Kogalla, Sri Lanka: Attractions – what to see in 1 day

The main attraction of the resort is the beach, covered with snow-white sand. It stretches along the coast for 5 km. There are a lot of secluded places where you can relax in complete peace and quiet. Many hotels in Koggala are designed for family holidays. Parents with small children like to come here. A wide sandy strip and a smooth entrance to the water provide safe beach leisure. The high season lasts from November to the end of April. Then the rains begin, but even during this period the village receives guests.

The town is located 20 km from the administrative center of the region – Galle. In the area there is a huge number of historical and natural attractions. Hotels at the resort offer excursion services or assistance in developing itineraries for independent visits to iconic places. To do this, you can rent a car or go on a trip on a scooter. Koggala will not disappoint lovers to get acquainted with something new and learn the cultural traditions of local nationalities.

Museum of Folk Art and Culture

The starting point of such acquaintance can be considered the Museum of Folk Art and Culture, located in Koggala. The famous Sri Lankan writer Martin Wickramasinghe (1890 – 1976) lived and died here. After his death, his house was converted into a Museum. The exposition is divided into 25 categories and gives a complete picture of the original folk culture of the island. Each hall in one way or another reflects the stages of Vikramasinghe’s life path. Such a relationship is characteristic of his work. The author’s books are sold in a shop on the territory of the museum. They have been translated into different languages of the world, including Russian.

The fund contains: Buddhist artifacts, intricate ceramics, costumes used in folk dances, agricultural tools, traditional carts, colorful dolls and masks. In the “Hall of Life” section, you can learn more about Martin Wickramasing and his many works and achievements. In the “Samadhi Meditation Center” visitors are introduced to the practices of spiritual purification, master classes are held. Much attention in the exposition is paid to issues of environmental protection. The unique museum is conveniently located opposite the Fortress Hotel & Spa.

Address: Koggala, Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Koggala Lake

On the territory of the village there is one of the largest reservoirs of Sri Lanka – Lake Koggala. It is a popular safari destination. In the brackish water there are several species of fish, crabs, shrimps, and the shores are covered with mangroves. In some areas you can see crocodiles. In the thickets of tropical plants settle birds, monkeys and bats. The lake is part of the local tourist infrastructure. Here you can hire a boat with a guide and go on a water trip.

The lake is unique not only for its natural beauties. He was immortalized in his works by the writer Martin Wickramasinghe. In 1947, his novel “Madol Duva” (Mangrove Island) was published, in which the author described his adventures on the island among the wildlife. The novel was translated into 9 languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Madol Duva Island will be one of the marinas during the tour. In front of it, tourists are waiting for a stop on an island with an ancient Buddhist temple, which was built more than 300 years ago.

A break from the water trip is offered on the Cinnamon Island. Here, for four generations in a row, members of the same family have been conducting a business for growing cinnamon. The head of the family will demonstrate all the stages of preparing fragrant sticks or powder from a popular spice. Products are for sale.

During world war II, the lake was used as a refueling airfield for the Allied air forces. And now from time to time seaplanes, military and charter flights splash down on its surface. On the shore of the lake there are hotels that provide excursion services. The tour costs 6 thousand rupees, on the shore you can bring down the price to 3 thousand rupees, if you are lucky.

Address: Koggala Lake, Koggala, Sri Lanka

 

 

Temple Island

A tour of Lake Koggala usually takes the whole day, so you can separately visit all the significant places of the reservoir. The most interesting in historical terms is the Temple Island. Here is a Buddhist temple, built more than 300 years ago. He is inactive, but the blind monk guarding the monastery will not let curious travelers go further than he should. A little further there is another temple, but it is closed to the public. And you can’t quite go through this one. The guard will only open the door in such a way that the sunlight will illuminate the interior. Inside there is a statue of buddha sitting in the lotus position, several statues of standing monks and sculptures of praying parishioners. The walls and ceiling are covered with colorful frescoes. Admission is free, but the monk accepts donations for the maintenance of temples.

The lake is considered one of the centers of pilgrimage of followers of Buddhism. On its numerous islets are scattered hermitages of ancient monks. If you arrive at the lake in order to achieve enlightenment, you can take a catamaran and go on a leisurely journey through the holy places. The pilgrimage route is one of the most popular routes in Koggala.

Cinnamon Island on Lake Kogala

Truly, huge cinnamon plantations have been preserved and are still cultivated on the island of the same name of Lake Koggala. It is visited by tourists as part of excursion groups or privately. The island is owned by a family that has been growing and processing cinnamon for 4 generations in a row. The House of Planters is open to the public. A cup of fragrant Ceylon tea is always waiting for travelers here. In addition to the endless plantations, there is a bas-relief of Buddha carved into the rock. This monumental structure exceeds human height by 10 times. History has not preserved the names of those who made this sculptural composition.

