If you are seeking for a quick getaway in Sri Lanka, you should look no further than Kalutara. Requiring a mere hour of a travelling time from the city of Colombo, Kalutara is a popular holiday destination for the native and the non-native traveller. Merging history with the features of an exotic coast, Kalutara is a hot spot for day-trippers.
In the past, Kalutara was called ‘Kalathiththa’. During King Parakaramabahu II reign, he cultivated coconut plantations between the Kalutara and the Betotoa stretch.
When the Portuguese invaded the shoreline of Sri Lanka, they took control of Kalutara and built a fort here. Following subsequent invasions that of the Dutch and the British, Kalutara was subjected to strong colonial influence.
Even today this influence can be viewed in some of the architecure of the region.
Attractions in Kalutara
The convenient proximity from Colombo coupled with many fascinating features provides Kalutara to be an excursionist first choice for a day trip.
A beautiful estate complete with a grand mansion and manicured gardens, the Richmond Castle narrates a story of woe. The castle belonged to the affluent Mudaliyar Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena. The interior of the mansion complete with Burmese imported window frames and a state of the art ventilation system in the rooms.
A little bit of heaven situated very near to the commercial capital, the Thudugala Waterfalls can be found in Dodangoda, Kalutara. The breath taking waterfall is located in an rubber estate. The entire property is a treat to explore, and the waterfall is lovely for a dip.
Tracing its lineage to ancient Anuradhapura, the Kalutara Bodhiya is revered to have derived from the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya that was planted during King Devanampiyatissa’s reign. Located within accessible distance of the Kalutara Chehtiya, the Bodhiya is one of the oldest trees in the country.
The world’s only hollow Buddhist shrine, the Kalutara Chaitya is a treat for holidaymakers. The interior finished with over 70 colourful murals depicting the life of Lord Buddha. Although it is a recent establishment, the Chaitya has nevertheless been popular of interest.
Fa Hien Caves
Get your history fix on your visit to Kalutara by visiting the Fa Hien Caves. Excavation unveils that the caves were inhabited by the prehistoric man. There were five human skulls dating over 37,000 years ago to have been found here. The caves however have been named after Fahien, the Mahayana Buddhist priest who visited the caves during the 5th century.