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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 20, 2020
Headline for Top Reasons to Visit Kalutara, Sri Lanka – 5 Main Reasons
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Top Reasons to Visit Kalutara, Sri Lanka – 5 Main Reasons

You might not be aware of how versatile and beautiful Kalutara is as a tourist destination. While it is known by the locals and tourists as one of the best beach destinations in Sri Lanka, Kalutara also has a long and colourful history that you can see if you know where to look.


Kalutara Bodhiya

The Kalutara Bodhiya is one of the more famous places of worship for Buddhists in Sri Lanka and around the world. The temple was constructed relatively recently, and its large stupa is considered to be the first hollow stupa. The temple is also said to house one of the seedlings of the original Bodhi tree that was brought to Sri Lanka in ancient times. The Kalutara Bodhi tree is said to date back at least to the 2nd century BC.


Richmond Castle

South Sri Lanka is probably not the place you'd expect to see an Edwardian mansion but that is exactly what the rather dilapidated Richmond Castle is. It was constructed by a local enigma in the early 1900s to impress his future wife, and Don Arthur de Silva took a lot of inspiration from the homes of the well-to-do in England at the time including his friends, the prince and an Indian Maharaja. Located within easy reach of Mermaid Hotel & Club, it is a place worth visiting.


Kalutara Beach

You will find many a hotel in Kalutara Sri Lanka located within easy reach of the city's spectacular beaches. It is not just a myth that this might be one of the best beaches in the world. The beach is relatively unspoiled and is fringed in a somewhat calm tide that makes it ideal for swimming. You can also try out various water sport activities. The beach is also great for picnics and watching the sunset. You can come here with family and friends or as a couple.


Fa Hien Caves

The Fa Hien Caves are an enigma that has an international significance as an archaeological site that pertains to the Pleistocene era. Human remains were discovered by a Chinese monk, Fa Hsien, after whom the caves have been named. Major excavations were done in the 1960s, the 1980s and as recently as 2013. The fossils and the period they came from is what interests and drives visitors to this location. It is a notable and exciting historic site, especially if you are interested in learning more about the natural history of humanity.


Thudugala Ella

Thudugala Ella is a waterfall that is located close to the village of Thudugala in the Kalutara district. The waterfall is quite spectacular despite being ranked 268th in the list of the islands many waterfalls. It is safe to swim in and thus is quite popular with the local youth during school holidays and weekends. The falls also make for an excellent backdrop for photographs. Make sure that you visit them during the wet season as the trickles tend to die down during the dry seasons.