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Updated by Maggie Tulliver (Umanga Kahandawaarachchi) on Jan 31, 2016
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Best five sightseeing spots in Kalutara– the quiet seaside village of Sri Lanka

Kalutara is a laidback seaside town in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It is one of the best locations in the country for a quick getaway to enjoy the sun, sand and sea, with a number of top class hotels in the area, it is a beautiful, scenic town with interesting sightseeing options.

1

Fa hien Caves

Fa hien Caves

A short drive from Kalutara will take you to the prehistoric Fa hien caves. The Fa hien caves are historically significant due to its habitation evidence of the Middle Stone Age in Sri Lanka. The cave receives its name after a visit from the Buddhist monk and explorer Fa hien in 399 A.D. This cave is noteworthy since it is supposedly the largest natural rock in Asia and is recognized as the most ancient pre-historic human settlement in Asia. There are two main caves aging over 45000 years and it’s an interesting place to visit during your stay in Kalutara.

2

Brief Garden

Brief Garden

Located within a short distance from the AVANI Kalutara Resort &Spa, which is one of the top hotels in the area to stay in, Brief Garden is a house with a massive garden with aesthetically pleasing architecture. Owned by a popular artist in Sri Lanka Bervis Bawa who was the brother of the famed architect Geoffrey Bawa. There’s a collection of interesting artwork in the house, however the highlight is the garden. The landscaped garden has some fascinating statues, sculptures and excessively grown greenery. There’s something about the theme of the collection that awakens the curiosity of the visitors, making them anticipate what they will discover next.

3

Kalutara Bodhiya

Kalutara Bodhiya

One of the most hallowed landmarks in the southern coast of Sri Lanka, the Kalutara Bodhiya is a sacred Buddhist temple. Remarkably anyone who is travelling to and from the South stopover to pay respect by way of offering or worship irrespective of their religious beliefs. Located on the estuary of the Kalu River, the Kalutara Bodhiya is an ancient temple that dates back to second century BC. The story unveils that Arahat Mahinda Thero who was the Buddhist monk known to introduce Buddhism to Sri Lanka, directed the reigning king during the time to plant a sapling of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhiya, where the temple stands today.

4

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle

Located close to many of the prominent Kalutara Beach Hotel Sri Lanka, the Richmond Castle is famed for its spectacular architecture. This is a two-storied mansion built in 1896 with fifteen spacious rooms with various design and construction techniques, which were unknown at the time. It is interesting to note that the house occupies ninety-nine doorframes and thirty-eight windows. A wealthy regional governor and philanthropist who owned the mansion left it for the use of underprivileged children after his demise.

5

A safari on the Kalu River

A safari on the Kalu River

The Kalu River originates from the Adam’s Peak. It prominently flows through the Kalutara district and is still used for bathing by locals. A boat trip or canoeing down the river is a great way to enjoy the scenery of Kalutara. The tall bamboo tree and the bed of pink lotus flowers that you come across during your journey will be a truly magnificent sight.

Kalutara is a laidback seaside town in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It is one of the best locations in the country for a quick getaway to enjoy the sun, sand and sea, with a number of top class hotels in the area, it is a beautiful, scenic town with interesting sightseeing options.