Surfing toours in Sri Lanka. Arugambay, Matara, Weligama, Koggala, Galle, Bentota, Hikkaduwa and many surfing spots.

 

 

Interesting locations in Arugamaby
Surfing South West
Surfing West Coast
Surfing Events
International Surfing Championship 2009
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Surfing tours in Sri lanka - Arugambay

arugambay top surfing point in sri lankaARUGAMBAY is on the list of the top ten surf points in the world. Situated on the South East side of Sri Lanka Arugam Bay receives the same Antarctic winter swell's that hit Indonesia in the in the middle of the year. The best time of the year is between May and November when the predominant wind is offshore for at least the first half of the day.

Due to its location and southerly swell direction the area is dominated by right hand point breaks. There is a beach break in front of the Stardust Hotel, which can be fun for body surfing or for beginners but that's about it.

Three of the point breaks "The Point", "Pottuvil Point" and "Crocodile Rock" are within a ½ hour tuk-tuk ride from the center of line of hotels. There are several other points that are within a 1½-hour's ride or can be accessed by boat.

Arugambay, situated on the South-eastern coast of Sri Lanka , just next to Potuwil, around 320 km from Colombo , is a unique and versatile tourist destination. The uniqueness is that unlike many other coastal areas, it is unaffected by both the monsoons – South-west and North-east – which affect almost all other coastal areas for at least half the year. Even the rain during the monsoon is not continuous but intermittent, making it an year round tourist destination.

The versatility of Arugambay is that, apart from being one of the Top Ten Surf Points in the world , it offers a vast clean beach, beautiful inland landscape, very rich birdlife, equally rich wildlife and even ruins of ancient Buddhist Culture. Excavations outside Potuwil have unearthed a 2000 year old Buddhist Temple named “ Muhudu Maha Viharaya”

Despite being a popular Tourist Destination, Arugambay has remarkably preserved its' beauty, tranquility, charm and has remained unspoiled. This, coupled with the availability of cheap transport, low cost accommodation and its' friendly people, Arugambay is an ideal tourist destination to the ordinary tourist. However Arugambay has several star class hotels too, opening its' doors even to the high class tourist.

surfer in arugambayArugambay, only 2 km away from Potuwil which is the closest town with a population of around 12,000 inhabitants, consists of three villages, namely Ullae , Perie Ullae [ Bigger Ullae- Perie in Tamil is Big] and Sinne Ullae .[ Smaller Ulle-Sinne in Tamil is small ] Though there are Sinhala and Tamil communities living in these areas, these are predominantly Muslim areas.

Ullae, which is in the centre of these villages, is a very famous place among the Sinhala fishermen in the west coast. The village, being in the corner of the bay, has a very quiet sea and is an year round fishing area and is a very colourful place bustling with activity. As such, the fishermen from the west coast flock to this village during the South-west monsoon which hits the west coast.

Apart from fishing, people in these areas and in Potuwil are engaged in cattle farming and paddy cultivation.

The fishing boats go out around 4.00 am about one and a half hours before the sun rises.

Starting a jeep drive or a walk along the lagoon towards the south a little before sun rises and between 5.00 pm and 7.00 pm, one can encounter wildlife such as elephants, boar, dear, crocodiles and many other animals in addition to bird watching.

With the North-easterly wind starting to blow and temperature being lowest at around 28-30 C , November and December is a good period for bird watching especially with the advent of lots of migratory birds. Though this is the rainy season in the east, the rain around this area is not continuous with many sunny days.

evening sundown in arugambayThe blowing of refreshing wind in January, February and March dissipates the slight increase of humidity and temperature (to about 30-32 o ) and make the weather and wave conditions very good wind surfing, swimming and fishing. This period is also the best for bird watching.

Months of April and May are the hottest and most humid months. The temperature from April to August varies between 36-32 o . The changing of the wind direction to South-easterly in April/May starts the body surfing season which spans up to October. During this season, the sea in the west coast being very rough, holiday makers and surfers from these areas flock to Arugambay.

Magul Maha Viharya – Lahugala

This historical and very beautiful temple has being constructed by King Dhatusena who ruled Sri Lanka more than 1500 years ago [AD 516 – 526]

According to a stone inscription which was found here ,there had being another name for this - Ruhunu Maha Viharaya.

There had being a renovation to this temple in 14 th century too.

There is another belief that this is the place where parents of Sri Lanka 's one of most famous kings Dutugamunu, was married.

Kutmbigala“Aranya Senasanaya” [HERMITAGE] Panam

In the historic Digamadulla in Ampara District, is the Lahugala provincial secretarial division representing a cluster of villages by the name of Panam Paththuwa. This secretarial Division constitutes of five Sinhala Buddhist villages, namely: Panama , Lahugala, Hulannuge, Bakmtiyaava and Kumana. The original occupants of these villages in the recent history were the Sinhalese people who escaped from the Uwa Wellassa during the uprising against invading English armies in the year 1818.

Situated 16km southwards from the Panama village is the very important ancient “Kutumbigala Aranya Senasanaya” [Buddhist Hermitage]. This Hermitage, built with the advent of the Mihindu Maharath Thera, dates back to the early Anuradhapura period. This Hermitage, covering a vast area where, the most number of Arahath Theras dwelled is considered one of the most important ancient Sacred Lands (Pudha Bima) in the country. A Sthupa built on a rock called ‘Belum Gala' is built as a replica of the Dharmachakra Dhammika Stupa of Isipathanaranama of India and is the only such Stupa in the country. The ancient Dagoba built in the centre of the land too show great craftsmanship. The symbol on top of the rock inscription at the entrance to cave housing the great “Sudharshana” rock statue is unique in the country in its features. This ‘sacred land' has more than 200 caves with drip ledges cut into them indicating number of Arahath Theras who dwelled in this land. An area of over 11,000 acres surrounding this land was declared as the “Kutumbigala sanctuary” in 1974.

