Bentota

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Explore the architectural legacy of Geoffrey Bawa

Though today Bentota, with its wide coastal stretch and large lagoon, is big on sea sports and other water-based activities, it used to be a place to rest on the way to Galapatha Temple, which legend claims is linked by a maze of subterranean tunnels with all other temples in the area. As well as a wide range of water-sports, including jet-skiing, sailing and even whale and dolphin watching, there are a variety of cultural sites to be explored around Bentota. Along with a selection of temples including Kande Vihare Temple, travelers can explore Sri Lanka’s architectural heritage by visiting Lunuganga, the country home and gardens of Geoffrey Bawa, or by vising Brief Gardens, a tranquil landscaped garden paradise designed by Brief Bawa, Geoffrey’s brother – sculpted over forty years, Brief boasts a Japanese garden, folly and several walled gardens, as well as a private museum of art inside the house. Make sure to visit the Turtle Hatchery Project on Bentota Beach as well, which does a wonderful job of helping to protect the five endangered marine turtle species which nest on Sri Lanka’s shores.

Fun Facts

  • Bentota is home to Lunuganga, the countryside residence of the late Geoffrey Bawa, regarded by many as 'the father of modern Asian architecture'.

Experiences & Things to Do at Bentota

Brief Garden by Bevis - Bentota -  Sri Lanka In Style
Brief Garden by Bevis

A creation by Bevis Bawa, Geoffrey Bawa’s brother, Brief Garden is an enthralling work of landscape architecture which inspired Lunuganga.

Sailing adventure by catamaran – Beruwela - Bentota -  Sri Lanka In Style
Sailing adventure by catamaran – Beruwela

Set off from Beruwela Harbor on a catamaran to visit an isolated lighthouse surrounded by a coconut

Sri Lankan high tea and traditional boat ride - Bentota -  Sri Lanka In Style
Sri Lankan high tea and traditional boat ride

Take a boat ride across a lake in a traditional ‘oruwa’ and enjoy guided tours of the plantations on the opposite shore.

Bawa’s Lunuganga Gardens - Bentota -  Sri Lanka In Style
Bawa’s Lunuganga Gardens

The country home and gardens of prolific architect Geoffrey Bawa are magical to explore and give you an insight into his life.


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An Insider's Perspective of Bentota

Bentota used to be a place to rest on the way to the nearby medieval Galapatha Temple, which legend claims is linked by a maze of subterranean tunnels with all other temples in the area. Today this coastal town is a popular holiday destination for those seeking to do sea sports and other water-based activities: go jet-skiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding and canoeing on the Bentota Lagoon, or take a boat trip up the river and look out for wildlife hiding in the mangroves on either side. Bentota is a fantastic choice for families travelling with older children.

There are several hotels in Bentota that were designed by the revered Geoffrey Bawa, who has been named as ‘the father of Asian architecture’. The Villa Bentota and Club Villa – once both part of the same property – feature beautiful internal courtyard areas and long gardens which slope down to the sea. Travellers can also visit Lunuganga, Bawa’s country house and landscaped gardens, which lies a little way inland from the beach, and discover the details of Bawa’s past and his influence on Sri Lankan architecture.