5 Places you Must Visit in Hambantota
Going down the southern coast of Sri Lanka will allow you to pass by some interesting towns and attractions that showcase the illustrious history and culture, along with the natural wonders the island possesses. Hambantota is a rapidly developing city, with its own airport, seaport, luxury hotels and several other features. Whether for the day or longer, head to Hambantota to discover off-the-beaten path attractions and experiences. Need some ideas on where to visit? Here are five places that should not be missed when in Hambantota.
Mirijjawila Botanical Garden
This complex of horticultural beauty is one of the more unique features in the city, if not the island. The Mirijjawila Botanical Garden is only one of five botanical gardens, and though located in Sri Lanka’s dry zone, is a flourishing attraction in Hambantota. Built in 2013, the garden was made to improve the area’s biodiversity, and as as a result, is home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna. The Mirijjawila Botanical Garden is one place that you should not miss when you’re exploring this southern city – and is a great place for kids to explore. Hop into one of the carts for a quicker way to explore the garden; ideal if you’ve got smaller kids who fuss about walking long distances!
Often one of the more overlooked places in the coastal town, the Ramba Viharaya is one of the ideal places to understand how the kingdoms of old incorporated Buddhism into a major part of their lives. This particular temple stemmed from the era of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom between the 11th century to the 14th century. It was one of the major temples of the kingdom due to the Chola invasion that caused King Vijayabahu I to flee from the capital and take refuge in Ruhuna (modern day Hambantota). As a result, the temple was not only a religious centre, but also an academic centre. It is believed that the exiled king schemed all his campaigns against the Cholas here, and there is significant evidence to prove it.
Bundala National Park
A must-visit for all animal lovers, Bundala National Park is located very close to the city centre of Hambantota. It’s much smaller in size in comparison to other popular reserves like Yala National Park and Kumana National Park. But what lacks in size shows up for the unique biodiversity of the area. Home to over 200 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals and a diverse variety of exotic flora, embark on a safari through the park while on your family adventure in Sri Lanka. The park is famed as being a hotspot for migratory water birds, like the Greater Flamingo and the Lesser Whistling Duck. Bundala National Park is designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
The Martello Tower stands to be a unique piece of colonial heritage, as it is the only fortress of its kind in the whole of South Asia. Built in the early 19th century by the British, it was used as an important defensive complex when the Kingdom of Kandy led a battle to drive out the colonisers. Although small, the tower is believed to have had heavy armament, which ranged from howitzers to 18 pounders. Presently, the tower serves as a museum that showcases the transformation of the fisheries industry in the area.
Madunagala Hot Spring
Sometimes called the Mahapelessa Hot Spring, this particular hot spring is known to be a sacred one in which many a pilgrim from around the country would bathe in its waters. The waters are believed to have several healing properties, especially for certain types of skin diseases. Right next to the hot springs is a park that hosts a zoo and an aquarium. This is perfect to keep the little ones occupied and entertained during your visit. .
Of course, there are many other places in the city that are shrouded in great stories. Browse through these 6 things you can do in Hambantota and add them to your itinerary too!