7 Best Things To Do In Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

things to do in kurunegala
| 3 min read

Kurunegala is a city in Wayamba, Sri Lanka. This spot is perfect for families since it has many interesting attractions that the whole group is sure to enjoy. You won’t get bored exploring the area and finding different things to do on your vacation here. In this city, you can hike, visit temples and stadiums, and eat at restaurants that offer great local food. Remember to pack your clothes accordingly, since you will most likely want to spend your days in hiking shoes to climb the mountains. You’ll also need long, below-the-knee dresses or long sleeve shirts and trousers if you’re visiting a temple. To add even more items to your itinerary, here are the best things to do in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka.

1. Visit the historic Kurunegala Clock Tower

Clock Tower (Kurunegala)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user AntanO used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Kurunegala Clock Tower, one of the top attractions in the city, is a famous landmark with historic importance. Originally built in 1922 in memory of soldiers’ lives sacrificed in World War I, this landmark stands tall in the present day. This acclaimed monument made out of granite stone, cement, and wood is found right in the center of the city.

From here, you can also go to Kurunegala Court of Law, the Central Market, and the Central Bus Stand which are in the area.

Kurunegala Clock Tower

Address: F9P8+P3J, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

Opening hours: Open 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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2. Go to the mysterious Ethkanda Raja Maha Viharaya

Athkanda Raja Maha Viharaya
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sunday Observer used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Also known as Ethkanda Viharaya, this attraction is a sacred Buddhist temple. The exact history of this temple is unknown, however, people believe that this temple was built around the Dambadeniya era, a time when monarchs ruled during the 14th to 15th centuries.

You will find two caves in the temple’s capacity. The first temple is the bigger of the two and contains the main Buddha shrine. Several artworks not just from the modern times but also those inspired by the Kandyan tradition are currently housed here.

Athkanda Raja Maha Viharaya

Address: Katugastota-Kurunegala-Puttulum Highway, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

Price: Free

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3. Click lovely photos at Athugala Viharaya

Best things to do in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kurun used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Athugala Viharaya is a rock temple in the shape of an elephant. This rock is gigantic and stands 325 meters (1,066 feet) tall. There is a myth that says this rock is shaped like an elephant because animals who couldn’t stand the drought turned into rocks.

People from different kinds of faith visit this place to hike towards the top of this mountain. While it can be exhausting to walk, we suggest you still trek to the top instead of using a vehicle, since it’s a lot more rewarding. This way, you can also enjoy the view so much better. It’s best to begin your climb up the rock temple during or after the sunset.

Athugala Viharaya

Address: Athugala SLT, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)

Price: Free

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4. Dine with your family at The Hangout

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Spicy Chicken Waffle

Posted by The Hangout by Ransara on Saturday, December 20, 2014

After sightseeing all over Kurunegala, you’ll need a place to recharge. This dining place is available from breakfast to dinner and provides fusion, international, and Sri Lankan cuisines. You can order a halal or vegetarian meal in this establishment.

Families like to dine in this place since there’s a play area where children can have fun while they wait for the food. There are also conference areas, so if you’re planning an event you can host it here.

The Hangout

Address: Ransara Hangout, Dickson Moters Rd, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

Website: The Hangout

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

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5. Catch a game in Welagedara Stadium

Welagedara stadium kurunegala 5
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kurun used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re a fan of cricket, don’t miss out on going to Welagedara Stadium. This spacious stadium is known for being the venue of many local and international games, as well as other types of events. You can even see Athugala Viharaya from here, which makes it a great spot for taking pictures.

At least 10,000 people can watch a game in this stadium, so don’t hesitate to bring along your friends with you. Many important games were played in this stadium, like the 2008 Women’s Asia Cup and the 2000 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.

Welagedara Stadium

Address: 107 Dambulla Rd, Kurunegala 60000, Sri Lanka

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

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6. Indulge in retail therapy at Weavers Shopping Complex

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This shopping complex is one of the oldest in the area and a must-see if you want to see the more quiet part of Kurunegala. If there are some items you forgot to pack for your trip, chances are you can find them here.

The stores here accept cash as well as credit or debit cards. You may use your bike to get here and use one of the parking spaces allotted for customers. You can drive here with your car as well.

Weavers Shopping Complex

Address: Katugastota-Kurunegala-Puttalam Hwy, Kurunegala 60000, Sri Lanka

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

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7. Take a walk by the scenic Kurunegala Lake

Kurunegala Lake
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Vakeezan used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This lake is found right in the center of the city, featuring lush greenery and wonderful sunset views. The area is so relaxing that you might even see a couple being wedded here from time to time. Feel free to bring along your bike and cycle down the 3.5-kilometer (2.1-mile) track for some light exercise.

The water looks gorgeous at nighttime, so don’t hesitate to go for an evening walk too. A handful of dining places can be found nearby. This lake is a useful part of the city, since it’s essential for the town’s agriculture.

Kurunegala Lake

Address: North Western Province, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

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Explore Kurunegala

Kurunegala is a great place to go to with interesting landmarks, peaceful scenery, and delicious cuisine. It’s not difficult to go from place to place in Kurunegala. Just ride an affordable and easily accessible tuk tuk, which are the names of the local three-wheeler vehicles. Plan a trip to this charming city and make sure to check out these things to do.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Alice Go is a writer who enjoys reading books and listening to music.

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