At end of the Hulannuge village is the ‘Karandahela' tank. Just over this tank is situated another very important monastery called the “Tharulengala Aranya Senasanaya” (Hermitage), which is affiliated to the Kutumbigala Hermitage. This Tharulengala Monastery has a very large cave with a drip ledge 512ft long, which is the longest in the country. In addition, there is a rock cave facing the east with a drip ledge 175ft long with an ancient shrine room (Buddha Mandiraya) built into it, which houses a reclining Buddha statue. At the water's edge of this Karandewewa tank is an ancient dagoba. Next to the cultivated land below the tank is the village. This is a clear example of the ancient concept taught to our Kings by the Mihindu Maha Rahath Thera that, the tank, the dagabo, the village and the temple should be close together.

This small shrine is located on the eastwards river bank of the Kumbukkan Oya [Stream] which divides Yala National park as Yala Park [Ruhunu national park] and Yala East [Kumana national park]

Dedicated to the God Katharagama this shrine is worshiped by all three main religious communities of Sri Lanka …Buddhists / Hindus and Muslims.

In the month of August where the annual main religious worshipping festival takes place, this jungle area becomes filled with people who come from very far places. Families comprising very old / young / infants come in Tractors [other wise it's impossible to traverse in the road] spending days and days on this pilgrimage.They will spend a day two under a tree or a temporary cover made out of polythyne doing various poojas [worshipping] to the shrine.

Murugan Kovil Hindu Tempel

This shrine dedicated to God Katharagma is located at the northern border of the Kumanaa national park, very closer to the beach.

In spite of the road conditions many devotees come here for poojas [worshiping]

right through out the year. In the month of August, where the main festival takes place this areas gets crowded with thousands of devotees.

According to the legend, It's believed that from India , God Katharagama landed here first. But as the people who lived in this area did not take much interest of him, he converted the canoe he came in to a rock and moved more south to Katharagama and stated living there.

This rock [canoe shaped] is lying in the beach even as at today.

From May to October, sea in front of this rock becomes a very good location for surfing.

Habuthagala Viharaya or Tharulengala “Aranya Senasanaya” [HERMITAGE]

Hulannuge is one of the five villages in Panam Paththuwa in the Ampara District. Karandahela is a 633foot hill situated in Hulannuge with the Karandahela tank situated on the south close to the base of the hill. This Karandahela hill, having an elongated shape, and appearing to jut out of the ground like other hills in the area is the home for the famous and very important hermitage – the Habuthagala Vihara or the “Tharulengala Aranya Senasanaya”.

To reach this hermitage one has to turn off at Hulannuge junction near 13 th km post along Monergala-Pothuwil road, proceed along the cart track towards Bakmetiyawa for 2km and walk by the paddy field and the bushy forest to the base of Karandahela hill. This road is traversable by vehicle only during the drought.

In addition to the caves found on this hill, one can see ruins of so many buildings at various stages of the hill. Among these ruins are some artifacts hitherto unidentified. As there is no archaeological survey done here, it is not possible to date these ruins correctly. However from one or two stone inscriptions and other historic documents elsewhere in can be deduced that this hermitage is built before the 2 nd century BC.

Another important feature here is that, there have been three sthupas in this sacred land: two of them on rocks on the hill and one at the base of hill. The two on rocks are completely destroyed leaving only signs of them on top and bricks can be seen fallen down. The remainder of the other, which is at the base of the hill, has a circumference of 150ft and a height of 20ft.

The caves on top of the hill and on slopes are amazing creations of nature. There so many caves here with and without drip ledges. Among them the most amazing is the cave in the second circle, perhaps the largest in Sri Lanka . This cave 512ft long, 30ft broad and 82ft high at the highest point has a drip ledge cut right along. This cave has a flat outer area and the interior is in eight levels. Another important cave found here is the shrine room cave which is situated near the entrance and facing the east. This cave, 175ft long, 31ft broad and 35ft high, has in it a 41foot reclining Buddha statue, which is considerably damaged by treasure hunters.

 

Arugam Bay back to life event

THURSDAY, December 18, 2008
SHIRAJIV SIRIMANE

One of the most sought after destinations in Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay, will once again burst with life when it will host the international Windsurf­ing Championships and beach carnival next July.

 Arugam Bay last hosted an international event of this magnitude in 2004 and it was a major intentional tourist attraction. By hosting this event Arugam Bay will once again enter to the inter­national tourist map giving value to the destination.

Managing Director, Crys­tal Holidays (Pvt) Ltd, Wasana Hettiarachchi said that his company has tied up with an UK based company to host this event. "We have already spoken to the Sri Lankan  airlines  and the Tourism Authority and they have pelaged their support to assist us," he said.

The event will also bring in over 200 foreign visitors to the venue and hotels around would get an oppor­tunity to earn extra revenue. The foreign press too would be in large numbers that would give the much-need­ed additional exposure to the country.

He   said   that   Sports tourism is gaining populari­ty and this is why he is tak­ing a lead to promote the event. "A Veterans English Cricket tour too is on the cards for next year," he added.

Director UK, Professional Surfing Tour, Dave Reed said Arugam Bay is one of the best locations in the world to host surfing events. "We have spoken to leading Surfers who are ready to come to Sri Lanka," he said. These surfers are from Aus­tralia, South Africa, London, Germany and other Euro­pean countries," he said.

Since there is peace in the region the venue should be promoted more aggressively to the international market. The contest will also offer prize money totaling British Pounds 5,000.
 


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