You will be docked at Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port.
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Hambantota is a coastal city in the south of Sri Lanka. It stands on a sandy headland where a huge fleet of outrigger fishing canoes draws up, and the horizon is almost always dotted with their small triangular sails. With sweeping sandy beaches on either side, it is also a convenient base for exploring the nearby Bundala National Park and, somewhat further away, the Ruhuna National Park and the temples at Kataragama.
The city of Hambantota is situated in the south east corner of Sri Lanka just, 120km from Galle. This tranquil city is renowned for its dry landscape, Malay population, colonial architecture, and great expanses of salt flats.
The town, whose name is derived from the Sinhala words ‘Hamban’ – a type of sailing vessel, and ‘Thota’ – meaning port, was severely affected by the 2004 Tsunami disaster. In the wake of the tsunami a whole ‘new town’ has been established in an area adjacent to the old town in plans to make Hambantota Sri Lanka’s second largest city.
Hambantota is also rich in natural beauty and wildlife and acts as a perfect starting place from which to explore the numerous national parks and heritage sites, including the temples at Kataragama. The Bundala National Park is well worth a visit with its unique combination of lagoons, beaches, sand dunes and forestry playing host to over 200 species of birds, including the Greater Flamingo.
With sweeping sandy beaches and a hot, arid climate, Hambantota also affords time for those wishing to relax
Hambantota is also the port of call for one of Sri Lanka’s most key pilgrimage sites, Kataragama. Sacred to the country’s Hindu and Buddhists as well as its indigenous Vedda peoples, the town also attracts pilgrims from southern India who all come to pay their respects at the Kataragama Temple complex. The most significant shrine to be found at the site is the one dedicated to Skanda-Murugan, the Hindu war god son of Shiva. Most of the shrines on the site, however, are managed by Buddhists, though there is also a shrine dedicated to the aforementioned Shiva, as well as a Muslim mosque. It’s certainly a fascinating experience to visit a site venerated by a number of religions and witness pilgrims from different religions sharing their experiences.
The Ruhundu Plaza Shopping Complex is the place to go for shopping.
The currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee. The exchange rates are approximately 110Rs/ USD, or 170Rs/ EUR.
ATMs are located in many places (specially at bank branches) in the cities and suburbs, less so in the countryside.
Sinhala, Tamil and English are widely spoken throughout Sri Lanka, with the exception of remote villages where it might be Sinhala only or Tamil only.
Shopping hours Mon-Fri 0900-1730, Sat 0900-1300.
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