Mount Lavinia Beach is located in the south of Colombo. Mount Lavinia is the largest suburb in Colombo and is always buzzing with activities. Even though Mount Lavinia is a residential area, it is one of the best places for city-dwellers to dip in the ocean, enjoy the fresh air and view the beautiful sunset.
Mount Lavinia was built around Sir Thomas Maitland’s old mansion, which was built in the early 1800s when he was the Governor-General of Ceylon. He fell in love with a local dancer, Lovina, at a greeting celebration given in his honour.
Lovina’s stunning charms and smile enchanted Sir Thomas, and he grew enamoured with her. Because it was unfashionable for him to be seen with a local as an unmarried British commander, she was transported into his mansion through a secret tunnel from her father’s house. In 1920, the tunnel was sealed, and the region surrounding Sir Thomas’ mansion was turned into a city, which was given the name Lovina after the beautiful woman who lived there. Lady Lovina’s statue is in the centre of the water fountain at Mount Lavinia’s entryway.
The waters at Mount Lavinia Beach are only swimmable at certain times of the year as waves can be too rough. It is important to note that if no one else is swimming, then don’t swim.
You will always find the beach full of life with people selling all kinds of things, from inflatable balls, manioca chips, swimsuits, sweet pineapples to sour mangoes. Mount Lavinia is best known for its street food and some of the best seafood in Sri Lanka.
Things to do in Mount Lavinia include:
- Visit Bolgoda Lake and explore its natural beauty. Bolgoda Lake is the largest natural water body and freshwater lake in Sri Lanka.
- Enjoy Sri Lankan seafood.
- Visit Sri Subodharama Raja Maha Vihara, which is known for its architecture and expansive Buddhist fervour.
- Visit the Sri Lankan Air Force Museum, which displays remnants of the Japanese aircraft shot down during World War II over Ceylon.
- Stroll along the beach.
- Visit Bellanwilla Rajamaha Viharaya, a Buddhist Temple where you can seek your blessings.
- Visit Attidiya Bird Sanctuary.
- Visit Sri Anjaneyar Temple Dehiwala, a Hindu temple.
- Visit the National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka (Dehiwala Zoo) and enjoy interacting with the wildlife. This zoo has close to 3000 animals.
The best time to visit Mount Lavinia Beach is any time throughout the year, as the weather is favourable all year long.
Mount Lavinia Beach has some of the most amazing sunsets that you should experience at least once when in Sri Lanka.