Beruwala Lighthouse – The region’s best kept secret?

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Of the interesting things to do in Kalutara and surrounding areas, one that is not spoken of much is the Beruwala Lighthouse (also known as Barberyn Lighthouse). It is located on a small island called Barberyn, a 10-minute boat ride off the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. When you visit the western coast of the country do take a bit of time to visit the lighthouse. You will not be disappointed.

Barberyn Island is a peaceful nest of paradise away from the noise and the crowds of the western coast of Sri Lanka. In fact, just the opportunity to relax on the island is worth your time. If you are staying at a hotel such as Anantara Kalutara Resort, speak to the reception and they’ll organise an excursion for you. Barberyn showcases ample coconut groves, mango and cashew trees, plumeria flowers and lush, green buffalo grass. The constant chirping of exotic birds will soon take you to a dreamland.

The lighthouse itself, built in 1889, stands at the edge of a 30-metre cliff on one end of the island. A surprising fact is that it survived the 2004 tsunami devastation! It’s an important role in protecting ships from running aground is evident from the fact that the lighthouse is manned by five keepers through each 12-hour period. There is absolutely no room for error. The light is switched on promptly at 6.30pm and is in operation till 6.30am.

Although you may not be allowed to climb the lighthouse, for obvious reasons, take a stroll around the little island. You will come across a little well built during the days of the British rulers. An interesting find here is the clay hut. You’d be thrilled to know that it once operated as a bar, whisky, gin and rum. You can also splash about and take a dip in certain areas of the shore because the island itself is pretty secluded. Picnic anyone?

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.

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