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Puttalam

Munneswaram kovil

Munneswaram temple is an important regional Hindu temple complex in Sri Lanka. It has been in existence at least since 1000 CE, although myths surrounding the temple associate it with the popular Indian epic Ramayana, and its legendary hero-king Rama. The temple is one of the ancient Pancha Ishwarams dedicated to Shiva in the region.

The temple complex is a collection of five temples, including a Buddhist temple. The central temple dedicated to Shiva (Siva) is the most prestigious and biggest, and is popular amongst Hindus. The other temples are dedicated to Ganesha, Ayyanayake and Kali. The Kali temple is also popular with Buddhists, who frequent the complex. Post-19th century, most of the devotees of all temples in the complex belong to the majority Sinhala Buddhist ethnic group; the temples, excluding the Ayyanayake and the Buddhist temple, are administered by families belonging to the minority Hindu Tamils.

Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary

Anawilundawa Sanctuary is one of the amazing Sanctuary in Sri Lanka, The sanctuary covers 1,397ha lying between the costal line and the Negambo – Putlam railway line. This wetland consist of six large man made tanks and 3 peripheral tanks interconnected to create a complex irrigation system. The larger tanks are Pinkattiya, Maradansola, Anawilundawa, Mayyawa, Surawila and Vellawali.

The history of these tank system goes back to 12th century and sadly the water ways which fed this system is lost without a trace and today these tanks are fed by flood waters of the Deduru Oya brought to the area via the Sengaloya scheme. These tanks has created a natural habitat which is ideal for the birds as well as supplied water to paddy fields around this area for over 800 years.

Puttalam lagoon

The Puttalam Lagoon is a large 327 km2 (126 sq mi) lagoon in the Puttalam District, western Sri Lanka.

The lagoon is fed by two rivers, namely the Kala Oya and Mi Oya, discharging at 2.2 m3/s (77.7 cu ft/s) and 8.1 m3/s (286.0 cu ft/s) respectively. It is linked to Mundal Lagoon 15 km (9.3 mi) to the south by a channel. The lagoon’s water is brackish to saline.

The lagoon is surrounded by a region containing coconuts, open forests, grasslands and shrublands. The land is used for prawn fishing, salt production, and rice cultivation. The lagoon has extensive mangroves, seagrasses and some salt marshes, attracting a wide variety of anatidae.

St.Anne’s shrine

On the narrow tongue of land, known as the Kalpitiya peninsula, lying between the Puttalam Lake and the mighty Indian Ocean, nestles the cosy little Talawila, where the famous sanctuary of St. Anne stands. The country around the shrine is a waste of bleak sand, dotted over with copses of low growth and tall palmyrahs, which with their erect, sturdy trunks terminating in a tuft of broad fan shaped leaves, stand challenging the drought and the monsoon blasts. Around the church, however, there is a fair acreage of full-grown coconut palms, like an oasis in a desert, to gladden the pilgrim. Nature has no charms to offer here in spite of the deep blue sea, which is hardly one hundred meters from the church, the climate is hot and enervating.

Dolphin watching

Dolphin watching tours are done early mornings. Spinner Dolphins are the most common with Bottlenose, Risso and Indo-Pacific. Humpback Dolphins are seeing regularly.

November to December and March to April showcases the whales. Sperm Whales are the most common. The Blue Whale (largest mammal in the world), Minke, Melon-Headed and Dwarf Sperm whales are also spotted. Recently even Orcas have been photographed on the waters just outside Kandakuliya!