A beach, water sports and excellent seafood

This is a coastal town in Sri Lanka, approximately 65 kilometres (40 mi) south of Colombo. Bentota is situated on the southern bank of the Bentota River mouth, at an elevation of 3 metres (9.8 ft) above the sea level. Bentota is a historical place described in ancient messenger poems. The Galapatha Viharaya is one of a cluster of five ancient temples in the region. In the 17th Century the Portuguese built a small fort at the mouth of the Bentota River (Bentara Ganga), which in Sinhala was called Parangi Kotuwa, meaning the fort of the Portuguese. The river marked the southern extremity of Portuguese held territory in Sri Lanka. The Dutch subsequently allowed the fort to fall into disrepair, converting one of the large buildings within the fort into a colonial rest house for Dutch Officers travelling between Colombo and Galle.

Bentota is a tourist attraction, with a local airport (Bentota River Airport) and a handful of world-class hotels and a larger number of small boutique hotels, luxury villas and bnbs. It is also a popular destination for watersports. Bentota also delivers an ancient art of healing called Ayurveda. Bentota is famous for its toddy production, an alcoholic beverage made out of coconut nectar. It also has a turtle hatchery, located on Induruwa beach.

When in Bentota, you could also visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery (set up by the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP) in association with the Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka), The Brief Garden (The house and garden of renowned Sri Lankan landscape architect, Bevis Bawa, the older brother of architect Geoffrey Bawa), Galapatha Raja Maha Vihara Buddhist temple, (contains stone inscriptions, stone carvings, pillars, ponds and troughs from the medieval period)


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