Just 3 ½ hours down south from the commercial hub of Colombo, lies Dikwella, a simple coastal market town in the Matara district known for its tranquil beachscapes, intriguing society, places of worship and unique geological features. Considered to be a well-kept secret for backpackers, the coastal hamlet is devoid of mass tourism, when compared to its Mirissa neighbour, thus safeguarding its rustic grandeur and tranquil charm.

Top Reason to Visit

Although tucked away in the rustic tranquil of the rural south, Dikwella sports quite a number of unique attractions that make for many reasons to visit the little seaside hamlet. With the Hummanaya Blowhole, the Wewurukannala Vihara and the tranquil beaches of the town that is ideal for water sports, the top reason to visit the town is the eclectic mix of nature, adventure and society. Thus proving to be an idyllic setting for many a traveller.

While You’re There

The tallest statue of Lord Buddha and festive revels not to be missed:

Without a doubt a major highlight of the town, the historic Wewurukannala Vihara is a sight to behold to all who travel down south in the Paradise Island. Boasting of the tallest statue of a seated Lord Buddha in the country, towering at a height of 160 feet. The statue is as high as an 8 storey building, and further accentuating the statue is the temple itself that possess detailed images of punishment, if one were to stray away from the path to enlightenment. It also contains hundreds of depictions of the life and times of Lord Buddha. The temple museum too is a must-visit, due to the unique artifacts it possesses.

Although overshadowed by the peraheras (processions) in Kandy and Kataragama, the Dikwella peraheras that occur during the months from May to July have also gained critical acclaim, as vibrant pageantry populates the streets of the little seaside hamlet, making the rural town spring to life with festive revelry.

The town’s hidden jewel:

Just a few kilometres east of the main town area, away from the scenic Dikwella Beach, lies a bay fringed by tropical forests and azure waters, perfect to just relax in. Only discovered by backpackers quite recently, the Hiriketiya Bay (sometimes known as ‘Hiri’) has quickly become a haven for the adventure junkie looking to do some mild surfing. Due to its relatively undisturbed natural surroundings, the bay has been flocked by many a tourist looking to lie down under the shade of coconut trees and listen to the gentle ripple of waves crashing on shore.

Similarly, the Dikwella Beach too has been praised for its pristine stretch of golden sands and calm waters, due to the protection offered by the headland, sand barriers and reefs. Thus making it ideal for those open water swimmers to indulge in some snorkeling; go ahead and discover the unique marine ecosystem that thrives beneath its deep blue waters.

Behold the 2nd largest blowhole in the world:

Being surrounded by undisturbed nature, Dikwella sports a unique geological feature that can only be seen in a few places around the world. The Hummanaya Blowhole, a few kilometres past the Hiriketiya Bay, is considered to be the second largest blowhole in the world. A geological feature that is similar to geysers. When the tide is high and the pressure builds up in the underwater caverns of the Kudawella Beach, water shoots up many metres up in the air and falls down. With its signature ‘hoo’ sound heard at a distance, the Hummanaya Blowhole is certainly something that should not be missed.

Mellow vibes:

Certainly one of the major features of the seaside hamlet is its laid back rustic and tranquil surroundings. With the turquoise blue ocean, the golden sand fringed with coconut trees and a number of quaint stays and F&Bs, where better to just let your hair down and relax?

Insider Advice

Travel: Getting about Dikwella can be quite challenging, since most places of interest are quite a distance apart and it is mostly rural. However, there are tuk-tuks and busses that frequent the area. Just be sure to research the distance to your destination before you hire a tuk-tuk, since you might have to negotiate a decent price.

Weather: Dikwella generally experiences a typical tropical climate with hot temperatures and high humidity. However, the months from September to January prove to be the ideal months where the town experiences a relatively calm climate with temperatures averaging 27°C, along with a stable humidity, thus being the ideal time to travel.

Money: Apart from the hostels, quaint eateries and supermarkets, credit and debit cards are worthless. Therefore, it is imperative that you carry cash in hand with small notes such as LKR 20s, LKR 50s and LKR 100s to make those small transactions all the more easier.

Clothing: Comfortable, light clothing is highly suggested, in order to traverse through the town and beat the heat. However, do note that you will have to adhere to Buddhist tradition when entering the Wewurukannala Viharaya, since it is a place of worship.

Safety: Being a rural town in the southern coast it is not really crowded, as opposed to the neigbouring towns. However, it would not hurt to keep a watchful eye over your belongings.

Meals and refreshments: Dikwella is largely limited to local eateries and small shops, however, you do have the option of choosing your accommodation provider to fulfil this requirement, should you be looking for a more international taste.

Tired of the urban jungle’s clutter and looking to just get away from it all? The little seaside hamlet of Dikwella certainly provides that all needed therapy to rejuvenate and reinvigorate the weary mind, body and soul.

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