Hambantota - Discover Sri Lanka with Bruno


Hambantota is the main town in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka. This underdeveloped area was hit hard by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and is undergoing a number of major development projects including the construction of a new sea port and international airport finished in 2013. These projects and others such as Hambantota Cricket Stadium are said to form part of the government's plan to transform Hambantota into the second major urban hub of Sri Lanka, away from Colombo.

The city has a tropical wet and dry climate like the rest of the country. It is famous for its salt pans which supply quality salt to the entire country.

  • Elevation: 1 m
  • Weather: 25°C, Wind SW at 5 km/h, 87% Humidity
  • Province: Southern ProvincePopulation: 661,000 (2019)

Colombo to Hambantota distance 258.7km

Yatala Dalada Wehera

Yatala Vehera is an ancient Buddhist stupa dating back to the 3rd Century B.C, located in Deberawewa - Thissamaharama in Hambantota District of Sri Lanka. The stupa is built on a stage made of large flat granite stones and has a surrounding wall of sculpted elephant heads, a moat and a large moonstone. It is believed that the stupa was built 2300 years ago by regional king Yatala Thissa of Ruhuna to commemorate the place where he was born. However some believe that the stupa was built by regional king Mahanaga, father of Yatala Thissa to mark the birth of his son. In various historical documents and chronicles, this stupa has been also referred as Mani Chethiya and Yattalaya. It is not known what was enshrined in this stupa but a large number of relic caskets has been discovered in the stupa. It is believed that this stupa was offered to Arhant Arittha Thero, who was the first Sinhalese arhant, by the regional king of Ruhuna.

Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara

Considered to be one of the largest and most important Buddhist places of worship in the entire island, the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Viharaya is a temple that is hard to miss due to the gargantuan stupa that stands at a height of 156 feet, easily making it the largest temple in the southern region.

The Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Tissamaharama, Southern Province of Sri Lanka. It was one of the four major Buddhist monasteries established in Sri Lanka, after the arrival of Arhant Mahinda Thera to the country. The site of the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara was consecrated by Lord Buddha himself, who spent some time in meditation there with 500 arhats, during his third visit to the island. Tissamaharama monastery had been recognized as a pre-eminent Buddhist educational center of the southern Sri Lanka from the 3rd century B.C. to the 11th century A.D. The Tissamaharama Dagoba which is situated in the premises of the monastery is one of the largest stupas in Sri Lanka. The present chief incumbent of Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is Ven. Devalegama Dhammasena Nayaka Thera.

Tissa Lake

The lake, an artificial reservoir, is thought to have been constructed in the 3rd Century BC, either by Mahanaga of Ruhuna or his successor Yatala Tissa of Ruhuna, in order to irrigate paddy lands and supply water to the flourishing city of Tissamaharama. The lake was restored in 1871. The embankment on the southern shore supports the Tissa-Kataragama road, which is lined by old Indian rain trees planted by the British to provide shade.

Mattala Rajapaksa Hambantota Airport

Hambantota International Airport (HIA), also known as Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), is the second international airport in Sri Lanka. The airport is named after the country’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa. The airport is located in Hambantota, 241km south-east of Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo, and is operated by Sri Lanka’s Airport and Aviation Services.

Sithulpawwa Buddhist Monastery

Sithulpawwa is an ancient Buddhist monastery, believed to date back to 2nd century BC. The monastery straddles a collection of rocky outcrops and caves deep in the heart of Yala National Park. There are said to be hundreds of caves and shelters within and around the complex, that have housed monks (for centuries) who came to the site to further their education as well as to meditate.

Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara

Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Mulkirigala, Sri Lanka. It has been built on a 205 m high natural rock, surrounded with another four rocks known as Benagala, Kondagala, Bisogala and Seelawathiegala.

Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Dewalaya

The Kataragama Devalaya in the Uva Province has been a revered place of pilgrimage among Buddhists and Hindus for centuries. Pilgrims seek the divine intervention of God Katargama, depicted with four faces and twelve arms, to fulfil their worldly desires devoid of pain and suffering. The main shrine room is believed to have been built in 160 BCE by King Dutugemunu in fulfilling a vow to defeat the Dravidian King Elara.

The shrine has for centuries attracted Tamil Hindus from Sri Lanka and South India who undertook an arduous pilgrimage on foot. Since the latter half of the 20th century, the site has risen dramatically among Sinhalese Buddhists who today constitute majority of the visitors.

