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Pottuvil

Taking you roughly 8 hours East, through the winding and rustic roads of the Paradise Island, the small town of Pottuvil is a major tourist destination in Sri Lanka for both, the local and foreigner, journeying across the island. Possessing the right mix of adventure, culture and nature in the form of the luscious beaches, sacred places of worship and idyllic lagoons, Pottuvil is a place that would make anyone enthral at the very site of such features.

Top Reason to Visit

The mellow town of Pottuvil has a number of reasons to visit, due to its central location to nature and wildlife, along with many features it possesses, such as its famous surfing beach at Pottuvil Point, the rustic lagoon of Pottuvil and the ancient temple of the Muhudu Maha Viharaya. Thus it is the collection of these features that take the top reason to visit the town, as it showcases a diversity of attractions when compared to its neighbouring Arugam Bay, further making it all the more enticing to visit.

While You’re There

A little sliver of surfing heaven:

Located around 4-kilometres away from the famous surfing town of Arugam Bay, Pottuvil’s idyllic beaches have been overlooked by many who travel the East coast of the island paradise. However, a closer look into the beaches of the place, especially the golden beaches at Pottuvil Point, Whiskey Point and Lighthouse Point, would make you wonder why it is overlooked in the first place. Possessing sandy reefs, along with easy and predictable surf breaks, you do not have to be an expert surfer to try out these waters. Should you be curious as to what lies beneath the azure waters of the beaches, you could partake in some snorkeling in the nearby reef and indulge in underwater photography with your GoPro.

History beckons the history enthuse:

Something that has almost been completely forgotten by travellers who journey to the small hamlet, is the history that still resonates in the switchback roads. The Muhudu Maha Viharaya, which lies in the more rural parts of the town, is an ancient place of worship that transports you back 2,000 years ago, during the reign of King Kavan Tissa of the Ruhuna Kingdom. Shrouded in legendary tales, remnants of its structure in the form of ruined stupas, a statue of Lord Buddha and statues of Bodhisattva figures still stand today, waiting to be explored.

Lagoons of wonder:

Another intriguing site often overlooked by travellers is the rustic Pottuvil Lagoon. Boasting of untarnished wetlands that teem with endemic wildlife, the Pottuvil Lagoon is an idyllic setting to witness breathtaking sunsets, while surrounded by the sights and sounds of thriving birdlife. If you are lucky, you could also witness herds of majestic Asian Elephants crossing the lagoon to retire for the day. Should you be interested in learning the traditional ways of fishing in the area, the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society will be more than willing to demonstrate their livelihood.

Rustic grandeur does not stop here:

If you just cannot get enough of the exotic foliage and wildlife that dwell in the Paradise Island of Sri Lanka, the Kumana National Park lies just a few kilometres south of the town, making it a perfect place to partake in a wildlife excursion in one of the notable parks in the island. The Kumana National Park possesses a diverse range of flora and fauna that would enthral the nature lover.

Insider Advice

Travel: Getting about in Pottuvil is relatively easy as there is ample transportation options, such as buses and tuk-tuks. You could also opt to traverse the town on foot, since most attractions are in close proximity to each other. Make sure to research on the distance of the destination and agree on a price beforehand when you hire a tuk-tuk, so as to make sure the driver does not overcharge. If you are looking for more adventure, you could also rent scooters, which your accommodation provider can arrange for a nominal fee.

Weather: Pottuvil experiences a typical tropical climate throughout the year with average temperatures of around 30°C with quite a high humidity percentage. However, it is due to this tropical climate that the place brims with idyllic surfing beaches; the best period being the months from April to August.

Money: It is important to carry cash in hand with small notes like LKR 20s, 50s and 100s, so as to make those small transactions all the more easier. Keep in mind that, apart from the supermarkets and the established tourist restaurants, credit and debit cards are quite worthless here.

Clothing: Light, comfortable clothing is the recommended way to traverse about the sun-kissed streets. You could opt for beachwear too, should you be partaking in some water sports or sunbathing on the beaches. Keep in mind though, that you will have to be appropriately attired when visiting places of worship.

Safety: Pottuvil is a laid-back easy-going town with an accommodating society, therefore it is very safe to travel about. Of course, it is still your responsibility to take care of your personal belongings at all times.

Meals and refreshments: There are quite a number of options to choose from, as there are quite a number of established eateries scattered around the town, but you could also opt for your accommodation provider to fill these requirements too.

Pottuvil then, may be a mellow town that is often overshadowed by the adrenaline-filled neighbouring town of Arugam Bay, however a closer look into its features will make you want to ask the question; why is it overshadowed?

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