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Tourist Places To Visit In Bentota
The Beach town of Bentota lies on the south western coast of Sri Lanka. Its unique landscape is one of the reasons it so popular among tourists. The Bentota Ganga also known as Bentara flows almost parallel to the coastline forming a picturesque lagoon with the rural set up adding to its charm. There are a number of beaches in Bentota with appealingly fine sand and calm waters that make it one of the most popular beach destinations in Sri Lanka. Bentota is not, however, all about the beaches. There are quite a lot of interesting tourist places to visit in Bentota and here is a list of a few.
The Bentota beach is the vast coastline that includes popular beaches like Moragalla Beach and Ventura Beach. The highlight of the beach is its fine sandy soil and pleasantly calm waters. Then there is, of course, the lagoon formed by the River Bentara that lies almost parallel to the coastline. The stretch of land sandwiched between the two gorgeous water bodies is home to some of the most picturesque beaches. The beeches are lined with palm trees, hotels, restaurants and cafes. But this is not all that the beach has to offer. The Bentota Beach is best known for water sports and a number of sports centres, and equipment rental services can be found here. The best time for water sports is from December to April.
Designed and created by the famous Sri Lankan artist Bevis Bawa, the Brief Garden is one of Bentota’s cherished possessions. Spread over an area of 5 acres, the place houses some very fine architectural masterpieces, an array of tropical trees and artwork that cannot be put into words. The Garden is a testimony to the life that Bevis led and the aesthetical genius he was. Bevis converted the rubber plantation that it was when left to him by his mother, into this marvellous place that it is today. With pictures that will allow visitors an insight into the life of Bevis, artwork from him and his friends and comfort that can only be experienced in the Garden, it is a must visit if in Bentota.
The architect Geoffrey Bawa was one of the most prominent men in Sri Lanka and his master touch can be seen almost everywhere throughout the country. In fact some parts of the Bentota National Holiday Resort, a tourist complex with accommodation, shops etc, is said to be designed by him. His countryside house, the Lunuganga, stands as proof to his artistic capabilities. The house is in a way a map of his evolution as an artist, as he went from style to style, and his experiments that have come together to make the marvellous Lunuganga. The trust that manages all his properties arranges detailed tours, workshops and exhibitions and though the tours can be easily arranged by contacting them, you should keep an eye out for other events that may be happening at the time of your visit.
Kande Vihara Temple
A little away from Bentota, on the top of a hill, is the famous Kande Vihara Temple. The temple is most famous for the 150 feet Buddha Statue gleaming from over the hill. The temple in itself is quite old and has most of the features of a traditional Buddhist temple complex. This includes a bell shaped Stupa, an ancient and intricately decorated relic chamber and a descendant of the maha Bodhi tree. The temple complex also has a meditation hall, a museum and a library. The temple is a testimony of beauty with its every wall engraved or painted with its stories and with all the greenery it is surrounded by.
Galapatha Buddhist Temple
This ancient temple was said to have been built as early as the 12th century. However it has undergone quite a bit of transformation since. The temple is important because of the tooth relic of Buddha’s disciple that it is home to. The temple has some very interesting engravings and paintings. One of the best examples are the pillars at the entrance that are carved with the elaborate ‘nari latha’, a mythical creeper that blooms into dancing women patterns. Another feature of the temple is the 25 feet long statue of a Sleeping Buddha and a large bell which also has inscriptions engraved onto it.
Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery
Among Sri Lanka’s thriving marine life is the endangered turtle species and the country has made tremendous efforts to conserve them. One such place that has dedicated itself to nurturing these gentle creatures is the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Though the Hatchery is about 8 km away from Bentota, the place is worth the visit. It is interesting to note that out of the 7 kinds of turtles that exist today, Kosgoda is home to 5 of them. The Hatchery is a great place to gain awareness and to see the adorable creatures go about their daily life.
Though not in Bentota, this beach is a must visit if you plan to go all the way to Bentota. The beach at Induruwa is without doubt one of the most beautiful beaches in the country and to add to the beauty, it is almost never crowded. Induruwa is a fishing village and yet it does have a couple of hotels and other services available for visitors. The soft sandy beach and the calm water is perfect for sunbathing or for a casual swim.
The Cinnamon Island in Bentota is named after the famous spice. No points for guessing that the island is one of the largest local producers of cinnamon. Other tourist activities developed over the years here include water sports, beach lazing and town exploring to see how cinnamon is harvested, processed and made into different forms, viz a viz oils, powders, whole spice etc. The sprawling meadows of cinnamon trees on this island leave a permanent fragrance of this spice in the air, while small eateries and coffee houses serve the best local and international delicacies and deserts spiked in this spice!
Deduwa Lake is a unique lake with its marshes, villas, boat houses and a gorgeous water body. When in Bentota, this lake is THE place you should visit for a kick-backed relaxed day. There is a garden nearby the lake courtesy the great Geoffrey Bawa, with plantations of cinnamon and rubber to flank it. You can visit these, stroll by the bank of the lake, explore the history through guided tours, and enjoy swims and boating in the lake.
A little hamlet on the coast of south Sri Lanka, Ambalangoda is filled with culture, heritage and loads of history of the region. A visit here from Bentota can be planned as a day trip, with tours of the village, food tastings and shopping of their famous devil masks. The dancers here perform their traditional dance in these masks too. The hamlet is so filled with lore, folk tales and art that it is famously called the magical village.
The Moragalla Beach should be on your itinerary if you want all the beach fun in Bentota without the crazy noise and crowd that is ripe everywhere else. Because it is secluded in south Beruwala, this beach is not famous. And yet its beauty is something to behold — all high winds over clear waters, deep enough to enjoy snorkelling and diving and even windsurfing on the best days. The Mangrove thickets on the fringes of Moragalla add to its charm, transporting you to a different Sri Lanka altogether.