Walawe River Safari

Enjoy calm and relaxing river safari while seeing various birds and crocodiles (One has to be aware to spot them). The beautiful landscape of trees and canopies surrounding the river is an amazing sight to see and is a tranquil tourist attraction. This is what make sit one of the best places to visit in Hambantota, Sri Lanka for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Ramba Viharaya

Ramba Viharaya is an extraordinarily beautiful historical and archaeological site. It is a Buddhist monastery located on the banks of river Walawe. The entire place is surrounded by lush green trees and placid environment.

Although famous in the country, it is one of the less visited tourist places. It is sure to blow your mind with its amazing archeology cocooned in totally natural surroundings.

Mahapelessa Hot Springs

Madunagala Hot Water Springs lie amoung vast paddyfields between Sooriyawewa and Ridiyagama, Today this hot water well is one of the most popular destinations for the pilgrims to the South. The spring was first recorded by Leonard Woolf, Assistant Government Agent of Hambanthota (1908-11) in his diaries recording the haphazard journey through wild animal infested jungles and boat rides to reach the hot spring where he had taken sample to be analysed.

Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium

Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium better known as Sooriyawewa International Cricket Stadium, and abbreviately as MRIC Stadium, is an international cricket stadium in Hambantota, Sri Lanka.

Martello Tower

The Martello Tower in Hambantota, is a small circular shaped fort, inspired by the Martello tower. The tower was built between 1804 and 1806 to protect the harbour and settlement at Hambantota, following an unsuccessful attack by Kandyan insurgents in 1803. Construction of the tower is credited to a Captain Goper of the Engineers Corp. The commanding engineer in Ceylon at the time of the tower's construction was Captain Bridges, who was involved in the design of a similar Martello tower in Simon's Town near Cape Town, South Africa in 1796, which the tower in Hambantota closely resembles. The Martello tower is 7.6 m, with a base diameter of 12 m and 1.2 m thick walls. It has an unusual projecting rim around the parapet. Similar to English towers the entrance to the fort was through a doorway on the first floor but unlike others the Hambantota tower has a number of loopholes. The ground floor contained a storeroom and magazine.

Kumana National Park

Located in the southeast corner of Sri Lanka, the 18,149 hectares Kumana National Park is a well-known eco-tourism attraction and bird sanctuary where a multitude of birds breed and roost. Kumana National Park is the eastern sector of Yala National Park. One of the most significant features of the Kumana National Park is the 'Kumana Villu' - a 200 hectare natural swamp lake, fed by the 'Kumbukkan Oya' through a half mile long narrow channel.

Kumana was formerly known as Yala East National Park, but changed to its present name on 5 September 2006. The park was closed from 1985 to March 2003 because of the LTTE attacks. It was also affected by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.

Bundala national park

s the first wetland to be declared a Ramsar site located along the southern coastline of Sri Lanka, this biologically rich national park is famous for its exotic migratory bird species. It consists of marshes, lagoons & sand dunes and invites thousands of migratory birds worldwide, to escape the winter. This park has a lot to offer, not only for bird enthusiasts, but for wildlife and nature enthusiasts as well.

Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala harbors 197 species of birds, the highlight being the greater flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. Bundala was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and redesignated to a national park on 4 January 1993. In 1991 Bundala became the first wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. In 2005 the national park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 245 kilometres southeast of Colombo.

Hambanthota Harbour

The Hambantota Port is a maritime port in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. The first phase of the port was opened on 18 November 2010, with the first ceremonial berthing of the naval ship "Jetliner" to use the port facilities. It is named after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Hambantota Port is built inland and operated by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Total estimated construction cost of the Phase 1 of the project is US$361 million, out of which 85% was funded by the EXIM Bank of the People's Republic of China. Construction of the port commenced in January 2008. It will be Sri Lanka's second largest port, after the Port of Colombo. The Port of Hambantota will serve ships travelling along the east-west shipping route which passes six to ten nautical miles south of Hambantota.

Dry Zone Botanical Garden

Mirijjawila Botanical Garden is one of the five botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. The other botanical gardens are Peradeniya Botanical Garden, Hakgala Botanical Garden, Henarathgoda Botanical Garden and Seetawaka Botanical Garden.

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