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Updated by Sirius Black on Sep 16, 2015
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5 Best Places to Visit in Kalutara - Top Five Tourist Highlights in Kalutara

As one of Sri Lanka's most popular beach hubs Kalutara is a seaside hamlet is one of the island's most intriguing hotspots. Here are some of the area's must-visit attractions for first time visitors.

1

Kalutara Beach

As the main draw for al tourists exploring the beach hubs near the capital Colombo Kalutara Beach is the area's most popular attraction among locals as well as visitors. Known for its golden, sandy beaches the long stretch of beach has been a private piece of paradise for visitors from around the world for decades. Frequented by holidaymakers from home and abroad the easily accessible beach offers beachgoers idyllic weather and water conditions to engage in a variety of activities including swimming and sunbathing. Water sports enthusiasts can also try their hand at the various activities available on the beach while those looking for ideally situated hotels in Kalutara Sri Lanka will find no finer alternative to The Sands.

2

Richmond Castle

Quietly nestled in the heart of a 42 acre property which is also a scenic fruit garden Richmond Castle is an iconic landmark that is well worth a visit on a tour of Kalutara. Located near Kalutara town it is difficult to fathom that the breathtaking landscapes of this monumental structure served as the palatial home of a single family during the late 1890's. Designed in an architectural style that reflects both British and Indian building principles the grand household was constructed in 1896 by a wealthy member of Kalutara society. Containing a whopping 15 rooms the massive complex is also home to a grand wooden stairwell with delicate carvings and a large scale ordinance hall as well. Often described as Kalutara's own maharaja's palace the motifs carved on to the venue's columns resemble those found in palatial homes in India. Photographic records of the house's residents and prominent personnel of the era are also showcased at this historic and stately castle.

3

Kalutara Viharaya

As a sacred temple visited by many locals and Buddhist devotees from around the world the Kalutara Viharaya is a national landmark of sorts thanks in most part to its location near the capital of the island. Also known as the Gangatilaka Vihara the iconic Buddhist temple is one of the most popular and venerated place of worship in the area and is a scenic edifice in its own right due to its location on the shores of the Kalu River. Views of the Kalutara Bridge and the sea dominate the temple's line of vision as it is perched atop a 33m high premonitory. Constructed in the 1960's the temple is also home to a stupa which is hollow on the inside, a first in the country. Beautiful murals of Jathaka stories numbering over 75 adorn the temple's inner walls making it a cultural heritage site as well as a religious institution.

4

Basket Centre

Ideally located in the heart of Kalutara town the Basket Centre is another cultural highlight visitors should not miss on a visit to Kalutara. Renowned as one of the best places to pick up an authentic and tasteful souvenir along the southern shorelines the Basket Centre retails weaved products the likes of table coasters, purses, household wares and hats. Made using leaves of the Watekaiya palm and coconut shells the products sold at the venue are 100% natural and eco-friendly. Visitors can also take a look at the complex processes and craftsmanship involved in creating the items at the locale.

5

Calido Beach

Another popular beach hub in Kalutara Calido Beach is a beach haven like no other in Kalutara. Picturesque and private the beach is located between the Kalu River and the sea and makes for a perfect beach getaway location during the warm evening period.