While the coastal destination of Kalutara in Sri Lanka has several well-known attractions, some key sites within the district are not as popular, though are worth visiting too.
Locally referred to as “Kalu Ganga”, the Black River flows through the city and into the Indian Ocean; those based at ‘Safe and Secure’ certified beach properties beside this waterway such as Anantara Kalutara Resort can enjoy boat rides to explore thriving mangroves, spot various wildlife and birdlife and witness charming local settlements.
The Fa Hien Cave
Amongst the most unique places to visit in Kalutara, the Fa Hien cave complex is known for its archaeological findings, some of which date more than 33,000 years back! Linked to a legend of a Chinese monk who is said to have visited this site, this huge cave features archaeological excavation pits, a Buddhist temple and a reclining statue of Lord Buddha.
Nature lovers can plan excursions to the Nachchimale Stream close to the town of Ingiriya. Set amidst a picturesque forest, the stream and surrounding area with its small waterfalls and ponds provide plenty of opportunities to unwind and have a cooling dip! Those interested in meditation can also visit the nearby Madakada Aranya Senasanaya, a Buddhist monastery.
To gain insights into traditional livelihoods, travellers can look to visit one of the villages in and around the Kalutara District. Some resorts will organise excursions where you can head to such a village and witness age-old trades; you can see clay pots being made on a potter’s wheel, blacksmiths at work and antique handlooms used for weaving cotton too.