Kalutara or Kalutota is a large town in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is also the administrative capital of Kalutara District. It is located approximately 40 km south of the capital Colombo.
Holidays in Kalutara offer travellers a laid back and relaxed atmosphere with the combination of a generous helping of authentic Sri Lankan culture, not to mention a dash of old colonial charm. This is an up-and-coming resort town with a wonderful palm fringed beach, although the nightlife remains pretty low key, so you won’t get to dance till dawn. What you will get is plenty of beautiful, tropical scenery and several interesting sights, like the world’s only hollow Buddhist Shrine and an elegant plantation mansion, rather grandly named Richmond Castle.
If you’re looking for budget holidays in Kalutara, luck should be in your way. The hotels are mostly luxury, resort-style properties, so it’s not the kind of place that caters much for those on a very tight budget. Well known properties are the Tangerine Beach Hotel and the Royal Palms Beach Resort, both of which have superb facilities, including health spas. As for all inclusive holidays to Kalutara, there’s The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotel, where you can top up your tan, play a couple of sets of tennis, have a work out, revitalize with a massage and round off the day with a slap-up meal in one of the hotel’s restaurants.
Tell people you’re going to travel to Kalutara and, if they know Sri Lanka, they might mention the town’s main claim to fame which is the “mangosteen”. A slice of this luscious purple fruit with juicy white flesh is not to be missed, particularly if it’s washed down with a glass of arrack, a local alcoholic drink made from sweet, milky coconut blossom.
Some of the main attractions of Kalutara include the Gangatilaka Viharaya, the Kalutara Bodiya, Richmond Castle, the Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple and Calido Beach.
THE KALUTARA BODHIYA
Located at the southern end of the 38m Kalutara Bridge, the three storey-high Kalutara Bodhiya (Temple) was built in the 1960s, and holds the distinction of being the only stupa (steeple) in the world that is hollow, and has access to the inside.
In the 16th century, this sacred site was turned in to a Portuguese Fort. Though no harm is supposed to have been done to the Bodhiya, it was not venerated by the people during that period. It was after the planting of a Bo Tree, Pahala Maluwa (lower terrace) by an Indian Prince named Wickrama Pandya in 1042 A.D., that the public began to venerate and consider the site as a sacred place.
Richmond Castle, built at the turn of the century in Kalutara, is considered to be one of the most spectacular architectural works of the period. It was the property of a wealthy landowner turned philanthropist, Padikara Mudali Nanayakkara Rajawasala Appuhamilage Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena. The mansion stands majestically atop a hill, on a 42 acre estate beside the Kalutara-Palatota Road. Once a circuit bungalow for high ranking officers of the British administrative service, today, it is a popular tourist attraction, and serves as an educational centre for under privileged children of Kalutara and roundabouts.
The Castle is a two-storey building with 99 doors and 34 windows, decorated with glass panes of intricate design. Records indicate that two shiploads of teak were imported from Burma for its construction. A dance hall complete with a stage is yet another highlight of the mansion.
The gardens, which once boasted of a profusion of flowers, have now given way to a variety of local fruit trees such as Rambutan (similar to lychees), guava, mango and coconut.
KOSGODA TURTLE HATCHERY
This Hatchery, run by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka, was started in 1981 to protect local turtles from extinction. The hatchery pays fishermen for eggs that they collect at night along the sandy beach. Visitors are able to see large glass tanks full of new born turtle hatchlings. After being fed, the baby turtles are taken to the ocean and released, at the age of 2-4 days. Although October-April is the main laying season, eggs can be found at Kosgoda throughout the year.
The five species of marine turtles found in Sri Lanka are, the Green Turtle, the Leatherback, the Hawksbill, the Loggerhead and the Olive Ridley. Marine turtles have been roaming the seas for about 190 million years now, but among the numerous types of species there once were, only eight of them exist today.
KALU GANGA BOAT RIDES
Once an important spice-trading centre, the city’s name is derived from the Kalu Ganga (Black River) that runs through the town. In the 11th Century, the town was temporarily made the Capital on the orders of a South Indian Prince. The Kalutara Bridge was built at the mouth of the Kalu Ganga, and serves as the main connect between the country’s western and southern border. Boat rides along the Kalu river can be arranged by Avani Kalutara Resort.
MOONSTONE MINE AND FACTORY
Famous for its precious and semi-precious stones, the Moonstone although belonging to the latter category, is still important to the gem trade of the country. Meetiyagoda, located between Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa, is one of the few places where Moonstone is found such high concentrations. Locals believe that this acre or so of land is blessed by the moon, as sheen and touch when polished, resemble the moon’s glow. Here, you can even go down into the deep, narrow shafts from which the stones are mined and witness the process yourself.
The many scenic waterfalls in Kalutara The many falls in the District, such as Makeli, Alledola, Polgampola and Thudugala alle(waterfall) are quite breath taking in their own right. Visitors to Kalutara cannot miss viewing these wonders of Mother Nature.
(Following accommodation list is randomly generated)Hotels & Other Accommodation
Hibiscus Beach Hotel
Mahawaskaduwa, Kalutara North, Kaluthara
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 0345082222
Royal Palms Beach Hotel
De Abrew Road, Waskaduwa, Kalutara
Email : email@example.com
Tel : 0342228113
Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort
Samanthara Road, Wadduwa
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 0382296967
Laya Beach Hotel
No. 286/3, Galle Road, Thalpitiya-north Wadduwa.
Email : email@example.com
Tel : 0382232815
The Blue Water
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 0382235067
N-91, 6th Lane, Moragalla, Beruwala
Email : email@example.com
Tel : 0342276041
Coco Royal Beach
Waskaduwa, Kaluthara North
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 0342237660
Eden Resorts And Spa
Email : email@example.com
Tel : 0342276075
Lanka Princess Hotel
Tel : 0342276711
427, Samanthara Road, Kuda Waskaduwa, Waskaduwa
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 0347634634
Navro Beach Resort
No. 40, Beach Road, Panadura
Email : email@example.com
Tel : 0382244144
Taprobana Resort Wadduwa
No. 354/16, Rathnayake Road, Thalpitiya, Wadduwa.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 0382283000
Haridra Resort & Spa
921, Parallel Road, Pohoddaramulla, Wadduwa.
Email : email@example.com
Tel : 0382285610
Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 0342276036
Laya Leisure - Kukuleganga
Email : email@example.com
Tel : 0342236533
Avani Kalutara Resort
40, St. Sebastians Road, Katukurunda, Kalutara
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 0342226537
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