Bentota General Information
Occasional troubles aside, Sri Lanka is one of the new tourism dynamos of South Asia. A rich, multi-cultural landscape, proud heritage and phenomenal natural beauty all combine to separate this diverse island country from the pack. While capital Colombo is the typical gateway for most, it pays dividends to explore and then depart the busy city for other climes.
With innumerable destinations to choose, from sacred UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Kandy, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, to lush national parks, just where to go first from Colombo is the question. While not a simple one to answer, Bentota offers a seductive sanctuary from the capital city. The notable beach resort on the Laccadive (Lakshadweep) Sea is a pre-eminent place to lay low, re-charge and enjoy the best of Sri Lanka’s tropical climate. Bentota is about 60 km from both Colombo and Galle, a wonderful UNESCO World Heritage town on the soutwest tip of Sri Lanka. As a result, the small coastal city is enviably close to some of the most remarkable attractions in the country. Inland points of interest lure tourists from the beach as well, from the home studio of eminent architect Geoffrey Bawa to the spectacular Sinhala Forest Reserve. All in all however, the first-class resorts that populate Bentota provide excellent reasons to stay in and relax.
- Galapota Temple – A 12th-century temple that sits on the bank of the Bentota Ganga.
- Galapatha Viharaya – An ancient temple that is said to house a sacred relic called the Arahant Maha Kashyapa tooth.
- Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) – A historic religious site that is said to contain the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha.
- The Fort Walls – Located in Galle, the northern stretch of wall was built in 1873 by the British to manage the traffic coming into town.
- Dutch Reformed Church – Built in 1640 and remodelled in 1752-55, this area features gravestones from an old Dutch cemetery.
Bentota Art & Culture
- Historical Mansion – A Dutch house in Galle where you can view the private collection of colonial artefacts.
- Turtle Hatchery Project – Workers gather the turtle eggs that are deposited on the beach and hatch them before releasing them into the ocean.
- Aryapala Mask Museum – Located in nearby Galle, this museum features different types of masks.
- National Museum – Near the Main Gate in Galle, this museum features traditional masks, a relic casket and information on how lace is made.
- South Ceylon Industrial Agency and Handicraft Factories – This company employs local people in Bentota to make a variety of handcrafts.
- Chaplon Tea Centre – A beautiful shop where you can sample and buy teas.
- Market – A market that opens every Monday by the train line.
- Cargills Food City – This shop has a pharmacy and sells a variety of goods.
- Lihiniya Gems – A shop located in a few miles from Bentota that sells a variety of loose gems and jewellery.
- Sriya & Daya Curio Shop – Established in 1965, this small shop sells curios, antiques and jewellery.
Bentota Gay & Lesbian
- Brief – Bevis Bawa’s private garden that features provocative sculptures, paintings and photography.
- Lush – A gay bar in Bentota that is popular with local Sri Lankans.
- Havelock Town – A popular meeting spot for local GLBT looking for fun.
- Mount Lavinia Beach – Many local gay and lesbians meet on the beach in the evening.
- Ramparts Hotel – Located in Galle, this gay-friendly hotel has a dining room.
- Lunuganga – A beautiful garden and great place to relax.
- Brief Garden (Bevis Bawa) – A house and garden that sits a little away from the main attraction.
- Ajith Safari Jeep Tours – This tour company will take you to the Yala National Park, where you can see elephants, birds and leopards.
- Malubanna Activities Centre – A centre that offers visitors unique excursions, including guided bicycle tours.
- Bentota Beach – There are plenty of opportunities for laying out in the sun on this stretch of golden sand.
- Enjoy windsurfing year-round in the safe waters at Bentota Lagoon.
- Explore the main dive site in the area, Canoe Rock, to see coral reef and local fish.
- Take a riverboat safari through the mangrove swamps along the Bentota River.
- Rent a speedboat from Club Bentota and go water skiing.
- Try your hand at beach casting at the river mouth to catch barracuda.
- Kande Viharaya Temple
- Molliyamala Mosque
- Grand Jumma Mosque Dharga Town
- Geoffrey Bawa House
- Meththarama Temple
- Brief Garden, Kalawila Village
- Siharaja Forest Reserve
- Horton Plains National Park
- Aluthgama Fish Market
- Water Sports
- Malli’s Seafood Restaurant
- Restaurant Diya Sisila
- Serena Villa Restaurant
- The Waterside Bentota
- Club Villa Restaurant
- Golden Grill
Bentota has a tropical rainforest climate, with two wet seasons from May to August and October to January and temperatures between 24°C and 30°C for the year.
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