Athurugiriya, Sri Lanka

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Athurugiriya, Sri Lanka

Region: Western


Geographic Coordinates: 6.892200, 79.942800
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Athurugiriya, Sri Lanka vary throughout the year.
Population: 84278
Language: Sinhala

Arthurugiriya is a vibrant town located in the Colombo District of Sri Lanka. Nestled amidst lush greenery and surrounded by serene landscapes, It offers a perfect blend of urban convenience and natural beauty. The town is situated about 20 kilometers east of Colombo, Making it easily accessible for both locals and tourists. One of the prominent attractions in Arthurugiriya is its picturesque environment. The town boasts stunning views of rolling hills, Paddy fields, And small streams that meander through the countryside.

These scenic vistas create a tranquil atmosphere that allows visitors to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. In addition to its natural beauty, Arthurugiriya also has several cultural landmarks worth exploring. One such attraction is the historic Kelani Rajamaha Viharaya temple, Which dates back to ancient times. This temple holds great religious significance among Buddhists in Sri Lanka and attracts devotees from all over the country. For nature enthusiasts, Arthurugiriya offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and birdwatching. The nearby Hanthana Mountain Range provides an excellent trekking trail with breathtaking views at every turn.

Nature lovers can also explore Diyawanna Oya Lake—a man-made reservoir that serves as a habitat for various bird species including herons, Kingfishers, And egrets. Arthurugiriya’s proximity to Colombo makes it an ideal residential area for those who work in the capital city but prefer a quieter lifestyle away from its congestion. The town has witnessed significant development over recent years with modern amenities like shopping complexes, Supermarkets, Restaurants serving diverse cuisines ranging from local delicacies to international fare. The residents take pride in their strong sense of community spirit reflected through various cultural events held throughout the year.

These celebrations showcase traditional music performances like drumming ceremonies known as Magul Bera along with vibrant dance forms such as Kandyan dances performed by skilled artists adorned in colorful costumes. Transportation in Arthurugiriya is convenient, With regular bus services connecting the town to Colombo and other nearby towns. The proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, Which is under construction, Will further enhance connectivity and accessibility for commuters. Arthurugiriya offers a unique combination of natural beauty, Cultural heritage, And modern amenities.

Whether you are seeking tranquility amidst picturesque landscapes or interested in exploring Sri Lankan history and culture, This vibrant town has something to offer for everyone.



Important Landmarks

  1. Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya: This Buddhist temple is situated near Athurugiriya and holds historical significance. It is believed to have been built during the reign of King Parakramabahu VI.
  2. Kaduwela Bridge: The Kaduwela Bridge connects Athurugiriya with the neighboring town of Kaduwela. It is an iconic landmark that offers scenic views of the Kelani River.
  3. Diyatha Uyana: Located nearby in Battaramulla, Diyatha Uyana is a recreational park surrounding a picturesque lake called Diyawanna Lake. It features walking paths, food stalls, and beautiful landscaping.
  4. Parliament Complex: Situated in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, which is close to Athurugiriya, this modern architectural marvel houses Sri Lanka’s Parliament and offers guided tours for visitors interested in politics or architecture.
  5. Thalangama Wetland Park: Also located nearby in Battaramulla, Thalangama Wetland Park provides an opportunity to explore nature trails through wetlands inhabited by various bird species.

While these attractions may not be specific to Athurugiriya itself, they are easily accessible from the town and offer enjoyable experiences for tourists visiting the area.


Primary Industries

  1. Construction: Athurugiriya has witnessed significant growth in construction activities due to its proximity to Colombo and its suburban nature.
  2. Manufacturing: There are various manufacturing facilities, including small-scale factories, producing garments, plastic products, furniture, and other consumer goods.
  3. Retail: The town has numerous retail shops ranging from supermarkets to local grocery stores, providing essential commodities to residents.
  4. Hospitality sector: There are several hotels and guesthouses catering to tourists visiting Athurugiriya or passing through on their way to other destinations.
  5. Education: There are educational institutions such as schools and tuition centers that cater to students from Athurugiriya and surrounding areas.
  6. Healthcare services: Medical clinics, pharmacies, diagnostic centers provide healthcare services to the local population.
  7. Transportation services: Several transportation companies operate within Athurugiriya providing taxi services or private transportation for residents.
  8. Agriculture: Though predominantly urbanized now, some agricultural activities such as vegetable farming still exist on the outskirts of Athurugiriya due to its proximity to rural areas.
  9. Professional services: Various professional service providers like lawyers, accountants offer their expertise within the town’s vicinity serving both individuals and businesses.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive but provides an overview of major industries and businesses present in Athurugiriya.


