Hambantota

Travel Guide Asia Sri Lanka Hambantota

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Introduction

Hambantota is a district located in the south east corner of Sri Lanka and is part of the Southern Province districts.

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Sights and Activities

Vihara Maha Devi Temple, Kirinde
Buddhist temple raised in the location on the beach where the Princess of Kelaniya was supposed to have been set ashore by the tsunami and she married King Kawantissa and gave birth to two sons, the Dutugemunu (who became a famous King of Sri Lanka) and Tissa (who became King after his brother's death). It is a temple built on top of the rocks and has the story of Vihara Maha Devi and King Dutugemunu around the inner circular walls of the story house of the temple.

Yala National Park
A wild life sanctuary where one can go on safaris. However, the park is not open throughout the year and it is best to check before going there.

Tissamaharama Temple
One of the most important Buddhist temples in the country and having many ruins in its vicinity, it is lovely to visit the temple both during day and to see the lighted temple at night.

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Events and Festivals

Kataragama/Kathirgamam annual festival
Kataragama/Kathirgamam is a special destination as pilgrims from all religious faiths visit this area. In July, the annual temple festival of Kathirgamam takes place and pilgrims from all around the country come there. A special event is the "pada yatra", where pilgrims would undertake to walk the entire length from whatever district they came from to the temple. Their journey by foot would sometimes start weeks or months before, in order to reach the temple in time for the festival. The festival days themselves can be very crowded and some prefer to go visit during the non-festival days.

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Weather

The weather is generally dry and hot.

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Getting There

By Plane

The Hambantota international airport project was launched on November 27th 2009 by the President. Once it is completed, travellers will be able to fly directly into the district.

By Train

The train from Colombo takes about 4- 4 1/2 hours to reach Matara. From there, one needs to take a bus (~2 hours) to Hambantota.

By Car

Hiring a car is a better option as there are two routes to Hambantota from Colombo, one is by the Galle road, which goes all the way around the coast to Hambantota but takes around 7-8 hours, depending on traffic. The other shorter route is via Avissawella/Ratnapura route which can take one to the district in 5 hours, especially to the Tissamaharama area.

By Bus

The public intercity buses go to Hambantota and will take around 8 hours from Colombo.

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Getting Around

By Car

It is recommended that a car or the cheaper van be hired for travelling within the district, even if one arrived at the district using public transport as it is so much easier and time-saving to go directly to the sites one wants to visit.

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Sleep

Mid-Range

  • Tissamaharama Resort: A Ceylon hotels corporation hotel that is a chain of Govt. run hotels that ensures minimum hotel standards such as air-conditioning, hot water in rooms.
  • Hotel Priyankara: A lovely hotel in Tissamaharama with rooms having a view of the paddy fields behind the hotel. The food is quite good at the hotel restaurant.

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  • Hotel Chandrika: A hotel in Kataragama with decent rooms.

Upscale

  • Hotel Oasis: Located closer to the town area and is quite a nice place with large grounds in front and behind the hotel.
  • Peacock Beach Hotel: Also located closer to the town area.
  • Elephant Reach, Yala: Close to the Yala national park entrance, it is a lovely hotel with large rooms and cottage style accommodation.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are available in all the cities and these are cheap and easy to access. Most hotels have internet access as well but are relatively expensive. There are various internet service providers (Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog, Mobitel etc.) providing different packages: ADSL broadband, dial-up, WiFi. Please contact a service provider to learn more about the packages and prices.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for Sri Lanka is 94. Remove the intercity prefix (0) before the area code when dialling internationally into the country (i.e., 0112 688 688 becomes +94 112 688 688) when dialling from abroad). The two next numbers after 94 represents the area code, they are different for every district.

The use of GSM cellphones is widespread and the coverage is good. Dialog and Mobitel are two operators that have sales offices at the airport inside the arrivals lounge. Dialog Mobile has the widest coverage in the country including rural areas and has the best quality GSM / 3G / HSPA +/4G network. Mobitel also has a 3G/HSPA+ network. All the mobile operators are having same call rates due to floor rate tariffs. Therefore it is advisable to go to the network which offers you the best quality. All Mobile Operators offers cheap IDD Call rates. If you want to surf internet, best way is to buy a HSPA dongle and a Mobile Broadband connection. Dialog Mobile, Mobitel, hutch, Etisalat and Airtel offers prepaid Mobile Broadband services which can be activated and used immediately. Dialog is the Vodafone Roaming Network in Sri Lanka and offers the best range of Value added services for Roamers and the rates are cheaper. Etisalat and Airtel also provide cheap roaming rates specially to India.

Post

Sri Lankan Post is the national postal company. Each city/town has a main post office and the villages will have access to sub post offices, either at the village or nearby village. Local post, through normal mail, is cheap and fast. However, to ensure that the post has reached recipient, it is better to send by registered post which will allow you to have a reference number which you can later use to check with your post office that your mail has reached its destination. There are local courier services. Aramex and Pronto are some of the ones in Colombo and they deliver mail the same day or overnight. For better tracking and fast services companies like DHL, or TNT provide a good service but are more expensive.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 6.123861
  • Longitude: 81.120537

Accommodation in Hambantota

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This is version 19. Last edited at 3:19 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 1 article links to this page.

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