A visit to the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ is not complete without a few days spent at a beachside town. An hour and a half by car along the South Coast will take you to Kalutara. Apart from the beach, things to do in Kalutara include a visit to the famous temple that stands at its gateway. The towering ‘stupa’ and complex sit beside the ‘Kalu Ganga’, the river that flows beside it. The busy town was once a key trading centre controlled throughout history, first by the Portuguese, then the Dutch and eventually the British.To enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach, look up the Mermaid Hotel & Club after a long day of exploring.
Keep travelling south of Kalutara to find Lunuganga Estate. It was once the country home of celebrated Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, today the buildings on the property are run as a country house hotel. The gardens of Lunuganga boast some of the most beautiful landscape views in the region. During Bawa’s career the garden was his muse and canvas for exploring new designs. The view down to the water garden was one of the architect’s favourites. The garden is open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm daily; an entrance fee will be charged at the gate. Guided tours of the garden can be arranged with advance notice. Lunch and tea can also be requested as an extension of the tour but depend on the availability of space. The food served is mainly Sri Lankan cuisine and the interior of the buildings have been maintained as they were during the years it was occupied by Geoffrey Bawa; to provide an authentic experience for visitors. The garden accommodates a maximum of seventy five people and can be booked for corporate and private events.
Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+