The coastal paradise of Bentota not only offers some of Sri Lanka’s best holiday resorts at a clean beach, Bentota is Sri Lanka’s capital for water sports activities, an area crowded with renowned Ayurveda facilities and surrounded by heritage attractions, too.
In the next three weeks, we will publish three blog articles presenting lists of half-day tuktuk tours, half-day car excursions and full-day excursions respectively, which are recommedable for holiday makers who choose Bentota or neighbouring villages, such as Beruwela or Aluthgama, as their holiday residence. In today’s blog article we inform you about holiday activities and destinations in Bentota and its precincts.
Bentota is Sri Lanka’s favourite beach for lovers of water-ski and jet-ski activities. Windsurfing, surfing, body board rides and speed boat fun is also on offer. Children, elderly people and all those neither experienced nor eager to follow watersports classes, are usually fond of banana boat and tube rides at Bentota and Beruwela beach. Deep sea fishing, lagoon fishing and river fishing are possible, too. Furthermore, Bentota river is a perfect place vor canoeing.
Bentota offers opportunities to go on a river boat safari on the Bentota Ganga. The boat trip will take a a few hours. It is a perfect tour for bird watchers. Chances are high, too, to spot impressively large water monitors. Crocodiles also occur but are rarely seen. Besides crossing the mangroves area you can also see Wanawasala temple, which is said to be from the Polonnaruwa era.
Even if you are not a guest of this 4-star hotel, you should have a look at it. It is one of the celebrated examples of the iconic hotels designed by Sri Lanka`s renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa (1919-2003). Acccording to thewikipedia article, Geoffrey Bawa “was among the most influential Asian architects of his generation.“ “In 1959 Danish architect Ulrik Plesner joined the firm and the two created many buildings together in their distinct style, sometimes called tropical modernism.” “Bawa became an Associate of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects in 1960. An ensuing close association with a coterie of like-minded artists and designers, including Ena de Silva, Barbara Sansoni and Laki Senanayake, produced a new awareness of indigenous materials and crafts, leading to a post colonial renaissance of culture.”
The modern garden architecture with buildings and artificial grottos was created by Geoffrey Bawa, too, who used Lunuganga Residence at the banks of Lake Dedduwa as his weekend retreat. Bawa bought this area, an abandoned rubber estate, already in 1948, before returning to Britain for architectural studies. His intention was to create an Italian garden in the tropical wilderness. The estate features an idyllic cottage and four suites for visitors. The property covering an area of 15 acres is rented to architects, artists and authors for the first four months of a year.
Kande Viharaya in Aluthgama has one of Sri Lanka’s tallest sitting Buddhas. It is 48 m high. The temple is from the Kandy period, in 1734 it was foundedby Dedduwa Dhammananda Thero, who was a diceiple of the famous Saranankara Thero, who reformed Sri Lanka’s Buddhist order by introducing an ordination line from Siam (Thailand), this way establishing the Syam Nikaya, which is the largest of the three most important Buddhist orders (Nikayas) of Sri Lanka today.
Aluthgama is the village just across the Bentota bridge, half way between Bentota and neighbouring Beruwela. On Mondays a busy vegetable market with lots of street vendors is held in Aluthgama, this fair is a genuine local market offering goods for low prices, it is not a tourist trap, though there are some “commision boys”. The market area is the eastern half of the village (behind the railway line) at Mathugama Road, which is the B 157 along the Bentota river.
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