Sunday, May 29, 2016

5 Attractions to explore in Matara, Srilanka

Matara is one of the southern most towns in Srilanka. We paid a half day visit to this town to check out what it has to offer. This post lists various attractions we visited in Matara. I do not have too much details to write about each of these, hence covering them in one post instead of separate post for each attraction.

1) Beach Temple (Puravi Duwa Temple)
This is the most interesting place in Matara, a temple located about a hundred meter away from shore on a small island, connected via a suspension bridge. The bridge makes the temple entry a lot photogenic.

Interior hall is nice place to relax and pray for a while- cool breeze from the sea on the otherside refreshes you.
 No entry fee for Puravi Duwa Temple, a donation is expected.
  Entrance and view of Matara from the island
2) Star Fort: Star fort looks great from top view, which unfortunately I don't have. It is a super small fort, the shape of a star, built to protect the then governor. Alligators were places in the canal that separated the fort from the outside world. Today it showcases some artifacts of olden times and history serving as a museum. We were told not to take photographs inside. No fixed entry fee but separate registers are maintained for locals and foreigners and we were asked to make a donation (looked like a mandatory step) and museum staff would give all subtle hint that they are expecting to be tipped.

This is an 18th century dutch fort originally called Redoute Van Eck. More details on Wikipedia
Opposite to this fort is a small temple worth a quick stop.
3) Matara Fort: Right behind the Matara bus terminal, this small fort is the size of a tennis court. Children play in the centre and a clock tower is the sole attraction here. It was built in 16th century by Portuguese. Check Wikipedia for detailed history of Matara Fort.
4) Weharahena Buddhist Temple
This temple is located at about 5 kms from Matara bus terminal. The giant Buddha statue is the main attraction. The statue is 6 stories tall. An underground temple with lots of paintings exist. If you have the time and interest to view detailed historical paintings then you must explore this temple. LKR 250 is the fixed fee for foreign tourists. Parking and chappal stand is free but a donation is expected.

5) Dutch Shopping Complex
Dutch Market: This nice building can be seen at an intersection as you enter Matara town. Worth a quick stopover.

Apart from this there is Matara beach park, which was practically an open space next to the beach occupied by young couples. There are few more temples in 10 km driving distance.
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Also see: Nandana Tea Factory * Mirissa parrot rock


Sneh Asnani said...

Nice post Shrinidhi.. I am following your blog for planning my next Srilanka visit..

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Shen Asnani . Have a nice trip

R Niranjan Das said...

Nice to know about these attractions in Matara.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Niranjan

Mridula said...

I did a short trip to Matara but it was too hot that day! After the beach temple we just gave up and went back to the hotel!

Yogi Saraswat said...

Beautifully written and pictures are really amazing . Sri lanka is very beautiful nation indeed !!

Ami said...

The beach temple seems interesting. What do you get in the Dutch market?

Bushra Muzaffar said...

Lovely shot of the bridge and the beach temple. Good and a helpful list for the Sri Lanka visitors.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Bushra: Thanks

@Ami- thanks. There is nothing being sold at Dutch market-just the building is well preserved. Not being used as market now

@Yogi- yes, it is beautiful indeed

@Mridula- sure. You know what all to check during your next trip

Nisha said...

Very detailed post. I am following all your Sri Lankan posts with much gusto.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thank You... I have a huge backlog piling up from Australia and Europe tours

divsi said...

Sril Lanka has been on my list since long. Loving the pictures! Esp the Dutch market (what symmetry!)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Divsi- Thanks. Do visit, it is not that expensive