The owners of the island conduct master classes on the processing of spices. Tourists are taught to prepare cinnamon sticks, powder for confectionery, cinnamon oil for massage. All products are made by hand. A private shop sells organic products that are made directly on this farm. Among them are not only spices, but also culinary products, as well as souvenirs.

 

 

Spice Garden

The final destination of a walk along the picturesque Lake Koggala will be a spice garden. In fact, it is located at the very beginning of the journey near the pier, but the guides finish the tour here. The place is dedicated to traditional Sri Lankan medicine Ayurveda. Here they talk about the properties of medicinal plants, about what fees treat certain diseases. Guides advertise the miraculous properties of cosmetics made from these herbs. You can buy creams, massage oils, body balms in a shop located near the pier. Purchases are paid in cash or by credit card. At the end of the tour, a foot massage treatment with the help of special fish is offered. They are found in a fenced tank and at any time are ready to provide travelers with a relaxing service. The garden and the production of medicines are supported by the Government of Sri Lanka.

 

 

 

Kataluva Purwarama Maha Viharaya Temple

Outside the resort village is the Buddhist temple of Kataluva Purwarama Maha Viharaya. It was built in the 13th century. It was erected according to the traditions of the Middle Ages, using bright colors and numerous paintings from the life of the Buddha. The sanctuary is well preserved and open to the public. The place is popular due to the frescoes made by ancient masters. They are an example of painting of the Kandyan period. Wall paintings were created over 200 years. They reflect 500 episodes of Jakata (chronicles of the life of Siddhartha Gautama and the past lives of the Buddha).

In the 19th century, the temple was reconstructed. As a sign of gratitude to the Queen of Great Britain, paintings in the European style were added to the number of traditional frescoes. Thus, the local population expressed gratitude to Queen Victoria for the opportunity to practice Buddhism on the island. The British did much to restore Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. Due to monsoon rains, their roofs often leaked, causing devastating damage to wall paintings. Today, the interior of the temple has been completely restored. On the territory you can visit the sacred stupa.

Address: Kataluva Purvarama Maha Viharaya, Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Hiyare Rain Forest Reserve

Just a 40-minute drive from Koggala is the beautifully preserved Hiare Rainforest, which also functions as an Animal Rescue Program. Employees provide assistance to injured animals, placing them in special enclosures. On the basis of the reserve, an educational center has been opened, in which all living creatures inhabiting the territory of the biome are studied. The rainforest covers 600 acres and is filled with interesting varieties of fauna and flora. Despite the relatively small area, more than 150 species of birds, fish, reptiles, dragonflies and butterflies have found their home here. Concentration is complemented by mammalian animals and representatives of amphibian classes. Scientists believe that the Hiyare Rain Forest is one of the most densely populated areas among all the world’s nature reserves. On the territory there is a man-made lake Hiyare, which for a long time supplied water to the population of Galle

Address: Hiyare Rainforest Reservoir, Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Sea turtle incubator in Koggala

One of Sri Lanka’s many turtle farms is located on a stretch of Koggala Beach. Every year, 3 species of sea turtles come here to lay eggs and continue their genus. For local children and fishermen, the collection of turtle eggs is an additional income. They collect clutches and bring them to the farm, where specialists again bury the eggs in the sand and wait for the appearance of turtles. Then they are kept on the farm for another three days in special pools. This is necessary in order for the individuals to become a little stronger. Then they are released into the ocean. After 30 years, they return to Koggala beach to make their own masonry.

On the farm, in addition to babies, large turtles also live. Usually they are found by employees in a wounded state. They are nursed and then released into the wild. You can take pictures and play with them while they live on the farm. You can catch the procedure for releasing three-day-old babies into the ocean in the afternoon. Turtles are usually released at sunset. The cost of a half-hour procedure costs 2 thousand rupees. The usual entrance ticket at the price is the same for all turtle farms on the island – 500 rupees. Next to the farm is a small landmark of Koggala – an old British passenger plane. Inside there is a café and a children’s playground nearby.

Address: Koggala Beach, Southern Province, Sri Lanka

 

 

Tea estate “Handunugoda”

Not all hotels on the coast of Sri Lanka can boast of their own tea plantations. Basically, such guest complexes are located in the interior of the island in its highland areas. “Handunugoda Tea Estate” is an exception to the rule. It is built in Koggala, has its own plantation and the status of a tea estate. On its territory there is a shop that sells 25 types of elite tea. It is assembled, fermented and packaged by mechanization. The oldest machine of the factory recently turned 145 years old. He is the same age as the family business. Guided tours are available for guests of the estate. They tell and show the whole path of the tea drink, starting with planting a bush and ending with the rules of brewing.

Address: Handunugoda Tea Factory,Handunugoda rd , Southern Province 10120 Ahangama, Sri Lanka

Hotels in Koggala provide tourists with a service of category from 1 to 5 stars. Each has its own restaurant. The main menu consists of Sri Lankan dishes. European cuisine is prepared in the five-star complex “The Beach Cabanas” and the 4-star “Resort Long Beach”.