Kalutara

  • The Portuguese, the Dutch and the British fought each other for control of this region for a long time.
    Georgios Kollidas / 123RF
    A coveted zone

    The Portuguese, the Dutch and the British fought each other for control of this region for a long time.

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Sri Lanka

Kalutara is a small town on the western coast of Sri Lanka. It is located about 22 miles south of Colombo, at the mouth of the Kalu Ganga (literally, the black river). The town's most important structure can be seen from far away: the dagoba of the Gangatilaka Vihara Buddhist Temple. It is the only dagoba in Sri Lanka that can be entered. Sri Lanka's native culture and atmosphere are still very present in Kalutara. Richmond Castle serves as a testimony to the island's colonial past, with its mix of English and Indian architecture.
The narrow strip of coastline is lined with small fishing huts and the incredible beach is surrounded by countless palm trees, which are used for their coir to make wickerwork and to produce palm wine. Watch the 'toddy tapper' (distillers of palm wine) and their acrobatic work which they carry out on cords made of coir hung between the palm trees. The best mangoes on the island are usually found at the local market.

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