Internationally renowned for having some of the best surf breaks in the world, Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka is heaven for surfers. Positioned on the east coast and in the bustling city of Pottuvil, the bay is frequented by international travellers. As a result, there is an array of restaurants and hotels in the region.
The history of Arugam Bay is not independent of the heritage of district its located in – Ampara. It is believed that Aryan migrants first inhabited the Ampara district which includes the bay of Arugam Bay. Since then the area has not been ignored by the ancient kings deriving from the era of the Anuradhapura Kingdom.
For the past few decades, Arugam Bay has been gaining a reputation for being a haven for the adventurous traveller. The friendly shores of Arugam Bay have attracted numerous visitors from various parts of the world. Aquatic sports are life at Arugam Bay. As a result, marine activities such as snorkelling, diving and wind surfing are growing in popularity each day.
Attractions in Arugam Bay
Set aside the history, Arugam Bay is synonymous with surfing.
Parading a number of superior surf breaks, Arugam Bay is ideal for the experience and amateur surfer. The ‘Main Point’ being a favourite is located in the south of the beach. Other popular breaks include Whiskey Point and Pottuvil Point which are located in the north. Highlighting the importance of the sport, in 2010 the first international surf contest was held in Arugam Bay.
If you are thinking of taking up surfing, not to worry there are several surf schools here.
Magul Maha Vihara
Over two thousand years old, the Magul Maha Vihara is believed to be built by King Kavantisssa for his wife Queen Devi. Legend unfolds that Queen Devi to appease the Gods for the sins of her father had agreed to weather the stormy seas on a boat. She instead was found by King Kavantissa’s guards who took her to him. He fell in love with her instantly and betrothed her.
The smallest reserve in the country, Lahugala Forest is situated at Magul Maha Vihara. The vicinity is now home to a number of elephants. A unique bio diversity of its own, the reserve is haunted by leopards, peacocks, sloths and deer.
Take a break from surfing and visit one of the oldest monasteries in the country. Built by King Devanampiyatissa, the complex contains about two hundred rock caves. An inscription here indicates that a cave here was built by the great warrior Nandamithra. This giant soldier was a member of the ~Ten Great Giants~, an important unit of King Dutugemunu~s force.
Sangamankandy Pilliyar Kovil
Found within the town of Pottuvil, the kovil is nestled amidst the quiet greenery of the city. It is believed to be an ancient temple. Deriving from the king who rules this region King Sangaman, the kovil is a fascinating treat for both natives and non-natives.