metres are the deposits of Meetiyagoda moonstones. Even tourists might be able to navigate the mining shafts where moonstones are extracted. The local lapidaries polish the rough moonstones that reach the ground till they glitter brightest. There are two centres: one is a tiny visitor centre that offers details on moonstones and the mining process, and the other is a larger store that sells moonstones as well as other gems.
2. Ariyapala Masks Museum
Ariyapala Masks Museum is one of the most iconic places to visit in Ahungalla. The elaborately carved masks of Ariyapala are a colourful and vivid representation of Sri Lanka’s historical and cultural ties to the mysterious worlds of dance, folklore, and exorcism. This custom has a long and distinguished history. The Wijesooriya Family has taken steps to actively preserve the masked plays’ nearly extinct culture. Their seventh generation continues the Ariyapala Tradition of traditional mask carving and Low country dancing. Here, over 120 different masks that are performed in religious festivals and traditional dance rituals are presented on the show, and there will be staff members who can speak English to walk you through the process and explain the culture. The museum’s primary exhibitions and library are all accessible to the general public. Two of these displays are particularly well-liked: the Kolam Maduwa and the practices for expelling obscene demons that afflict people. The visitors get access to a separate workshop where the masks are created. The Museum’s shop is located upstairs and sells artistic masks with a wide range of designs and the instruments used to produce them.
3. Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation
The Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Olive Ridley, Loggerhead, and Leatherback are five of the seven turtle species that may be found in the world, and they all come to Sri Lanka to breed. Only a few hatchling turtles make it back to the ocean after a female turtle lays hundreds of eggs on the shore. This project aims to ensure that the eggs hatch safely without being harmed by predators as well as the protection and rescue of sea turtles. To ensure that any mother turtles have suitable conditions to lay eggs, the volunteers patrol the beach at night. Additionally, they return the eggs to the hatchery to ensure a safe and successful hatch. The hatchlings are held back after hatching for a while to give them a head start and improve their chances of surviving once they return to the ocean. As there is less of a chance of encountering predators in the evening when the baby turtles are released into the sea, one can also go to the hatchery at that time and participate in the release of a newborn sea turtle. They also care for disabled sea turtles and treat those that have grown sickly as a result of fishing activity. So, don’t forget to include it in your itinerary as it is one of the interesting places to visit in Ahungalla.
4. Galapatha Raja Maha Viharaya
Galapatha Raja Maha Viharaya is said to be one of the ancient Buddhist temples in Bentota. It was established in the 12th century. The sacred tooth relic of Arhat Maha Kassapa Thera, a leading follower of the Lord Buddha, is thought to be kept in the stupa at the shrine. However, the temple suffered significant damage as a result of the Dutch invasion in the 16th century. The temple was later reconstructed. A stone gateway with two upright and two horizontal wooden pillars serves as the entrance to the temple. Extensive carvings of the Narilatha motif, probably from the Kandyan era, may be seen on the upright pillars. A stone water filter that has been used at the temple from the beginning of time stands as a silent monument to its rich history. The filter is referred to as “Galperanaya” and is made of a porous stone in the form of a basin. In August, the temple holds a perahara that draws many visitors.
5. Madu River
The Madu river estuary is a unique coastal habitat with islands and mangroves. According to history, the Madu river formerly contained 64 islands. Though only 25 islands are listed as existing today, the majority appear to have sunk beneath the surface. Koth Duwa is one of the substantially populated islands in Madu Ganga. There is a large, ancient Buddhist temple that spans the entire island. The early 1900s had seen the establishment of plantations with vast acreages of cinnamon trees on Cinnamon island. A single-family has been in charge of running the island-based, centuries-old cinnamon plantation for many years. You may see more about the process of harvesting cinnamon here. The river, which contains 14 of the 24 types of mangroves known in Sri Lanka, is extremely biodiverse and spans at least 150 acres of land. Since 2003, the area has been designated as a Ramsar Wetland Site. The Open-Air Fish Massage is a fascinating location to visit.
Places to visit in Ahungalla