Popular Attractions to Visit in Koggala
During the past three to four years the southern coastal town of Koggala in Sri Lanka has seen an unprecedented surge in tourists. The beach in Koggala is hardly ever crowded and is a familiar spot among hardcore surfers to the island. If you are visiting and want to take a look around the town our short guide on popular attractions would be a good place to start.
Martin Wickremesinghe Folk Art Museum
The town of Koggala is home to one of the country’s most accomplished writers- Martin Wickramasinghe. The author was born in 1890 and the museum includes the little home where Wickramasinghe was born and grew up. Visitors can really get a feel for what a typical Sinhalese home of that century would have been like when they step into this beautifully quaint lodging. Set on a large expanse of greenery which is part of the Martin Wickramasinghe estate, the museum exhibits some interesting items of local folk culture. The author is widely respected for setting out in detail through his work, the intricate cultural fabric that existed in local society at the time. The museum exhibits puppets, folk dance costumes, kitchen utensils and other items from a bygone era.
The Koggala Lake borders one side of the beach front and a visit here is an ideal way to unwind. A few of the islets located along the lake is where tourists can discover ancient paintings adorning walls of Buddhist temples and hermitages. Visitors can pay for a passenger boat ride across the lake. A popular spot is a small island village on the lake that is vibrant with endemic flora and fauna. The island features prominently in the works of author Martin Wickremesinghe.
Kataluwa Purwarama Temple
The Purwarama Temple in Koggala dates back to the 13th century and exhibits some unique murals which have been restored. Stories depicting various aspects of the Buddha’s life are painted into these murals. The temple is approximately 5km away from Koggala and boasts of some very rare cameo-styled drawings of the Queen Mother and Queen Victoria. These paintings are said to have been done in thanks for Queen Victoria’s role in permitting the practice of Buddhism in the country during colonial rule.
No visit to Koggala is ever complete without some time spent at the popular Turte Hatchery. Begun in 1996, as a project to aid conservation whereby eggs are bought from fishermen, it discourages selling and poaching of turtle eggs. A visit here is just a small way of supporting the project and the lives of these wonderful creatures. Tourists could also experience the absolute thrill of releasing these baby turtles back into the sea and leave with the hope that they’ve played their part in conserving a species.