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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 05 Things To Do Around Bentota – Oasis of Golden Sands
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 05 Things To Do Around Bentota – Oasis of Golden Sands

Bentota lies along the south-west coast of Sri Lanka; flanked by the resort towns of Beruwala and Aluthgama, this popular coastal town offers the sun-worshiper plenty of action. Indulge in the latest water sports, look forward to a vibrant night out on the town and enjoy long lazy days on the beach.

1

Explore the Brief Garden

The Brief Garden is a masterpiece created by renowned landscape artist, Bevis Bawa; brother of Sri Lanka's renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa. The Brief Gardens are located inland, 10kms from the main town. Go there if you love nature or to just relax amidst the fairy-tale like settings. The gardens are a riot of foliage tapering down to the river, while a Japanese Garden, hidden coves and cheeky statues lend the place an ethereal aura. If you are staying at Cinnamon Bey Beruwala, it will be easy to reach this site which is open from 8 am to 5 pm.

2

Visit the Galapatha Raja Maha Temple

You cannot miss a chance to explore this 12th century temple, which sits on the south bank of the Bentota River. The vintage shrine is home to a number of artefacts such as ancient wall murals done in traditional design, while the 2500 dagoba holds within its folds a tooth relic of Kashyapa known as the Buddha's main disciple. Open from dawn to dusk, the temple can be reached by crossing the bridge to the south of Aluthgama, not too far from well-placed Bentota hotels.

3

Savour the Local Atmosphere of the Aluthgama Market

The Monday market held in Aluthgama is located across the railway line, just minutes from the Dharga Town. There you will be treated to local lifestyles, with harried vendors shouting out their wares and busy shoppers jostling each other to get their week's shopping done. Make sure to take along the cameras for capturing plenty of local flavour at this bazaar which sells, just about every household product from vegetables and fruits to fish and clay pots.

4

Check Out the Kechimalai Mosque

Beruwala is home to the first Muslim settlement in Sri Lanka, and sitting on a peninsula jutting out to the sea is the Kechimalai Mosque. The church sits at a site believed to be the spot the first Arabic merchants alighted when visiting the island. This mosque is a popular pilgrimage site and gets quite busy during special festivals such as Eid. Apart from the mosque, this bay area is popular for a number of Beruwala hotels and other religious shrines, occupying the breezy little coastal strip.

5

Head Out to the Kalutara Bodhiya

The Kalutara Bodhiya sits across the Kalutara Bridge, occupying both sides of the main Galle Road. One of the country's most popular pilgrimage sites, this shrine is home to an ancient Bo tree, believed to be a sapling from the main tree the Buddha attained Nirvana under. A beautiful place to explore especially on a cool, full moon poya night, this temple is a must visit and easy to reach when staying at a hotel in Beruwala.