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Updated by Raphael Fitzherbert on Jan 11, 2016
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List of Attractions in Kalutara – memories to cherish

Kalutara gets its name from its own river, Kalu Ganga (Black River). The city, though somewhat small in size, came to be widely known especially with the arrival of the colonial masters in Ceylon. They probably saw tremendous signs of development in this region. And the rest is history when they settled in for far more attractions.

1

Gangatilaka Vihara

Gangatilaka Vihara holds reputation not merely because it is a well known Buddhist temple. Inside this temple, you will meet the world's one and only hollow Buddhist stupa shrine. Get inside and meet the 74 murals that portray different episodes of the Buddha's life. Also inside the shrine are four small stupas. The paintings on these stupas will narrate you the Buddhist Jataka tales.

2

Kalutara Bodhiya

Most vehicles would stop over for a minute or two to pay obeisance to the Kalutara Bodhiya. If you have been here before, this would read familiar to you. This is very much because Kalutara Bodhiya is considered as one of the 32 saplings of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura. Even the king offered royal sponsorship because of this fact.
However as the Portuguese arrived, they converted the Bodhiya into a fort. No damage was done. But people hardly took notice of the place let alone paying obeisance. But as the Portuguese left the area, things changed. After an Indian prince came and planted the Bodhi tree, the people started paying obeisance. It is an interesting act to watch. Probably why it should be one of the key things to do in Kalutara.

3

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle stands alone thanks to its unique architectural design. The castle belonged to a philanthropist by the name of Padikara Mudali Nanayakkara Rajawasala Appuhamilage Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena (well, yes the names of the local elite used to be quite long). Built on an estate of 42 acres in Kalutara-Palatota road, this was once official residence for British administrative officers. And now it has turned out to be another tourist attraction.
Richmond Castle, though known as a bungalow as well, is a two-storied building. Interestingly it has 99 doors and 34 windows. And the decorated glass panes as well as the grapevine designs are eye-catching features of the place. If you stay at a place such as AVANI Kalutara Resort, it will be much easier to plan your journey to the castle.

4

Calido beach

The uniqueness of the Calido beach lies in its safety. Calido beach is a small strip between the Kalu Ganga and the sea. But you can always swim into the waters without the fear of reaching the sea even by accident. The beach is popular not only among the tourists, but the locals as well. You can see quite a number of locals taking a good swim in the beach. Like most other beaches in Sri Lanka, this too offer you a memorable time in Sri Lanka.
The best moment to visit the Calido beach is towards sunset. As sun slowly sets, it gets reflected on the beach waters. It will be quite a memory to cherish.