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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for Try These Activities in Kalutara for an Unforgettable Holiday!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Try These Activities in Kalutara for an Unforgettable Holiday!

Set just a short 43-kilometre drive away from Colombo—the economic capital of Sri Lanka—the seaside town of Kalutara welcomes you to savour the charming west coast, away from the hustle and bustle of the heartland. Come, experience the under-the-radar beach town in the west of the teardrop island.


Marvel at the Richmond Castle - Magnificent work of striking Edwardian architecture

The conspicuous structure of remarkable architecture that stands in the vicinity of the Kalu Ganga in Kalutara is the magnificent Richmond Castle—once the mansion of the local mudaliyar, Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena. The sprawling mansion dates back to the early 1900s and boasts a striking Edwardian architectural design, as the well-to-do mudaliyar had allegedly fancied his mansion to immediately stand out from the rest of the structures in the vicinity, which he clearly has pulled off impressively well.


Explore the Fa Hien Caves - Your fill of fascinating history and exciting adventure

The spellbinding natural attraction that is the Fa Hien Caves, further inland of Kalutara, offers a glimpse into the prehistoric civilisation of the Indian Ocean island nation. Fa Hien Caves—or Pahiyangala, as it is commonly known locally—gets its name from the first alleged inhabitant of the caves—the Chinese Buddhist monk, Faxian—despite a lack of clear archaeological or historical evidence. The trek that leads to the caves cuts through some of the lush wilderness of the south coast, making for an experience of both fascinating history and exciting adventure.


Visit the sacred Kalutara Bodhiya - A dose of history, culture and holy Buddhism

Set in the heart of Kalutara, immediately south of the iconic Kalutara Bridge, is one of the most important places of worship on the south coast as well as in the whole of the South Asian nation—the sacred Kalutara Bodhiya Buddhist temple. The prominent religious site houses two precious items of Sri Lankan Buddhists - one of the most sacred and oldest planted trees in Sri Lanka that dates back to the 2nd century BC and one of only a few hollow Buddhist stupas in the world.


Relax and unwind at Calido Beach - A slice of sun, sand and sea

No trip to the seaside town of Kalutara would be complete without at least a single beach on the itinerary, and the stunning palm-fringed shores of Calido Beach are arguably the most breathtaking in town. It's not only the turquoise blue waters and golden-hued sands that sets the scene, but also the estuary of the Kalu Ganga river—treating you to a beach experience like no other.


Admire the Thudugala Ella Waterfall - Oodles of beauty and nature

Fall off the beaten track and set out on a journey to the rural village of Thudugala in the Kalutara region to find yourself at one of the best places to visit in Kalutara, the breathtaking Thudugala Ella Waterfall. It is one of the handfuls of waterfalls found in the Western province and is the 268th out of the 382 recorded waterfalls in Sri Lanka. After a day of treating yourself to the scenic wonder of nature, retreat to one of the finest hotels in the beach town, including the likes of Anantara Kalutara Resort.