If you are in the South you should never miss visiting the Kaluthara city. But what’s special in there? That’s the common question of any traveler so let me get straight into the facts.
Kaluthara city is important for both locals and tourists. As it is a big commercial town and also a tourist attractive area. So if you are coming from Colombo there is nothing to worry about because the Colombo-Matara main road lies along Kaluthara city. Keep your eyes open for the signs saying the town’s name because you don’t need to miss the city. The first thing that you’ll notify in this city is the huge glistering dagaba (pagoda) which is very famous among Sri Lankans. The pagoda is very scenic when it is seen from the main road but please don’t fill your camera with photos yet because there is plenty more to come. When you are near the entrance you’ll notice yellow donation boxes where drivers put coins in order to get blessings. You’ll be surely hassled by the flower sellers and when you make it into the temple please make sure you have removed your shoes like everyone else because it’s a Buddhist temple and that’s how temples work. The temple known as Gangathilaka viharaya has the largest accessible pagoda in Asia, completely hollow, and the famous Kaluthara bodhiya (Bo tree). Inside the temple you can get some nice pictures of the primeval paintings but please remain calm in the religious place.
And when you out of the temple why not have a look at the roadside stalls where they sell coir products and other stuff. And if you are hungry you’ll be able to taste a refreshing mango or a mangoosteen if you have arrived during the season mmm…yummy mangoosteen are so tasty that you would think “Man, I wish I had a mangoosteen tree in my backyard”. I am sure you’ll be so when you taste this mouthwatering tropical fruit. So if you are more replenished by the fruits and stuff we have some more to discover in this gorgeous city. Now get your legs moving to and get to Palatota for a quite walk to Richmond castle but if you are an ‘I hate walking’ type of guy why not hire a tuk-tuk. When you arrive in front of the Richmond castle you’ll see that it is really worth to visit here because it is much more equal to a whole museum now other than a house. When talking about the owner of the mansion he was Don Arthur de Silva who was the Padikara Mudaliyar (village leader) of Kaluthara. The non-modified Indian British hybrid architecture shows the great skills of the ancient architectures.
If you are all done exploring the inside Kaluthara then it’s time for the ‘fun guys’ to explore the Kaluthara beach. I am sure that your natural instincts would take you to the beach but be careful and always be in a place where there is crowd if you don’t want to get drowned in the lovely waves. The sun and the ocean breeze would surely take you to a world of serene relaxation and if you are cautious enough for any phony guides and people you are now safe and sound even more than your own house. If you feel bored spending time on your sunbed why not explore the beach? The most seen tree on Sri Lanka beaches are coconut trees. As an economical plantation it gives many products. Have you ever noticedthat men travelling across coconut trees on a rope? Don’t get surprised this is not a circus or something. These people are sap tappers they fix pots to the crown of the tree and collect sap. And the reason for travelling on ropes is to save their energy of getting down and climbing the next tree. Also it’s a little bit of action along with danger too. So what’s the use of these sap? You might ask. Well the main purpose is making toddy which is a strong distilled arrack. Don’t try to get drunk please! The other purpose is making vinegar which is much expensive than artificial vinegar. Jaggery and treacle are also made from this sap which is very tasty. So as you see Kaluthara is a place important to locals and also for tourists.