Top 5 things to do in Hambantota
Hambantota is a popular city in the golden southern coast of Sri Lanka. In this enchanting region, there are plenty of delightful things to do and see. Read on and find out about the best things that you can do in Hambantota when you are travelling there with your loved ones.
01. Visit Kataragama Temple
The iconic Kataragama Temple is one of the most popular places of worship in Sri Lanka. Every year, countless numbers of Buddhists and Hindus visit this majestic temple complex. Kataragama Temple is sacred not just to Buddhists and Hindus, but also to the Vedda community of the country. The Vedda community refers to the indigenous people in Sri Lanka. The temple complex is frequented by Muslims as well as there is an Islamic shrine located on-site.
A large number of Buddhists living in the country believe that Kataragama deviyo, the main god who is worshipped in the temple, is the guardian deity of Buddhism. Hence it has been included in the list of 16 prominent places of Buddhist worship in the country.
02. Bundala National Park
Those who love to witness the beautiful colour and glory of the paradise island’s flourishing flora and fauna should make a visit to the iconic Bundala National Park. It is one of the most popular attractions in the country. The park is located in very close proximity to the city of Hambantota so you will be able to reach it with immense ease. The park is home to 197 species of birds, which include greater flamingo. Bundala National Park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO back in the year 2005. The area was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1969. It attracts large numbers of nature lovers throughout the year.
03. Tissamaharama Raja Maha Temple
Beautiful Tissamaharama Raja Maha Temple is an important pilgrimage site in Sri Lanka. It is said that this temple is one of the four major temples which were established on the island after the arrival of Arhant Mahinda Thero. Lord Buddha himself is believed to have consecrated the spot upon which this majestic temple stands. During his third visit to Sri Lanka, Lord Buddha arrived at this place with his 500 arhats and spent time meditating. The temple, therefore, is immensely popular among the Buddhists in the country.
The stupa of the temple is the largest stupa in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. It has a height of 156 feet as well as a circumference of 550 feet. It presides regally in the region, breathing out tranquillity to all. The beautiful stupa is shaped like a bubble. According to Mahavamsa, the frontal bone relic of Lord Buddha is enshrined here. Some believe that the relic was temporarily enshrined here before being moved to the Seruvila Mangala Maha Chethiya.
04. Mudunagala Hot Springs
Mudunagala Hot Water Springs, which is also known as Mahapelessa Hot Springs, can be easily accessed from the city of Hambantota. It is an attraction which is quite often included in the travel itineraries of the pilgrims who visit the area.
The springs were first discovered by Leonard Woolf, who served as the Assistant Government Agent of Hambantota between 1908 and 1911. The site was rediscovered in the 1960s. In the 1980s two wells were constructed onsite for males and females. Reaching this site back in the day was quite adventurous as elephant sightings were quite common! In the 2000s the area was rapidly developed into a tourist attraction. A visitor to the site today will find four wells, each having water of varying temperatures. Separate changing rooms have also been constructed for males and females. Little children who visit the site will be enthralled too as there is a play area, mini zoo as well as an aquarium here today.
05. Ridiyagama Safari Park
If you are travelling in Hambantota with your family you should certainly consider visiting the beautiful Ridiyagama Safri Park. It is the very first safari park in Sri Lanka. 22 species of animals are here for you to see and admire. The total area of the park has been divided into six zones. Four of these zones are dedicated to carnivores and two zones are for herbivores. The beautiful park was opened to the public on the 28th of May 2016.