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Updated by Maggie Tulliver (Umanga Kahandawaarachchi) on Jul 07, 2016
Headline for Day Trips From Bentota – Exploring the Southwestern Coast of Sri Lanka
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Day Trips From Bentota – Exploring the Southwestern Coast of Sri Lanka

Bentota is a popular tourist destination in the Galle District of Sri Lanka and is one of the best destinations from which to embark on exciting day trips to explore the Southwestern coastal region.

1

Day trip to Galle Fort

Just a 40 minute drive from Bentota along the Southern Expressway is the Galle Fort. The Galle Fort is one of Sri Lanka's most popular historic and cultural attractions. The first structures of the fort were built back in the 16th Century by the Portuguese; however, upon the conquest of Sri Lanka by the Dutch in the 17th Century, the fort was transformed into a large and well-fortified structure. Its large ramparts, built hundreds of years ago, still stand proud, while within the fort are a plethora of attractions such as architecturally stunning churches, historic buildings, museums, and cultural attractions. The fort also has many restaurants and stores. The Galle Fort is vast and there are so many things to see here, making it an excellent location for a day trip.

2

Day Trip to the Brief Garden

The Brief Garden is located roughly about 10km away from Bentota, and is considered to be one of the best examples of landscaping in Sri Lanka. This mesmerizing garden was designed by Bevis Bawa, the brother of Sri Lanka's legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa. The garden grounds are stunning, with luscious greenery intertwined with ornately designed steps, gateways and ponds and statues. This combination of rustic charm, master landscaping, and nature truly makes walking around this vast garden quite a tranquil experience. The house on the gardens also features quite an impressive collection of rare art. For a relaxing stay at a Bentota hotel from where one can plan a trip to this garden, consider AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa.

3

A trip to the Ambalangoda Mask Village

Ambalangoda is a town in the South of Sri Lanka which has a rich tradition of masks. Located about 25km away from Bentota, Ambalangoda has been at the forefront of creating and using traditional masks for religious, artistic, and cultural events and purposes. One of the best places to witness this tradition of mask making and creation is the Ambalangoda Mask Village. At this fascinating museum you will get to see the various types of masks, such as the Kolam theatre masks, the Raksha traditional masks used for protection and religious processions, and the Sanni exorcising or 'devil dancing' masks. You will also get a chance to see how these ornate and beautiful masks are created using traditional techniques.

4

Day Trip to Kande Viharaya Temple

The Kande Viharaya Temple in Beruwala is one of the most revered Buddhist temples along the Southern belt of Sri Lanka. Dating back to as early as 1731, this temple contains a holy Bo tree, a resplendent image house, an impressive stupa or relic chamber, and three holy temples for the deities Vishnu and Kataragama. The highlights of this stunning temple are the awe-inspiring paintings and frescos at the image house, as well as the 160ft tall statute of a sitting Lord Buddha, the largest statute of its kind in the world. A visit to this temple is sure to give you the opportunity of experiencing a taste of Sri Lanka's Buddhist culture.

5

Whale and Dolphin Watching

Heading over to Mirissa from Bentota for an exciting whale and dolphin watching experience is sure to be a great way to spend the day. Head out early in the morning so that you can hit the waters early and watch blue whales, spinner dolphins, humpback whales, and bottlenose dolphins as they breach the waters and swim playfully, making quite a splash. Keep in mind, however, that whale and dolphin watching can be done only from November through April.