Kirinda is a small coastal fishing village blessed with a pretty beach, spectacular views and a charming history. Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of major towns, Kirinda is a somewhat quiet town with its own features. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Hambantota district which is situated about 37 km away from Hambantota town and only 10 km far from Tissamaharama. When considering the beauty of Kirinda, there is a rocky outcrop from which can be obtained some magnificent views of the desolate coast with its long stretch of sand dunes and the ocean beyond.
Anyone can travel 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. Kirinda Beach is really 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.
History of Kirinda
This is the place as per the Sri Lankan history where Viharamahadevi landed, at mostly recognized as the value of Kirinda. Queen Viharamahadevi was the daughter of King Kelanitissa who ruled Kelaniya. The King once punished
an innocent monk by boiling him alive in a cauldron of oil. It is said that the gods, angered over this cruel deed, made the ocean rush inland and flood the land. Soothsayers said that if a princess was sacrificed to the sea, the raging waves would stop. Accordingly, the king built a boat of gold, provisioned it with enough supplies for one person for one month – and placed in it his eldest daughter. The young princess sacrificed herself for the sins of her father and
for the safety of her motherland. She was placed inside a beautifully decorated boat which bore the letters Daughter of a King and set adrift on the sea.
Days later a lone fisherman spotted the strange looking craft as it drifted off Dovera, near Kirinda. Drawing closer he read the inscription and carried the news to the King of this southern region, Kavantissa, who resided nearby. The princess was rescued, brought before the king, and given a warm welcome. Eventually, Kavantissa married her and named her Viharamahadevi. She bore him two sons who were to become national heroes. The eldest, Gemunu, became King Duthugemunu (161 – 137BC), who united the Sinhalese for the first time after defeating the Tamil king Elara.
Attractions of Kirinda
Several kilometres inland from Kirinda, at a place called Gotimbaragodella, there are traces of the ruins of a palace, where it is said Kavantissa welcomed and later wed Viharamahadevi There are also some ancient monuments at Magul Maha Vihara, near Palatupana, just within Yala National Park, where the pair are said to have spent their honeymoon. You can see the amazing 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. The popularity of this romantic legend makes Kirinda a focal point for pilgrims. As you reach the rocky outcrop you will see a modern statue of Queen Viharamahadevi. Watch as pilgrims make their offerings at the dagoba. Be sure to look out for King Kavantissa’s royal coat of arms featuring the sun and the moon carved on a boulder nearby.
Kirinda Rajamaha Viharaya is located on top of the rock on a fine beach and the most beautiful place. This had been built by the king Kavantissa. The temple is perhaps the most prominent attraction within the confines of the town. This ancient temple leads to more people attraction of Kirinda and 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. Most people visit this temple on their way to Kataragama.
When you visit Kirinda, Sri Lanka, another must-see tourist attraction of Kirinda 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. On a clear day, the lighthouse on the Great Basses Reef appears like a needle in the far distance.