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5 places to visit in Kalutara

Places to visit in Kalutara

Kalutara seamlessly blends the allure of a coastal paradise with a rich tapestry of cultural heritage. Nestled along the sun-kissed shores of Sri Lanka, this captivating town offers an array of enchanting experiences. With its pristine beaches, historic landmarks, and vibrant traditions, Kalutara beckons travellers seeking a harmonious blend of relaxation and exploration. Join us as we embark on a journey to discover the top places to visit in Kalutara. Located just 40 km south of Sri Lanka’s bustling capital, Colombo, Kalutara beckons travellers with its picturesque landscapes and warm tropical charm. The highlight of Kalutara is its magnificent beaches that stretch for miles, offering a perfect retreat for sun-seekers and water enthusiasts. But Kalutara has much more to offer beyond its coastline. History buffs can explore the Kalutara Bodhiya, a revered Buddhist shrine boasting ancient architecture and sacred relics. Its serene ambience invites visitors to seek solace and admire the intricate craftsmanship. Immerse yourself in the town’s vibrant culture by witnessing traditional industries like coconut-based crafts. Kalutara is renowned for its basket weaving, coir rope production, and coconut shell carving. Discover the intricate artistry of local artisans and take home unique handicrafts as mementoes of your journey.

1. Kalutara Bodhiya

Kalutara Bodhiya

The Kalutara Bodhiya is a sanctuary that echoes the whispers of centuries past. It is home to an ancient Bo tree, which is believed to be one of the 32 saplings of the original Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, planted during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa in Anuradhapura during the 2nd century BC. This majestic tree is steeped in history and holds immense importance for Buddhists and history enthusiasts alike. So, it is one of the most captivating places to visit in Kalutara. In modern times, the Kalutara Bodhiya has evolved into a cherished religious place. It was developed as a sanctuary for spiritual seekers when the Kalutara Buddhist Society was formed in 1931. Since then, this sacred site has become a beacon of faith and a destination for those seeking solace. The Kalutara Bodhiya Trust, established by Sir Cyril de Zoysa and other prominent individuals, serves as a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and nurturing the historic Kalutara Bodhiya. It plays a vital role in safeguarding the sanctity of this sacred place and ensuring its welfare for generations to come. As you stroll through the temple grounds, you’ll encounter beautifully adorned structures, intricate architecture, and devotional offerings, all contributing to a sense of deep spirituality.

2. Richmond Castle

Places visit in Kalutara Richmond Castle

This architectural marvel, built between 1900 and 1910, once served as the esteemed country seat of Mudaliyar Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena. Today, under the ownership of the Public Trustee, this historical gem opens its doors to the public, beckoning visitors to explore its rich heritage. Richmond Castle is not just a magnificent mansion; it embodies a fascinating story that transcends borders. Siriwardena, who studied in Britain, was bestowed the prestigious title of Mudaliyar upon his return to Ceylon. Inspired by a castle owned by his schoolmate, Raja Rajeswara Sethupathi, the Raja of Ramnad, Siriwardena incorporated elements from that grand structure into the design of his abode. Step into Richmond Castle, and you’ll be captivated by its timeless charm. This two-storey marvel boasts sixteen elegantly appointed rooms, adorned with ninety-nine doors and thirty-four exquisite windows. As you wander through its corridors, you’ll be immersed in the opulence and grandeur of a bygone era. From the imported Italian floor tiles to the teak staircase sourced from Burma, every detail speaks of exquisite craftsmanship. Discover the legacy of Mudaliyar Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena and experience the grandeur of Richmond Castle, an essential highlight among the remarkable places to visit in Kalutara.

3. Thudugala Waterfall

Thudugala Ella Waterfall

Thudugala Waterfall is nestled within the expansive Thudugala Estate spanning over 400 hectares. Located in the heart of Kalutara, this enchanting natural wonder promises a captivating adventure for visitors of all ages. As you approach the waterfall, you’ll notice a derelict bungalow that once belonged to a British national. This historical structure adds an air of mystery and intrigue to the picturesque surroundings, inviting you to explore its secrets. Thudugala Waterfall cascades down in two magnificent steps, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The upper part of the waterfall drops from a height of approximately 8 m, while the lower section gracefully descends 6 m, adding to the allure of this natural masterpiece. The sheer power and beauty of the cascades are sure to leave you in awe. The area surrounding the waterfall is also home to a diverse range of freshwater fish species. Keep your eyes peeled for the vibrant Goby species, the intriguing Stone Suckers, and the mesmerizing Golden Rasbora. These aquatic inhabitants contribute to the rich biodiversity of the region, making Thudugala Waterfall a haven for nature enthusiasts. This captivating destination promises an unforgettable experience, making it a must-see among the top places to visit in Kalutara.

4. Fa Hien Cave

Fa Hien Cave

Legend has it that Fa Hien Cave was named after a historical figure, Buddhist monk Fa Hien, who allegedly resided here during ancient times. Prepare to be amazed as you step into the largest natural stone cave in South Asia. Fa Hien Cave can accommodate an astounding 3,500 people at a time, making it a truly awe-inspiring destination. Its vastness and beauty are unparalleled, providing an unforgettable experience for visitors. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the cave as you discover that prehistoric humans once called this place home. For a staggering 35,000 to 60,000 years, these early inhabitants thrived within the cave’s shelter. They relied on the abundant resources around them, using sea fish, salt, and even shark teeth as ornaments. Witness the remnants of their ancient lifestyle and marvel at their remarkable adaptability. The breathtaking limestone formations within Fa Hien Cave tell a story of corrosion that took place over hundreds of thousands of years. This slow process shaped the cave into the stunning natural wonder that it is today, creating a unique and captivating environment. So, Fa Hien Cave is a great highlight among the remarkable places to visit in Kalutara, beckoning adventurers to unravel its ancient mysteries.

5. Holy Cross Church

Holy Cross Church Kalutara

Holy Cross Church is a place of worship and serenity nestled in the heart of Kalutara. This historic church holds a significant place in the religious and cultural fabric of the region, inviting visitors to experience its peaceful ambience. Holy Cross Church, also known as “Kurisupalli” in the local language, is a must-visit among the remarkable places to explore in Kalutara. This sacred site is a testament to the rich religious heritage of the area and offers a unique insight into the spiritual traditions of Sri Lanka. As you step inside the church, you’ll be greeted by its elegant architecture and serene atmosphere. The Holy Cross Church is known for its distinctively beautiful design, featuring intricate stained glass windows and a peaceful interior that exudes a sense of tranquillity. The church holds a special significance for the local community, serving as a focal point for religious ceremonies and gatherings. It is a place where people from all walks of life come together to celebrate their faith and find solace in their shared beliefs. Holy Cross Church is an essential highlight among the places to visit in Kalutara, offering a profound experience that will leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul.

Places to visit in Kalutara

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