Bentota is a coastal town in Sri Lanka, located in the Galle District of the Southern Province, governed by an Urban Council. It is approximately 65 kilometres (40 mi) south of Colombo and 56 kilometres (35 mi) north of Galle. Bentota is situated on the southern bank of the Bentota River mouth, at an elevation of 3 metres (9.8 ft) above the sea level. The name of the town is derived from a mythical story which claims a demon named ‘Bem’ ruled the tota or river bank.
Bentota, 62km south of Colombo, is a planned tourist development. It has a long broad sandy beach, at its best during the October to April holiday season, with safe swimming – although red warning flags fly when currents are too strong. There are some fine beachside hotels, which also have swimming pools, as well as guest houses to suit all budgets close to the carefully planned developed area.Guests have evening entertainment in the beachside hotels and there is plenty to see on day tours from the area, such as cruising on the Bentota river, visiting the two private gardens of Brief and Lunuganga, or indulging in water sports since Bentota has a reputation as being the water sports capital of Sri Lanka.
Bentota captures the heart and soul of island living, featuring laid back fisherman, charming tropical dwellings and peace-loving locals. Within the boundaries of the Bentota village you will find an age-old local cinnamon trade, still in action, and plenty of opportunities to go fishing or diving among rich aquatic life.
Here are some of the main enjoyable attractions of the place –
Enjoy a scenic cycle tour across picturesque paddy fields, a 125 years old Katukoliha temple with its ‘Dagaba’ located at the highest point of elevation, Dutch architectural houses, the Mullegoda temple with beautiful murals and the Dedduwa lake. Ideal trip for nature lovers to experience the scenic beauty of village life.
Enjoy a scenic trekking route across picturesque paddy fields and streams in a typical village. The trek will cover the 125 years old Katukoliha temple with its ‘Dagaba’ located at the highest point of elevation in the Bentota – Aturuwella area. This ancient temple has attractive wooden & terracotta carvings and statues that belong to ancient architectural styles in Sri Lanka. The site offers panoramic views and it is an ideal visit during the evening hours to see the sunset. You may also see houses which have been built according to Dutch architectural styles. Towards the end of the journey you will pass by beautiful marshy lands with variety of birds.
Developed over a period of fifteen years by Bevis Bawa, a well known Sri Lankan artist, and the elder brother of famed architect, Geoffrey Bawa, the garden is aesthetically laid out on five acres of land and is noted for its lush vegetation. The wide variety of tropical trees, plants and sculptures that dot the garden is a true representation of all the energies that Bevis put into Brief. Bevis Bawa passed away in 1992 but the Brief garden continues to be maintained in just the way it was envisioned to be. Well worth the trip if you are a nature lover.
Buddhist Temple, Kande Viharaya
The Kande Viharaya temple has a long history, dating back to 1734 and continues to this day to be an important link in the Buddhist cultural and religious activities of Sri Lanka. Observe devotees dressed in white as they flock the temple grounds daily
A wide range of water sports activities such as water skiing, jet skiing, mono skiing, wake boarding, banana boat rides, wind surfing and cannoning are available.
By – Sohini Satapati