Immerse in graceful cultural sites and palm-fringed beach

The speciality of Kalutara lies with the fruit called ‘Mangosteen’ (A sweet fruit which is in dark purple colour). Kalutara is often overlooked by leisure travellers for its palm-fringed beaches, bustling metropolises, a meandering river to ancient pilgrimage sites. Here’s a guide to help you enjoy your time in Kalutara.

Richmond Castle

Get to know the fusion of romance and grandeur. This 99-doored and palatial mansion is a marvel of rich architectural design. It was once owned by a local chief but today it is open for locals as well as tourists to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With eye-catching gardens, scenic views of the Kalu Ganga, amazing views of the countryside, and intricate detail of architecture visiting the Richmond Castle is one of the best things to do in Kalutara. If you are residing at a Kalutara hotel the likes of Avani Kalutara Resort, the castle is 19 minutes away. This is an ideal spot to enjoy the quieter side of the city. Covering an area of 42 acres, the castle features a huge dance hall, a staircase made of teak (imported from Burma), and 34 windows with stained glass of exquisite design. The windowpanes have Roman-Dutch-style details. This place is open for public viewing on weekdays from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm and it is closed on public holidays.

Kalutara Bodhiya: A Sacred Oasis

Kalutara Bodhiya, a revered Buddhist temple located in Kalutara, Sri Lanka, holds a significant place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. This sacred site is home to a majestic dagoba that enshrines a sapling from the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura, believed to be a branch of the original Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. The towering dagoba, adorned with intricate carvings and surrounded by serene gardens, creates an atmosphere of tranquillity and reverence. Pilgrims and visitors flock to Kalutara Bodhiya to offer prayers, meditate, and seek spiritual solace. The temple also hosts vibrant religious ceremonies and cultural events, providing a deeper insight into the religious and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. A visit to Kalutara Bodhiya is not only a spiritual journey but also an opportunity to witness the harmony between devotion, architectural beauty, and cultural significance.

Kalutara Beach

Kalutara Beach, a coastal paradise nestled along the southwestern coastline of Sri Lanka, beckons with its alluring charm and tranquil beauty. As the gentle waves caress the golden shores, a sense of serenity washes over visitors, transporting them to a realm of pure relaxation and bliss. The expansive stretch of soft sand invites barefoot strolls, each step sinking into the warmth of the earth beneath. The rhythmic melody of crashing waves creates a soothing symphony, harmonizing with the whispers of the coastal breeze. The azure waters extend as far as the eye can see, inviting swimmers and surfers to immerse themselves in the refreshing embrace of the ocean. Kalutara Beach is not only a haven for beach lovers but also a gateway to a vibrant local culture. Wander along the bustling shoreline and discover bustling markets where merchants proudly display their colourful wares. Engage with friendly locals, savouring the flavours of exotic fruits and aromatic street food, as the vibrant sights and sounds of the coastal town envelop your senses. As the sun begins its descent, casting a golden glow upon the horizon, find solace in the enchanting beauty of Kalutara Lighthouse. Perched at the edge of the beach, this sentinel of the coast offers panoramic views that mesmerize and inspire.

Kalutara Beach is more than just a destination; it is a sanctuary for the soul, a place where time stands still, and worries are carried away by the ebb and flow of the tides. With its natural splendour and vibrant local culture, this coastal paradise awaits those who seek a tranquil escape from the rigors of everyday life.

Kalutara Vihara: A Serene Spiritual Haven

Kalutara Vihara, also known as the Gangatilaka Vihara, is a renowned Buddhist temple nestled amidst scenic surroundings. This sacred site features a giant white stupa, standing as one of the tallest in Sri Lanka, and offers breathtaking views of the Kalu River and the surrounding landscape. The temple complex also encompasses intricate murals, statues, and meditation spaces, providing an ideal atmosphere for spiritual reflection. Witnessing the vibrant rituals and engaging in spiritual practices within the temple premises offers a profound experience that embraces both the cultural and spiritual heritage of Sri Lanka.

Brief Garden: An Artistic Eden

Situated on the outskirts of Kalutara, Brief Garden serves as a testament to the creative genius of Sri Lanka’s renowned artist, Bevis Bawa. This enchanting garden is a harmonious blend of tropical flora, artistic sculptures, and whimsical structures. As you step into the magical realm of Brief Garden, you are greeted by a symphony of colours and scents. Meandering pathways lead you through a tapestry of tropical flora, where vibrant blooms intertwine with towering trees, creating a paradise for the senses. Each step reveals hidden corners adorned with whimsical sculptures, intricate stone carvings, and captivating artistic displays. The garden’s layout exudes a sense of artistic intention. Stone benches and open pavilions invite visitors to pause and soak in the serene surroundings. With every turn, unexpected surprises await—an intricately designed fountain, a secluded pond shimmering in the dappled sunlight, or a thought-provoking sculpture that sparks the imagination.

Brief Garden transcends the boundaries of conventional art, blending it seamlessly with nature’s innate beauty. The fusion of organic forms and artistic expression creates a harmonious coexistence, where man-made structures find their place amidst the natural splendour. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Brief Garden is a space that nurtures creativity and inspiration. It has been a sanctuary for artists, writers, and dreamers, offering a retreat from the world and a canvas for boundless imagination. Brief Garden is not merely a destination; it is an experience that awakens the senses and transports you to a realm where nature and art coalesce!