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Updated by Auburn Silver on Feb 16, 2015
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Things to do in Kalutara - Top Activities in Coastal Hub Kalutara

As one of Sri Lanka's most popular beach hubs Kalutara is a haven for beach lovers. Offering visitors a wide range of attractions and activities the must-have experiences in Kalutara are as follows.
1

Take a Tour of Richmond Castle

Take a Tour of Richmond Castle
Revered as one of Kalutara's most popular attractions no visit to the seaside hamlet would be complete without a tour of this ionic landmark. Dubbed the Richmond Castle the venue built as far back as 1896 is a cultural as well as historic point of interest set within a 42 acre fruit estate. Combining elements of both English and Indian architectural features the 15 room mansion is a stately residence that appears to be a Maharaja's palace at first glance. As the former residence of a regional governor the two storey structure contains a large audience hall and a spiral staircase with elaborate carvings.
2

Cave Exploring at the Iconic Fa Hien Cave Complex

Cave Exploring at the Iconic Fa Hien Cave Complex
Known locally as Pahiyangala, the Fa Hien Cave Complex is a one of a kind geological and prehistoric attraction in Kalutara that warrants a visit. Having served as a refuge for china's globetrotting monk Fa Hien in ancient times the venue is well-documented in the scholar's texts and writings of then Ceylon. Vaulted at an imposing height of nearly 300 feet the massive cave complex also yielded the prehistoric remains of a human. Dating back to the Mesolithic Age the remain are considered the oldest pre-historic remains unearthed in the island's history. Having been discovered by archaeologists in the latter half of the 1960's the cave complex is a must-tour highlight for all first time visitors to Kalutara.
3

Uncover Kalutara's Local Crafts

Uncover Kalutara's Local Crafts
As Sri Lanka's traditional weaving capital Kalutara is home to several art and craft centres showcasing locally manufactured wares. The Basket Centre is of course a veritable institution among the many souvenir hubs in the coastal hub as it is a large scale manufacturer of natural fibre products. Made employing traditional and locally sourced material such as rattan, coconut fibre and Watekaiya palm leaves the attractive product range available at the Basket Centre is not its only draw for visitors as one can witness artisans hard at work producing hats, purses, coasters and other home wares at the workshop on-site. Affordable and unique the weaved products available at the venue make thoughtful souvenirs to take back home. Visitors based in AVANI Kalutara Resort & Spa or any other Kalutara resort Sri Lanka counts among its well situated rests will have easy access to the locale as the Basket Centre is located in the heart of Kalutara town.
4

Make Offerings at Iconic Gangatilaka Vihara

Make Offerings at Iconic Gangatilaka Vihara
Popular among Buddhist pilgrims in the island as one of the holiest of temples in Sri Lanka the Gangatilaka Vihara occupies a scenic location on the banks of the Kalu River. Sacred and credited with great spiritual power the venue also provides captivating views of the city and the Kalutara Bridge. With its interiors featuring over 74 murals depicting Buddhist legends another highlight at the venue is its stupa.
5

Explore Kalutara's Top Beaches and Beachfront Activities

Explore Kalutara's Top Beaches and Beachfront Activities
Lined with white, sandy beaches the beachscapes of Kalutara are the envy of the coastal belt. Calido Beach is a popular beach hub in Kalutara where a wide range of activities are on offer while Kalutara Beach is equally well-known as a water sports Mecca.