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Koggala Sri Lanka

Location Type

: Beach

Distance From Airport

: 170 Km (4.15 hour drive)

Distance From Colombo

: 140 Km (3.30 hour drive)

Attractions

: Wide & Long Sandy Beach, Fishing town-Stilt Fishermen, Turtle hatchery, Koggala Lake, Tea Factory / Spice Garden, Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum, Kataluva Purvarama Maha Viharaya, Kottawa Reserve, Unawatuna Beach, Hiyare Rain Forest

Perhaps the best thing about Koggala is that it is yet to be fully discovered and thus exudes a charming peace, devoid of the usual tourist droves. A stunningly beautiful beach destination in southern Sri Lanka, Koggala features all characteristics of a memorable holiday. Home to a historian's delights in the forms of museums and forts, with a cornucopia of adventure activities to be enjoyed, Koggala is an ideal base for indulging in an authentic beachfront vacation. The area also showcases turtle hatcheries, spice gardens, one of the south's most absorbing temples and even a small rainforest reserve. For the vacationer in search of the ultimate restful journey that touches both mind and soul, Koggala is well worth a visit.


Turtle hatchery

On the fringes of Koggala town is a small turtle hatchery that first opened in 1996. In an effort to promote responsible tourism and conservation, the hatchery buys turtle eggs off fishermen, in an attempt to discourage them from poaching & selling the eggs for food. Visitors are educated on the importance of protecting turtle life, via the hatchery’s facilities that care for newborn turtles until they are ready to be released back into the ocean, an experience that some lucky visitors may even have the opportunity to do themselves first-hand. The wide sandy beaches that exist round the island of Sri Lanka are utilized by several of the marine turtles for laying their eggs. The commonest of these are the Loggerheads and the Leathery turtle while the green turtle is less common.


Koggala Lake

The largest lake in the island, Koggala lake is an unspoilt ecological haven a few hundred meters away from the resort. The small islands scattered in the lake ideal for bird watching at sunset. This beautiful turquoise lagoon is just a couple of kilometers away from the town; dotted with rocky islands & fringed with mangroves. The lagoon teems with birdlife & supply prawns in abundance. Motor boat trips & catamaran rides take you to the smaller islands around the lagoon, each showcasing a unique experience in itself.


Tea Factory / Spice Garden

The Handunugoda plantation & Tea centre is very popular for visitors who wish to obtain a comprehensive knowledge of the workings of Tea – Rubber & Cinnamon Plantations. Sri Lanka was famed for its spices and the Southern Province produces the best Cinnamon in the world. Visit a spice garden at Habaradoowa which grows spices and herbs used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medication.


Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum

A stunning location and one of Koggala’s must-visits, this Folk Museum is inspired by and built upon the ideologies of Martin Wickramasinghe, one of Sri Lanka’s most renowned Sinhalese writers of the twentieth century. The museum showcases the country’s traditional cultures and was restored together with the ecosystem that surrounds it with the aim of transforming Koggala, the place that is described in most of Wickramasinghe's work, to a more tangible reality for those who have read his writings and those who are looking for a firsthand experience in the heart of the writer's stories. The legend of the house is a rather interesting one given the fact that this piece of architecture was able to survive two world wars. The establishment sits magnificently in a lush seven acre garden surrounded by several species of trees. Along with exhibits of the highly respected writer's personal collection, photographs & memorabilia & some history about the area, the museum also houses fascinating exhibits from traditional Sri Lankan life: everything from catching a fish to chasing off malevolent spirits. The exhibits are interesting & well displayed, with information in English & Sinhalese.


Kataluva Purvarama Maha Viharaya

Around 5 km beyond Koggala lies one of the south's most absorbing temples, the Kataluwa Purvarama Mahavihara. The temple was built originally in the 13th century with additions being included in the late 19th century. This temple is renowned for its remarkable Kandyan-style paintings in the main shrine, dating from the late nineteenth century, illustrating an interesting piece of social history. Some of the Jatake tales (episodes from the Buddha's series of 550 previous lives) scenes painted here are said to be 200 years old. Cameo-style paintings of Queen Victoria & the Queen Mother too are found, in gratitude of Queen Victoria's role in ensuring the free practice of Buddhism during the British occupation of the island.


Kottawa Reserve

Easily recognizable by its towering dense canopy, this relatively small rainforest hosts a wide variety of exotic and endemic flora. The species are labeled to educate and the reserve makes for a wonderful excursion.


Unawatuna Beach

One of the finest locations in the world for surfing, Unawatuna Bay offers an idyllic bay with plenty of watersports and nightlife.


Hiyare Rain Forest

Get off the beaten track and discover Hiyare rainforest - a lush 600-acre picture-postcard rainforest located just 40 minutes drive from Koggala - a veritable paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, with over 118 bird and 77 butterfly species.


Diving and Snorkelling

Sri Lanka offers world-class Scuba-Diving and Snorkelling tours. A multitude of tropical fish, magnificently colourful coral reefs and fascinating ship wrecks can be explored at several locations off the southern coast of Sri Lanka, providing breathtaking snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities.

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