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Updated by Paul Wagnor on Apr 20, 2016
Headline for 05 Things to do and Places to Visit in Bentota
Paul Wagnor Paul Wagnor
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05 Things to do and Places to Visit in Bentota

Bentota is a popular coastal town offering loads of holiday fun. Enjoy the sandy beaches, Indian Ocean and cultural aspects of this evergreen tourist resort in south Sri Lanka.


Bentota River Safari

When touring Bentota a river safari on the Bentota River the third largest in the country; is not to be missed. Bentota travel is always enhanced with a tour of the river which within a few hours will take you into the folds of the lush mangrove forests and abode of an 800 year old Buddhist Temple – the Wanawasala. Along the way your tour may stop at a traditional village where a delicious meal of Sri Lankan rice and curry are on the cards; if you are lucky there just may be a traditional village wedding ceremony taking place where you can observe age old customs and rituals. Nature lovers will love the river cruise as they spot monitor lizards lazily slipping into the water and listen to the sounds of tropical birds in the trees.


Kande Viharaya Temple

The world's tallest sitting Buddha statue is located within the Kande Viharaya which is in Aluthgama, the very next town to Bentota. The statue measuring at a height of 160ft rests within this abode which was initiated in 1734 by the Venerable Dedduwa Dhammananda Thero a devout Buddhist monk. This temple is a very popular pilgrimage site welcoming large numbers of devotees daily; these people are a soothing sight as they are seen lost in prayer and devotion. If you are a lover of nature, culture and serene places do visit this tranquil place of worship that promises to soothe mind body and soul.


Beruwela Fishing Harbour

The popular Beruwela Fishing Harbour is just 15 minutes from the AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa; you can opt to take a fun tuk tuk ride to the place. The commercial harbour is quite a treat to explore if you want a dose of local culture. Make sure to get there by 7 am as this is the time the previous night's catch is auctioned off and you stand a chance of bagging the freshest seafood in Sri Lanka.


Benthara Galapatha Raja Maha Viharaya

The Bentota Benthara River crosses the deep south, it is a river that is steeped in history and named in Pali; on the banks of this lush waterway is the Benthara Galaptha Raja Maha Viharaya. The vintage shrine is home to the tooth relic of Buddha's third disciple which is cocooned within the stupa. Built in the 12th century the revered site was destroyed in the 16th century by the Dutch; it has however been rebuilt to surpass its former glory calling devotees from all corners of the island. Culture buffs will love the ancient architecture reflective of the Kandyan period of Sri Lanka.


Enjoy a drink of Toddy

Toddy or toddy wine is a sweet alcoholic beverage widely available in the deep south, eastern and western coasts of Sri Lanka. It is made by tapping the sap of palms such as Palmyra and coconut. The toddy is collected in the wee hours of the morning and is best drunk before it ferments too much.