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Updated by Alex Untola on Jan 27, 2015
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Top Attractions in Kalutara - Must-Visit Highlights in Beach Holiday Heartland Kalutara

Located close to the capital Colombo and the island's main airport Kalutara is Sri Lanka's most accessible beach hub. Littered with engaging attractions the top highlight in Kalutara are as follows.
1

Kalutara Viharaya

Kalutara Viharaya
Tipped to be the most sacred Buddhist temple within close proximity to the capital Colombo the Kalutara Viharaya or the Gangatilaka Vihara as its formally known is an iconic religious institution in the country. Welcoming pilgrims from around the country this scenic temple perched on the banks of the Kalu River overlooks the Kalutara Bridge and the ocean. Located on a vaulted premonitory the 33 feet high temple complex was built as early as the 1960's and has been a revered fixture in the island's Buddhist heritage since its establishment. Housing the only stupa complex in the island that contains a hollow interior space the venue is equally renowned for its exquisite murals that depict Buddhist tales from the Jathaka stories. Seventy five murals in all decorate the inner walls of the sanctum at the Kalutara Viharaya.
2

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle
Set at the centre of a 42 acre fruit garden the Richmond Castle is an iconic structure in Kalutara's urban landscapes that warrants further exploration. Sprawled across a vast expanse the venue once served as the palatial residence of a regional governor in centuries past. Built as far back as 1896 the venue is a towering structure that inspires awe in onlookers thanks to its mammoth scale and stunning architectural features that highlight English as well as Indian leanings. Fifteen rooms are found within the compound which also contains a massive ordinance hall as well as an intricately carved spiral staircase. Columns and pillars within the residence also feature carvings as the venue was built to resemble a Maharaja's palace in India. Visitors can explore the confines of the castle and uncover the luxurious lifestyle of its inhabitants during the beginning of the 20th century as photographs and other artefacts are also displayed in the compound.
3

Calido Beach

Calido Beach
Frequented by tourists and locals alike Calido Beach is a popular beachscape in Kalutara. Surrounded by captivating views the pristine stretch of beach known as Calido is tucked away between the ocean and the country's fourth largest river Kalu.
4

Kalutara Beach

Kalutara Beach
Kalutara beach is the coastal town's main attraction and observing its natural attributes it is little surprise. Offering beach fanatics a white, sandy patch of paradise the popular beach haven is frequented by local and foreign holidaymakers all year long. Blessed with calm waters and warm weather conditions for most of the year the locale is ideal for engaging in swimming activities as well as a variety of water sports. Visitors based in AVANI Kalutara or a similar reputable Kalutara resort can also experience spa facilities in addition to a breathtaking beachfront location on Kalutara beach.
5

Basket Centre

Basket Centre
Occupying pride of place in the centre of Kalutara lies a local industry hub that is also a souvenir hotspot in the coastal hamlet. Dubbed the Basket Centre the venue specializes in weaved consumer goods ranging from household items to hats, purses and table coasters. Made using fibre extracted from natural materials such as coconuts and Watekaiya palm leaves the eco-friendly products are weaved in to attractive and useful consumer ware by local villagers. Visitors can witness local weavers engage in the art of creating these popular keepsakes at the Basket Centre where the items are on sale as souvenirs.