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Fun things to do in Chilaw

Chilaw is a beautiful beach-side town on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Apart from its palm-fringed sandy beach, the town holds many wonders to discover, and if you’re travelling alone, here are some of the things you can do that ensure you experience the best of Chilaw. 

Eat At A Roadside Restaurant

Sri Lanka is a small island that is made up of many different cultures and ethnic groups and nowhere is this better brought out than in its food. To get an authentic experience of local cuisine, visit one of the roadside restaurants or food vendors in Chilaw that serve some of the most mouth-watering delights. Some of the popular dishes include kottu roti, vegetable roti or a traditional plate of rice and curry, whatever you choose these delectable delicacies will have you craving for more…

Visit Some Historical Sites

Chilaw is steeped in history; two sites, in particular, stand out– Munneswaram Temple and Madhu Church. Munneswaram Temple is one of the island’s oldest Hindu temples which dates to 1,000 CE. The temple is one of the five ancient shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and is not only visited by Hindus but also people of all faiths. A highlight in the temple’s calendar is the Maha Shivratri Festival, a nine-day long religious event that is held in August. Madhu Church is a 400-year-old Roman Catholic Church and one of the few which has gained Papal recognition. Many Sri Lankan Catholics make the pilgrimage to this church, especially for the Feast of Madhu which takes place in August.

Explore The Wilderness

Sri Lanka has an exceptional variety of wildlife and one of the best things about Chilaw is that you can easily access quite a few nature reserves from here.

Wilpattu National Park is the country’s largest national park and it is only about a two-hour drive away from Chilaw. Go on a game drive around the park to spot elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles and the elusive leopard. Wilpattu is extremely beautiful as the park gets its name from the numerous vilus, small bodies of water/ponds, that are found within the thick green jungle.

Another option is to embark on a dolphin and whale watching excursion in Kalpitiya which is about 1 ½ hours away from Chilaw. Kalpitiya is the best location for whale watching on the west coast, with quite a few species of whales swim through its waters. Blue whales and sperm whales are the most commonly sighted species here. The season for whale watching is from mid-October to March.

Relax By The Beach

Finally, at its core, Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise and sometimes there’s nothing better than just relaxing on a beach. End your adventure in Chilaw with a glorious day of rest and relaxation on one of Sri Lanka’s world-famous beaches. Read about our Solo Guide to Beach Hopping for more!

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