You fancy yourself in paradise when sitting on the sandy shores of Hiriketiya Blue beach, overlooking the waves rolling into the palm lined small handsome bay;a nice place too for surfers. There are only two small guesthouses with a handful of tourists and a five star boutique hotel; the bay and beach are all yours, no vehicles and no urban sounds to be heard. This is one of the three beautiful beaches in the small market town Dickwella, 22 km east of Matara, a pleasant town to spend your beach holidays when you search for a relaxing time. The coastal waters here are protected by headlands, reefs and sand-bars, so it is safe to swim. However sometimes there may be dangerous under currents, but your host knows these places and can advise you the safe areas. The other two beaches are Western End, where you can snorkel near the reef and admire the beautiful fish, and the sheltered beach of Pehambya with the colourful fishing boats, waiting to sail out for the catch; in fact the boats are small catamarans.
Apart from the beautiful beaches, Dickwella has more to offer to its visitors. In May, June and July you may watch the colourful perahera’s (processions) with dancers, musicians, acrobats and fully dressed-up temple elephants. Peraheiras usually take place on the important Poya days, such as Vesak, Poson and Esala (see also the header Festivals).
Tallest Buddha statue
Dickwella is also the place where you can see the biggest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka. It is 50 metres (160 ft) tall and is part of an extended temple complex, the Wewurukannala Vihara. It is a sitting Buddha and was completed in 1970. Behind the statue is an eight storey high building which contains Buddhist pictures.
There are only a few places on earth where you can watch the phenomenon of a ‘blow-hole’and one of them is in Sri Lanka, just 6 km east of Dickwella at Kaduwela. Water entering a cave is forced through a narrow channel upwards through a rock and blown into the air. Especially during the southwest monsoon the fountain can be spectacular and even being reach a height of 20 metres into the air. This event is called Hoo-maniya, mentioned after the sound it makes just before the water comes out.
The colourful market of Dickwella attracts many locals from the town and surrounding villages. Strolling around the many stalls you can watch the busy activity and have a look at the many exotic products. The market was destroyed by the Tsunami in 2004. Luckely there was no market on that day. In the meantime the market has been fully restored.