SEE & DO

HISTORICAL KATARAGAMA (01 km)

Along with Adam's Peak (Sri Pada), Kataragama is the most important pilgrimage site in Sri Lanka; a holy place for Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Veddah people. It is one of those wonderful destinations where the most outlandish of legends becomes solid fact and magic floats in clouds of incense.

YALA NATIONAL PARK (10 km)

Yala national park,often referred to as the Ruhuna National Park, is well recognized as one of the best locations in the world to observe and photograph leopards in the wild. It has been confirmed that the Yala National Park has the highest density of leopards to be found anywhere in the world and is as much as one leopard per square kilometer. Though the prevalence of the Sri Lankan leopard population is high (300-350 leopards in total, of which 30-50 roam around Block I), it still takes a well trained eye to observe these elusive big cats in action, as well as to know when and where to look for one.

Yala National Park contains 5 Blocks, where Yala Block 1, well known for highest Leopard density in the world. Yala Block 5 is ideal if you love Birding and Nature photographs.

Entrance for Yala Blocks 1 & 2 (Katagamuwa entrance), entrance for Yala Block 5 (Weheragala Entrance) , entrance for Yala Block 3 (Galge & Dambakote Entrances) are only about 10 km from Kataragama. (15 min drive).

KIRI VEHERA (01 km)

Lord Buddha, on his third and the last visit to Sri Lanka, was believed to have met King Mahasena, who ruled over the Kataragama area in 580 BC. It is said that King Mahasena met Lord Buddha and listened to the Buddha's discourse and as a token of gratitude; the temple was built on that exact spot where it now stands.

SELLA KATARAGAMA DEVALAYA (4 km)

Lord Buddha, on his third and the last visit to Sri Lanka, was believed to have met King Mahasena, who ruled over the Kataragama area in 580 BC. It is said that King Mahasena met Lord Buddha and listened to the Buddha's discourse and as a token of gratitude; the temple was built on that exact spot where it now stands.

SITHULPAWWA (12 km)

This 1st Century BC rock temple is believed to have resided by thousands of meditating Arhat Buddhist monks during its heydays. The name Sithulpawwa means 'the hill of quiet minds'.

BUNDALA NATIONAL PARK (30 km)

Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala harbors 197 species of birds, the highlight being the greater flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. Bundala was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and re designated to a national park on 4 January 1993. In 1991 Bundala became the first wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. In 2005 the national park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka.

UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK (70 km)

Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972. Before the designation of the national park, the area was used for shifting cultivation (chena farming). The farmers were gradually removed once the national park was declared. The park is 165 kilometers (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.

RANMINITHANNE FILM VILLAGE (12 km)

This was conceived in August of 2006, when His Excellency The President, Mahinda Rajapaksa subsequent to imposing a tax on imported films, tele-dramas and commercials telecast nationally, proposed a project in Ranmihitenna (Hambantota District) to ensure these funds were utilized effectively. The objective of His Excellency is to ensure the development of the local cinema industry.

HAMBANTOTA HERBAL PARK (50 km)

A botanical garden is being established in Mirijjawila in the Hambantota district. This is the first botanical garden to be established in the dry zone in Sri Lanka. It has an extent of 300 acres,. The objective of establishing this botanical garden is for the conservation of dwindling trees and shrubs in the dry zone, popularizing of unpopular trees, conservation of medicinal herbs, promotion of tourism and providing botanical knowledge to the younger generation.