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Updated by Roger Gary on Aug 27, 2015
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Roger Gary Roger Gary
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Must Visit Places Near Bentota - More than What Meets The Eye

The beautiful beach town of Bentota has more than golden beaches to offer. So pack your bags and get ready for a memorable trip to discover the top things to do in Bentota and nearby must visit places.

1

Brief garden

Take a stroll through the Brief Gardens that are anything but short in wonder. These masterfully landscaped gardens were the creation of Bevis Bawa, brother of renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa. The lush gardens contain elaborate arches, fountains and sculptures. The gardens are located ten kilometres inland from Bentota.

2

Beruwela Lighthouse

Remember when the Famous Five set out to a lighthouse on a remote island? Well now you can too! The Beruwela Lighthouse is located on an island called Barberyn Island and can be reached by an exciting boat ride of 10 minutes. Beruwala meanwhile, is located just 15 minutes from Bentota. The 34 meter high lighthouse stands grandly on the edge of a 30 meter cliff. Other than the lighthouse, Barberyn Island attractions include exotic residents such as reptiles and birds, a British-built old well and an ancient bar!

3

Kande Viharaya Temple, Beruwala

Kande Viharaya, the temple atop the mountain, is a temple located in Beruwala. The temple is a great spiritual escape when you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to just relax, calm down and achieve peace in mind and soul. The biggest element of Kande Viharaya is its 48 m height Buddha statue which was deemed to be the tallest sitting Buddha statue in the world, until President Sirisena declared open the 67.5 feet high, Buddha statue in Rideegama in May this year. Along with the gigantic statue, the temple consists of an ancient Bo tree, a relic chamber, Dagoba, four Devalas, and a Vihara Geya (image house) of which the inner walls are embellished with paintings depicting the life of Gautama Buddha.

4

Madu Ganga Boat Safari

The serene Madu Ganga (river) is a shallow water body that falls into the sea at Balapitiya, that's 25 minutes away from Bentota. Together with the Randombe lake, Madu Ganga forms a lush mangrove forest that's home to 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families and to 248 species of vertebrate animals. Embark on a Madu Ganga River Safari and apart from the stunning scenery, you will be able to see cheeky, chattering monkeys, flocks of exotic birds and giant water monitors and crocodiles gliding through the slow flowing water.

5

Lunuganga Gardens

The Lunuganga Gardens are what led Geoffrey Bawa, a lawyer called to the Bar; to pursue architecture and one day become one of the most renowned architects in Sri Lanka and one of the most influential Asian architects of his generation. The gardens, part of his country home Lunuganga Estate. The eclectic highlights of the house include the Porte'Cochere and Glass Room, The Red Terrace, The Black Pavilion, The Hindu Pan, And the Cinnamon Hill House.

6

Beruwela Fish Market

After all that exploring go shopping for a delectable seafood meal at the Beruwala Fish Market! Beruwala is a well known fishing village in the country and among the range of seafood, you will be able to buy there you will find prawns, fish, lobsters and crab. The best time to visit the market is early in the morning as then you will be able to see the fishermen unloading their day's catch.

7

Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project

Pay a visit to the Sea Turtle Conservation Project in Kosgoda and give back to nature! Sea Turtles are an endangered species especially in Sri Lanka where they are poached for their meat and eggs. Taking this into consideration, in 1988 the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project was created by Dudley Perera with the aim of monitoring local sea turtle activity and conserving their nesting sites. Collected and rescued turtle eggs are left to hatch safely within the sanctuary and thereafter they are released to the sea. At the turtle hatchery you will able to see many species of turtles such as the Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle and the rare and gigantic Leatherback Turtle. You will be glad to know that the KSTCP also welcomes international volunteers. For those interested and in search of a Bentota hotel will find Saman Villas an ideal escape as it is conveniently located a mere 5 minutes distance away.