Koggala, Sri Lanka


Koggala is a strange strip of abandoned holiday resorts, 5 star hotels and ATM machines. The beaches are definitely not crowded while the Koggala River and Koggala Lake attract many nature lovers. Koggala is a wide stretched village on Sri Lanka‘s South Coast with beautiful beaches and some of the best surf spots on the island.

Many little shops are located close by, which are perfect for your daily needs. Little beach restaurants offer fresh seafood dishes and provide excellent views overlooking the picturesque Bay.

Some of the interesting places to visit in Koggala are Buddhist hermitages which are situated on a couple of islets on the Koggala Lake. The hermitages may be visited with prior permission.

Koggala is generally recommended for a visit to the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Art Museum or for a ride to one of the islands on the Lake. There is, however, a lot more to Koggala. You can ride on a catamaran around the Lake with a local villager who may be willing to take you fishing upon request. You could also take a bicycle ride (or Tuk-tuk) along the dirt tracks of the villages around the perimeter of the Lake to discover some of the wonderful vegetation and animal life (snakes, monitor lizards, birds) in the area. Koggala beach is a beautiful stretch of clear water and soft golden sand, which is perfect for long walks, while you can also reach the next bays of Ahangama and Midigama.

Koggala Lake

Some of the interesting places to visit in Koggala are Buddhist hermitages which are situated on a couple of islets on the Koggala Lake. Next to the road, Koggala Lake is alive with birdlife and dotted with islands, one of which features a Buddhist temple that attracts many visitors on poya (full moon) days and another that contains an interesting cinnamon plantation.

You can take a 90-minute boat tour of the lake and islands for about Rs 4000 in a four-passenger motor boat. Besides the main sights, you’ll stop at a small island village and see a lot of birds (hawks, herons, egrets etc). Look for the Bird Island Boat Tours sign just east of the 132km marker.

Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Art Museum

This surprisingly interesting museum includes the house where respected Sinhalese author Martin Wickramasinghe (1890–1976) was born. The exhibits are well displayed, with information in English. Among them is a good section on dance (including costumes and instruments), puppets, kolam (masked dance-drama) masks (including one of a very sunburnt British officer), kitchen utensils and carriages. Don’t miss the kitchen goods, including the multipurpose ‘mill stone’. Look for the turn near the 131km marker, across from the Fortress Hotel.

The bookshop sells Wickramasinghe’s works, which are lauded for their exploration of local cultures and the roots of all the people on the island.

Handungoda Tea Estate

Sri Lanka’s tea industry can seem like one vast outdoor factory, with workers toiling endlessly for little money to produce a product that’s been stripped of any cachet. That’s not the case at the Hundungoda Tea Estate, an exquisite tea plantation in the hills above Koggala, 6km inland via Kathaluwa Rd from the Galle–Matara Rd near the 131km marker.

Here tea isn’t a commodity to be off-loaded in bulk to the highest bidder, rather it is a simple indulgence to be savoured. Presiding over this small plantation is Herman Gunaratne, one of the legends of the island’s tea industry. On a free one-hour tour you’ll sample and learn how they produce over 25 varieties of tea. Of these the most coveted is Virgin White tea, a delicate brew made from the tiniest and newest leaves. Where the average large plantation worker will pick 23kg of black tea in a day, the workers here manage but 150 grams of the virgin white leaves. Be sure to pick up a copy of Gunaratne’s autobiography, The Suicide Club: A Virgin Tea Planter’s Journey , which is a remarkably entertaining and insightful read about his life, tea and Sri Lanka, from the waning days of the British Raj to today.

Kataluwa Purwarama Temple

“Rarely crowded, this feels like the temple time forgot. Dating from the 13th century, it has some recently restored murals, including some large ones depicting foreigners in flowing robes. A friendly monk will open the building and explain the murals. Some of the Jataka tales (stories from the Buddha’s lives) painted here are 200 years old. Turn inland and drive for 1.2km right at the 134km marker.

Turtle Hatchery

Opened in 1996 to help promote responsible tourism, the turtle hatchery aids conservation by buying the turtle eggs from the fishermen. This goes a long way towards discouraging them from selling the eggs for the purpose of food or poaching. A visit here goes a long way towards helping save the lives of these wonderous creatures as they are kept safe until they are ready to be released. If you are lucky you can experience the joy of releasing these baby turtles back into the ocean and leave with the knowledge that you played a part in helping a species survive.

Whale Watching in Mirissa

has been most popular attraction among the tourists who visit sri lanka. since the year 2009 and still we are operating whale watching tours based in mirissa harbour. Mirissa is the closest point to where blue whales are inhabited because it has appropriate environmental conditions to live these giants. last year it was reported five types of whales (blue whale, bryde’s whale, sperm whale, killer whale & pilot whale ) & four kind of dolphins (spinner dolphin, bottle nose dolphin, stripped dolphin, Risso’s dolphin)

Dikwella Lace Centre

For souvenirs that show you care visit the Dikwella Lace Centre. Locally made crafts are the perfect way to remember your holiday to the island plus a great way to help the local communities earn revenue. The women of the Dikwella village have been crafting lace for generations using an age old traditional method known as ‘beeralu’. To learn more visit the museum to see how lace became so important to the Dikwella area.

【LK94009427: Koggala. Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】