Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of major towns, Kirinda is a quiet town, known for its historic sites and breathtaking sceneries. Travel to Kirinda and enjoy a contrasting spectacle where, on one side of the town is the stunning coast filled with sandy streets and ram-shackled buildings, which resonates an air of magnificent, yet secluded Kirinda Beach – ideal for those who enjoy long evening walks. On the other side lies a beautiful landscape of woods and grasslands, presenting a sneak look at its most sought-after nearby attraction – the Yala National Park.
The Kirinda Temple is perhaps the most prominent attraction within the confines of the town. This ancient temple attracts thousands of pilgrims, owing to its legendary tales. Atop a rocky outcrop, it is dedicated to Queen Viharamahadevi – the heart of the age old story which makes this temple special for pilgrims. According to legends, when raging waters threatened Ceylon, King Kelanitissa ordered his youngest daughter, then a princess, Vihara Maha Devi into a boat as a sacrifice. The waters were calmed and the princess miraculously survived.
Prepare for sweeping views of the desolate coast, and marvel at the long stretch of sand dunes and the ocean beyond when you visit the temple in Kirinda. As you reach the rocky outcrop – a group of boulders piled up in bizarre fashion – you will see a modern statue of Viharamahadevi. Watch as pilgirms make their offerings at the dagoba. Be sure to look out for Kavantissa’s royal coat of arms – featuring the sun and the moon – carved on a boulder nearby.
When you visit Kirinda, Sri Lanka, another must-see attraction is the Great Basses Reef Lighthouse, accessible only by boat. The two Basses lighthouses, ‘Great’ and ‘Little’, are among the most famous offshore lighthouses of Asia.
Closest Domestic Airport – Tissa Tank water aerodrome