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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Activities and Excursions in Tissamaharama – A world of adventure to explore
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Activities and Excursions in Tissamaharama – A world of adventure to explore

Tissamaharama is a town in Sri Lanka full of beautiful natural wildlife, rich history and plenty of culture. Here are 5 things you must try if you are fortunate to visit.


Tissa Wewa (Lake)

The Tissa Wewa in Tissamaharama, not to be confused with the lake by the same name in Anuradhapura, dates back to somewhere around the 2nd or 3rd Century BC, when it was artificially constructed by the rulers of the time. Today it is a beautiful site to visit, surrounded by greenery, and home to various species of wildlife, most significantly an interesting variety of birds. Many come to this lake to bathe in its waters, though you can also consider a walk around the lake admiring the views and basking in the tranquillity; you can even set up a picnic, or consider a fishing expedition here. Select a Tissamaharama Hotel close to the lake for easy access to this pleasant spot.


Tissa Dagoba

This is one of the most sacred sites for Buddhism in Sri Lanka as it has been visited by Lord Buddha himself, during his third and final visit to the island. This temple site was one of the first to be established in Sri Lanka, soon after the arrival of the religion to the island. The Stupa at this temple is a magnificent sight for its massive size, measuring more than 150 feet in height, and 550 feet in circumference. Visit this temple and spend a few hours in quiet meditation, an exercise that the Buddha himself carried out here.


Bundala National Park

If you are a birdwatcher, then this is the place you need to head over to. Declared a Biosphere Reserved by UNESCO in 2005, this park is home to a large variety of birds. Of the 197 species, about 100 of them are water birds, found in the wetlands of the park. Many of these species are migratory birds who inhabit the park seasonally, and a visitor favourite is the greater flamingo. Along with these birds you will find several mammal species, and a large variety of butterflies. With so much to spot, don't forget to take your binoculars.



A short drive from Tissamaharama, the Kataragama town and temple complex is a must visit if you have the chance. This sacred site is special as it has multi religious importance, it is frequented by both Buddhist and Hindu worshipers, as well as indigenous communities and as it even houses an Islamic mosque, Muslim people too visit the site. People come seeking the blessings of the Kataragama God, who it is believed grants requests of those who have faith. Watch the locals carry out their worship and rituals at this site. Some hotels such as Kithala Resorts will organize this excursion for you.


Yala National Park

This national park is one of the most popular in all of Sri Lanka, and it is no wonder when you see the list of amazing species of wildlife that you can spot here. The highlight is of course the leopard, and many visit the park in hopes to spot these elusive animals. The park is also home to a significant elephant population, as well as other interesting creatures such as bears and crocodiles. In addition to the flora and fauna, there is a stretch of beach within the park, and you will also find ruins dating back to ancient times. This is an excursion you must make when in Tissamaharama.