Kalutara Sri Lanka
The ideal location close to the commercial capital Colombo and as gateway to the gem mining city of Ratnapura and the Sinharaja Rain Forest are making Kalutara the ideal destination for those travelers who are not only interested in the beautiful beaches.
The Gangatilaka Vihara, the world’s only hollow Buddhist shrine. Outside, crowds make offerings of food, flowers and prayers. Tiptoe inside to gaze at the 74 brightly painted wall murals depicting Buddha's life story.
While Kalutara is great swimming, body-surfing or diving in the sea, the nearby Bentota offers all possibilities like jet-ski, windsurf, parasail or just enjoy a romantic river safari on the river and lagoon.
Ratnapura is the center of Sri Lanka's gem mining industry. The mines are worked in the dry season and the gems found are the ruby and sapphire (plain and star varieties), cat's eyes, alexandrite, topaz, amethyst, aquamarine, tourmaline, garnet, zircon and a host of others.
inharaja Forest is the home of more than 60% of Sri Lanka's endemic plant species and is multi-layered, which is a characteristic of a rainforest.