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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sri Lanka: Bentota excursions and water sports

Bentota is located on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, and is ideal for many water sports activities.

Bentota water sports
Bentota is the water-sports capital of Sri Lanka. Its comprehensive water sports center is equipped with jet skis, water skis, surf boards, speed boats and much more. The sports center attendants have plenty of tips and information to aid you.

Bentota river safari
As the Thumbelina Apartments are situated on the Bentota River (the third largest river in Sri Lanka), there is ample opportunity to go on a river boat safari. On a few hours trip you can see the famous mangroves of Bentota followed by an excursion to the 800-year-old Wanawasala Buddhist temple. A whole day river cruise could include a visit to a village hideaway for special home-cooked rice and curry lunch, and perhaps even include a local wedding ceremony performance. Crocodiles are rare now but there are plenty of water monitors and river birds to be seen.

Kande viharaya temple
Kande Viharaya in Aluthgama (next to Bentota) has the tallest sitting Buddha statue at about 48 m/160 ft in height. The building of the Kande Viharaya was initiated way back in 1734 by the Ven. Dedduwa Dhammananda Thero, an understudy of the most Ven. Weliwita Sri Saranankara Nayaka Thero. Thousands of devotees flock the holy grounds of the Kande Viharaya daily, seeking mental & spiritual relief from all the troubles & worries of day to day life. The tranquility and serenity that the Kande Viharaya brings into your heart, mind, body & soul cannot be expressed or described with words. It has to be experienced.

Beruwela fishing harbor
Beruwela is about 10 to 15 minutes by tuk-tuk from Bentota. It is a large commercial fishing harbor. The best time to visit is early morning about 7.00a.m. At this hour the fresh fish are available directly off the night fishing boats.

Brief garden
This was once a rubber estate which was transformed into a magnificent garden by renowned landscape artist Bevis Bawa, the brother of Geoffrey Bawa. Geoffrey Bawa was a foremost architect.
The gardens are surrounded by sprouts of bamboo and a gate, at the entrance of the gate there is a bell that has to be rung to gain permission to enter the gardens. The gardens are subdivided and landscaped according to varying themes including a Japanese water garden. Visitors could also step into the house where Bevis Bawa resided and enjoy the wooden antique Dutch furniture, wall hangings, sculptures and an assorted display of paintings.

Moonstone mine
Sri Lanka is famous for its precious gems and moonstones. Moonstones belong in the semi-precious category but are an important component of the gem business. Meetiyagoda, located between Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa, is one of the few places where they are found in such high concentrations. It is believed by the villagers that this piece of land, around an acre in extent, is blessed by the moon. The moonstone is grey and feels cool and smooth to the touch when polished and has a glow like that of the moon. At Meetiyagoda, you can see or even go down into the deep, narrow shafts from which the stones are mined. The small visitor center will provide information related to this stone while the large shop on the premises sells moonstones as well as other stones.

Turtle conservation

The sea turtles project is one of the turtle hatcheries located along the southern coast. This hatchery is located 3 Km south of the Bentota bridge. These turtle hatcheries were constructed to rescue and protect turtle eggs because of the rapidly declining numbers of marine turtle in Sri Lankan shores. Marine turtle eggs are purchased from the fisherman and re-buried along the beach and left there for 48 days allowing the eggs ample time to hatch. Thereafter the baby turtles are collected from the beach and kept in tanks for 2-3 days and released into the ocean to fend off for themselves.

For more information:
Serene Vacations Lanka (Pvt) Limited
Travel Agent and Tour Operator
Marine City Business Complex No. 46, 1/8, First Floor
Station Road, Dehiwala, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 112 721519, +94 777 751 788 / +94 77 350 7005

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