Things to do in Matara

Things to do in Matara

Things to do in Matara

About Matara

Location
Matara is located 160km south of Colombo, in the southern coast of Sri Lanka.

Reaching Matara
Matara can be reached by main Colombo-Galle-Matara motor road as well as by the railway line.

Setting
River Nilwala Ganga flowing into the Indian Ocean at the beach of Matara divides the city into two areas: the old town, set in the estuary of the river and the new town located in the main land. The six-lane Mahanama Bridge connects the mainland with the estuary.

New Town
New town of Matara in the mainland sprawls in all directions. Train station, banks, shops, cricket ground and Dutch Star Fort occupies prominent locations.

Old Town
Old town of Matara or the old colonial district in the estuary called Fort is home to old rest house, Dutch Reformed Church, bus station, market and a mosque.

Matara, the transportation hub of the region
Matara is the major transportation hub of the Southern province with well-organized bus station in the old town.

Accomodation at Matara
The preferred location of accommodation at Matara is Polhena and Medawatta beaches.

Polhena Beach & Medawatta Beach
While Polhena beach offer good snorkling opportunities, Medawatta is good for surfing.

Matale is a town in the hill country of Sri Lanka. The Knuckles Mountain Range is a special landmark of Matale. The Matale administrative district also contains the historic Sigiriya rock castle, Aluwihare Temple and Dambulla Cave Temple. Surrounding the town are the Knuckles foothills called Wiltshire. It is a mainly agricultural area, where tea, rubber, vegetable and spice cultivation dominate.

The Aluvihare Temple, on the North side of the town, is the historic location where the Pali Canon was first written down completely in text on ola (palm) leaves. Situated near Aluvihare are numerous monastery caves, some of which exhibit fine frescoes.

About Central Province

The Central Province of Sri Lanka consists primarily of mountainous terrain. The province has an area of 5,674 km², and a population of 2,421,148. Some major towns include Kandy, Gampola (24,730), Nuwara Eliya and Bandarawela. The population is a mixture of Sinhalese, Tamil and the Moors.

Both the hill capital Kandy and the city of Nuwara Eliya are located within the Central Province as well as Sri Pada. The province produces much of the famous Ceylon tea, planted by the British in the 1860s after a devastating disease killed all the coffee plantations in the province. Central Province attracts many tourists, with hill station towns such as Kandy, Gampola, Hatton and Nuwara Eliya. Temple tooth or Dalada maligawa is the main sacred place in Centrel province.

The climate is cool, and many areas about 1500 meters often have chilly nights. The western slopes are very wet, some places having almost 7000 mm of rain per year. The eastern slopes are parts of the mid-dry zone as it is receiving rain only from North-Eastern monsoon. The Temperatures range from 24°C at Kandy to just 16°C in Nuwara Eliya, which is located 1,889 m above sea level. The highest mountains in Sri Lanka are located in the Central Province. The terrain is mostly mountainous, with deep valleys cutting into it. The two main mountain regions are the central massif and the Knuckles range to the east of Kandy.

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