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Updated by Maggie Tulliver (Umanga Kahandawaarachchi) on Dec 30, 2015
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Best Destinations to Visit in the South Coast – The Alluring Side of Sri Lanka

The laid back sleepy hamlets belonging to the Southern belt of Sri Lanka are resplendent with wonderful beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, ancient temples and fascinating village life.

1

Visit Galle

Galle is Sri Lanka's iconic colonial coastal town. Dominated by the Old Dutch Fort this historic town has much to explore. The beaches are an interesting mix of expansive sandy shores and rocky inclines. Sights of fishermen bringing in the daily catch are quite common while many restaurants serving local and international cuisine are ideal for enjoying a laid back meal. The Old Fort on its own is a jewel to explore. The narrow cobblestone streets lead off to marine museums, ancient chapels and cosy little cafes.

2

Yala National Park

A massive chunk of land around Tissamaharama is dedicated to Sri Lanka's most famous national park – Yala. Although a major portion of the park is closed to the public the section that is open yields sights of many wild animals. Predominant is the leopard population of Yala – tipped to be one of the biggest around the world. Amongst the other wildlife the most famous are the elephants, sloth bears, a variety of reptiles and a huge number of bird species.

3

Mulgirigala

Mulgirigala is a sleepy little hamlet located about 16kms from the coastal town of Tangalle, it is home to one of the country's oldest monuments. This comprises of cave temples that have been dug out of a rocky protrusion. The caves are elaborately carved and house ancient artefacts. The caves are located on four planes of the rock face and are interconnected by steps.

If you are hankering for a scout of the southern coast and its treasures, consider air taxi Sri Lanka in order to save time spent on the road. Luxury domestic air carrier services are available from reputed companies, which can be chartered right from the Bandaranaike International Airport. Enjoy the beautiful bird's eye view of the country as you veto traffic blocks and head out to the tranquil folds of southern Sri Lanka. A premier in the field of air taxis is Cinnamon Air.

4

Kataragama

Kataragama is the country's biggest pilgrimage site. The Kataragama temple is paid homage to by Buddhists and Hindus. The temple sits beside the sacred Menik Ganga – River – which in turn is framed by a beautiful forest. The area is scattered with many little shrines dedicated to Hinduism and Buddhism. If you are flying in to Kataragama hang around for the evening prayers when devotees throng the shrine amidst drum beats and blowing of conch shells.

5

Mirissa

Mirissa is a very popular tourist resort which has grown in popularity due to its beautiful beach. It is a fishing village that is resplendent with stunning natural locations, which sadly seem to be under threat due to the high number of visitors to the hamlet. The beach however remains unscathed and is the biggest lure. Mirissa is also famed as one of the best places in Sri Lanka for offshore whale watching. Many of the over 20 odd species that traverse the waters around Lanka are spotted off the coast of Mirissa.