02 Apr Madu Ganga – Buddhi Boat Safari
Buddhi Boat Safari
We took a River Boat Safari along the Madu Ganga (Ganga means “River” in Sinhala), which cruised from Balapitiya, meandering through mangrove forests, natural caves and islets that opened out to a vast expanse of water.
An abundance of Cinnamon, Bamboo and Coconut trees grow throughout the Madu Ganga with natural surrounds of palm trees, chirping birds, kingfishers, black storks, and pond herons that flit freely around, portraying nature at its best!
The cruise allows you to experience beautiful mangrove trees, a demonstration of cinnamon productions, Kothduwa, the island’s Buddhist temple and the smallest island on the River called Satha Paho Doowa.
Feeling adventurous, dip your feet in water for some fish therapy!
The Kothduwa temple, or Koth Duwa Raja Maha Viharaya, is a well maintained Buddhist temple where a Monk lives. Kothduwa Island is privileged to have the only temple inside a river without a village surrounding it, and worth a visit.
Thousands of devotees often visit this temple, and locals have access to the temple through Bentota, whilst the best access for tourists is by boat.
People can wander around and view the various shrines, but please remember to dress appropriately and remove your shoes before entering the main gate.
You are humbly greeted by the Monk, who will give you a historical overview of the temple. He will then bless you and tie a prayer thread on your wrists before leaving.
Visitors can make a small donation and sign the visitor’s book in the Monk’s office.
The River’s tranquil ambience is well worth visiting this peaceful renowned temple.
Satha Paho Doowa
Madu Ganga has a cluster of 64 small islands scattered around, of which most are uninhabited and covered with mangroves.
As you are cruising on your boat through the Madu Ganga, you will see the smallest islet called Satha Paha Doowa. It has a tiny shrine with a statue of a Hindu God. It is also known as the five-cent coin for its shape, similar to the old five-cent coin used in Sri Lanka.
While on the boat trip around the Madu Ganga, you can spend some time in the cinnamon production area, where locals can demonstrate how to make various Cinnamon-based products and how it is sourced from the cinnamon bark.
Quite a humbling experience to be part of the locals.
After the demonstration, we shared a complimentary cup of cinnamon tea with our new friends. We also had the opportunity to purchase cinnamon oil, cinnamon sticks, and products to help contribute to their livelihood.