The south west coast is full of glimmering seas and golden beaches that have the ability to make you forget who you are – they are so mesmerizing and tantalizing.
Located approximately 2 hours away (95.5km) from Colombo, Ahungalle is a coastal paradise of beaches that will immediately take your breath away. It is also one of the major beach destinations that’s rustic and simple so most people are making their way there – a change from the typical path of heading towards Mirissa or Galle, two famous south west coast tourist destinations in the country.
Ahungalla is on its way to a lot of development over the next few years, with a lot of hotels and resorts in the making so it will be easy for the influx of people that will be coming yearly. It’s hands down one of the best places to settle into for plenty of lazy days staring at the amazing views that captivate on every level.
Your time in Ahungalla is will without a doubt be a memorable one, as you will not come across any other place in the world that will match what you will see here, undeniably.
Sri Lanka would not be the way it is now if not for the most influential Asian architects of the 19th century, the late Geoffrey Bawa (1919-2003) the man behind most of the top hotels and buildings in the country. He is especially known for the principal force of ‘Tropical Modernism’ which was combining ancient structures with modern techniques. Upcoming architects look up to him for their inspiration, and he is the perfect role model for the future generations here and around the world that can learn so much from his work and legacy.
One of the reputed hotels in the town Heritance Ahungalla was designed by him, and constructed from 1979-1981.
Ahungalle has a tropical climate, and there is a considerable amount of rainfall during the year due to the south west monsoon. On average, the warmest month is in January and the wettest month is May, with a lot of rainfall during that month – so it its best to avoid visiting at that time. The best time to go would be from November to April.
How to get there
From Colombo to Ahungalle
By Car – Driving to Ahungalle from Colombo will take around 2 hours, 5 minutes via the southern expressway highway,
By Air – Cinnamon Air operates flights from BIA Colombo to the Bentota domestic airport which is 4.3 km away from Ahungalle.
By Train – Take the train from the Colombo fort station to the Ahungalla station, which will take approximately an hour and half.
From Galle to Ahungalle
By Car – Driving to Ahungalle from Galle will take around 1 hour, 10 minutes via the Colombo Galle Hambantota road.
By Train – Take the train from the Galle train station to the Colombo fort station, the duration being around an hour.
From the Airport to Ahungalle
By Car – Driving from the airport to Ahungalle will take approximately 2 hours, 11 minutes via the expressway highway to reach.
Food and Drink
Ahungalle is located south – home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the vicinity, so you’ve got lots of choice when it comes to deciding where to try the local cuisine and other international cuisines, too.
Jungle Beach Restaurant Ahungalle – Right next to the RIU hotel, it is one of the reputed places that’s located on the Ahungalla beach. It boasts of tasty, delicious seafood dishes and very chilled out ambience. Excellent staff and service, this is a place that you will definitely have to try – seafood platters served with fries while enjoying the great breeze coming from the beach that’s just close by. It’s one of those places where you can relax and simply take in your surroundings.
Bentota Beach Restaurant – Bentota being a very short distance from Ahungalla means that their restaurants are easily accessible. Located on the wonderful beach that is surrounded by palm trees, the restaurant serves up the traditional Sri Lankan cuisine and international cuisines as well, you can enjoy your meal while taking in the stunning view of the Indian Ocean that’s in the near distance. There’s the option of dining both inside and outside, as well. They also serve cocktails, fresh juices and soft drinks, too. It’s a great place to watch the sunset and relax in your own pace.
There are a couple of places in Ahungalla that are worth the visit – from beaches to temples to rivers, it’s certainly a mix of activities that will surely keep you occupied and not feel the time go by.
Ahungalla Beach – A glittering beach that is absolutely breathtaking, it’s like a hidden treasure chest with its golden beaches and shells resembling the jewels and gems. A morning or evening stroll with your significant other would probably the best feeling in the world – you get to enjoy the spectacular views that you will never forget.
Ambalangoda Workshop and Mask Museum – Mask making is one the many popular traditions in Sri Lanka and the Ambalangoda area is the area that boasts of its skillful artisans. The Ariyapala family has been involved with the mask making industry for five generations, the family ancestor being Ariyapala Wijesuriya Gurunnanse who was one of the most famous master craftsmen in the country.
Turtle Hatchery – The Kosgoda Sea Turtle Hatchery is located in Kosgoda, 8 minutes away (3.8 km) from Ahungalle. The hatchery was initiated purely due to the main reason of preserving and taking care of turtles, and ensuring that they don’t become a part of the endangered species in the country.
Madu River Mangrove Safari and Fish spa – The river is located in Balapitiya, and is another popular place that is getting a lot of attention from both locals and tourists. Most of the tourists who come to the south somehow make it to the river because it’s a place that must not be missed out – which is justifiable considering how beautiful it is, mangrove, marshlands and surrounding islands that are home to diverse species of birds and reptiles. There are plenty of river cruises and boat rides that are operated through the swamps and wetlands that extend up to 915 hectares of which 770 hectares is under water – so you will get to take in the massive mangrove forests and get a closer look at the biodiversity that cannot be found anywhere else.
Galapata Raja Temple – A 12th century old temple with 2500 year old dagoba is located 18 km away from Ahungalle. It was discovered by the British in the 16th century and they rebuilt it giving it a different and new look. It is an ancient landmark that’s famous for the tooth relic of the third disciple of the Buddha which is buried in the stupa. There are a lot of ornate and intricate carvings in the doors as well as stone inscriptions plus colorful statues.