Kalutara Travel Guide
Kalutara Local History
First to get their hands on this lovely little town on the west Coast of Sri Lanka were the Portuguese who built a fort on the site of a Buddhist Temple, something the locals were not to pleased with. Soe time later the Dutch took possession of the fort and later it was again taken over by a British agent who made it his residance. Now it is again the Buddhist shrine it was meant to be.
The Dutch also introduced deer and wild hog to the area frm the Ganga Delta and these animals can reputedly still be seen today.
Bo Tree - as you cross the bridge over the river you will see a shrine and a Bo Tree where drivers stop to make offerings ensuring a safe journey.
Gangatilaka Vihara - this Buddhist shrine was built in the 1960's and is the only one in the world to be hollow inside. The shrine features a continous comic strip of 74 murals telling Buddha's story.
Richmond Castle - you can canoe, have a riverside picnic or bike around the 16 hectare grounds. The plantation mansion was built for a regional govenor and latter made into a school and the architecture is a magnificent blend of British and Indian styles.
Kalutara Basket Society - watch locals bend and twist stiff watakeiya palm leaves into baskets, mats, purses and lampshades.
Sinharaja Rainforest - get a taste of the wild side of sri Lanka at the oldest rainforest in the country.
Wonderful fresh tasty Tiger Prawns or Fresh Lobster for lunch over looking the sea. Royal Lanka Beach Restaurant & Guest House is situated between the Hibisbiscus Hotel and The Mermaid hotel. This is a must for super delicious tasty Tiger prawns for lunch or with a wonderful sea food meal in the evening. The restaurant is wonderfully clean and the staff are always so friendly and helpful and the setting overlooking the sea is so relaxing, what more could you want to have while on holiday, a relaxing lunch ore evening meal with a bottle of wine or the traditional local brew Arrack, or an Arrack cocktail for the ladies.
submitted by Barbara Hamilton, 22/10/05
The town of Kalutara is regognized by various roadside stalls selling their wares. Here you can buy anything from reed mats to basketware and coir rugs. Also pay a vistit to Kalutara Basket Society (open Mon-Sat) for more distinctive palm leaf products.
For something completely unique to the area, buy some Mongosteens for which the city is famous for. These shiny, dark purple fruits containing segments dripping with redish-brown juice are a real local speciality and should definatley be tried.
Kalutara beach - lovely wide beach fringed with palm trees is wonderful to enjoy a day in the sunshine.
Wadduwa beach - only 8km from Kalutara, Wadduwa beach is just as lovely but is usually less crowded.
Kalutara Restaurants and Bars
Tangerin Beach Hotel Restaurant - situated inside the hotel on the Kalutara beachfront, the restaurant serves fantastic international cuisine.
Hibiscus Beach Hotel Restaurant - Kalutara beachfront. The restaurant of this hotel is a popular meeting place where you can enjoy delicious international and Sri Lankan cuisine and a cold glass of beer or wine.
Fancy Sea Food Restaurant - 81, Abrew Road, Kalutara North. As the name suggests a pleasant seafood restaurant.
Green Bamboo Restaurant - 19/5, De Arben road, Kalutara North. A nice restaurant serving good Asian food.
French Corner Restaurant - Ratnapura Road, Munagama, Horana, Kalutara. Specialising in French cuisine.
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