Pottuvil; Sea, Sky, Sand and Ruins
By Ama, H. Vanniarachchy
The Eastern Coast of Sri Lanka is known for its breathtakingly beautiful beaches, turquoise oceans, and clear blue skies. The beauty of the Eastern Coast is escalated due to the high density of archaeological ruins spread across the beach, half-buried under the vast spread sandy dunes. The lagoons, mangroves, and the birds enhance the beauty of this place further. Isn’t it interesting to witness ruined buildings that are older than time, withered yet surviving, while enjoying the beauty of the coast?
The best place to witness the island’s natural beauty and the fascinating history at the same time is no doubt the Eastern Coast, and that too Pottuvil is the best place to do so. Pottuvil Muhudu Maha Viharaya is well-known for its fascinating natural beauty and its antiquity. Pottuvil is a town located in the Ampara District, close to the
well-known Arugam Bay.
How to get there
The journey towards Pottuvil from Ampara is intriguing as you can witness the large paddy lands extending up to the horizon and the forest areas where the wildlife thrives without the disturbance of humans. After a long journey across the paddy fields and serene forest, you will encounter a small town where hundreds of goats roam freely. This is Pottuvil.
Things to do in Pottuvil Ruins at Muhudu Maha Viharaya
To reach Pottuvil Muhudu Maha Viharaya, you must take the Muhudu Maha Vihara Mawatha, which will directly take you to the well-known temple.
It is advisable to reach here early in the morning or late in the evening as the sand gets extremely hot during the day time, that you cannot imagine walking across.
The first to encounter is a ruined structure of an ancient image house that has survived harsh conditions for centuries. There are three ancient sculptures inside the image house which belongs to the mid-Anuradhapura period.
The next is a group of stone pillars still half-buried in the sand which is used by pilgrims as a worshiping place, all covered with flags and votive coins.
The white washed Stupa stands proudly beaming under the sun as a blessing to the pilgrims and travellers.
The best thing about the Pottuvil beach is the long stretched sandy beaches and the mesmerising turquoise sea. The sky is clear and blue most of the time and at some times and if you are lucky enough, you will witness the sky all covered with glowing white clouds.
The Pottuvil Lagoon is surely a place that you will leave your heart and soul, bewitched by its breathtaking natural beauty. Make sure you visit this place early in the morning if you are a bird-lover. You can also witness elephants crossing the lagoon in the evening.
You can surf at Pottuvil Beach at some selected points if you are a surf lover.
A boat tour in the Pottuvil Lagoon is another intriguing experience one must not miss. Early morning boat rides are the best as you can experience the dawn which is a magical experience.