Tangalle Tours – Sri Lanka, Galle
About this place
At Dondra Head, the southern most tip of the island an octagonal lighthouse brings home that there is nothing between you and Antarctica! The indigo sea is a swirl of coral, rock and foam. At Maha Vishnu devale – a 7th century shrine once pillaged by the Portuguese of its gilded Copper roof, a week long Dondra Festival and a full scale Pera Hera venerates God Vishnu with fire-walking and devil-dancing at midnight. Talalla Beach is a mile of picture-postcard crescent around a cove of glassy calm when most beaches have strong winds. An Oz-run restaurant yards from the beach does excellent fusion sea food. After Dickwella where brackish lagoons yield harvests of delicious prawns, the beaches don’t even have names but picking-your-own here means having a whole piece of heaven to yourself! Nilwala Cove this side of Tangalle is enchanting with a reef which provides surf further out and safe swimming within. At Kudawilla, the ferociously noisy Hoom-mane Blowhole spurts a spectacular 60 foot high fountain of water for its Cabaret in June. Villages say when the sea is rough it reaches a height of “three coconut trees”. North of Tangalle is Mulkirigala, a black rock temple thrusting 300 feet into the sky with beautifully preserved murals. In 1826, erstwhile government Agent of Ratnapura, George Turnour discovered ola leaf scripts which unlocked 23 centuries of Lanka’s missing history. On your way back try to visit a citronella distillery.
Bundala Bird Sanctuary (also elephants/crocodile/monkeys) is 75 minutes east of Tangalle but as you approach Hambantota in a white fog of un-mechanised salt pans there is much birdlife; finally holy Kataragama, a pilgrim destination where Muslims, Hindu, Buddhist gather in July after walking the length of the island from Jaffna to venerate Lord Skanda by boldly strolling on burning coals.
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