Noteable History

  1. Portuguese Colonial Era: During the 16th century, the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka and established their control over coastal areas, including Colombo. The arrival of European powers marked an important turning point in Sri Lankan history.
  2. Dutch Colonial Era: In the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company took control from the Portuguese and expanded their influence over much of present-day Sri Lanka. They developed trade networks and left behind architectural influences that can still be seen today.
  3. British Colonial Era: In 1796, the British took over Colombo from the Dutch and established their rule until Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948. The British introduced modern infrastructure, education systems, and transformed Colombo into an important commercial hub.
  4. Independence Movement: Several notable individuals from Sri Lanka played crucial roles in advocating for independence from British colonial rule. D.S Senanayake (the first Prime Minister of independent Ceylon) and his son Dudley Senanayake were prominent leaders during this period.
  5. Political Figures: J.R Jayewardene served as President of Sri Lanka from 1978 to 1989; he was born near Arthurugiriya in Kelaniya.
  6. Religious Significance: Arthurugiriya is located close to Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temple—a Buddhist temple believed to have been visited by Gautama Buddha himself during his third visit to Sri Lanka.

While these events/people are associated with the broader region around Arthurugiriya rather than being specific to it, they provide insight into some of the historical significance in the area.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Diyatha Uyana: Located in Battaramulla, just a short distance from Athurugiriya, Diyatha Uyana is a recreational park surrounding the Diyawanna Lake. It features beautiful landscaped gardens, walking paths, and a floating market where visitors can enjoy shopping for local handicrafts and food.
  2. Parliament of Sri Lanka: Also situated in Battaramulla, the Parliament complex is an architectural marvel worth visiting. Although access to the interior may be restricted during parliamentary sessions, visitors can still explore the landscaped grounds surrounding this iconic building.
  3. Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara: Situated in Kelaniya (about 10 km from Athurugiriya), this ancient Buddhist temple holds great historical and religious significance for Sri Lankans. The temple’s vibrant murals depicting various scenes from Buddhist mythology are particularly noteworthy.
  4. Pannipitiya Dewram Vehera: Located in Pannipitiya (approximately 6 km from Athurugiriya), this Buddhist temple is known for its serene ambiance and beautiful architecture adorned with intricate wood carvings.
  5. National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka: Situated in Dehiwala (around 12 km away), this expansive zoo houses various species of animals including elephants, lions, giraffes, birds, reptiles, and more.

While these attractions may not be directly within Athurugiriya itself, they are all easily accessible within a short distance by road or public transportation from the town.



Sports Teams

  1. Moors Sports Club: Located in Colombo, Moors SC is a prominent cricket club that competes in domestic tournaments like Premier League Tournament and Twenty20 Tournament.
  2. Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club: Also based in Colombo, Bloomfield CAC has a rich history in Sri Lankan cricket and has produced several national team players.
  3. Army Sports Club: Representing the Sri Lanka Army, this multi-sport club participates in various disciplines including rugby union, football, athletics, volleyball, and more.
  4. Air Force Sports Club: Similar to the Army team above but representing the Sri Lanka Air Force instead.
  5. Navy Sports Club: Another military-affiliated sports club that competes mainly in rugby union but also participates in other sports events.

These clubs have had significant success at both domestic and national levels over the years. While there may not be specific teams with extensive histories solely from Athurugiriya itself due to its smaller size compared to major cities like Colombo or Kandy, athletes from Athurugiriya might have represented these clubs or participated at regional levels within their respective sports disciplines.



Cultural Events

  1. Sinhala and Tamil New Year: Celebrated in April, this is one of the most important traditional festivals in Sri Lanka. It marks the beginning of the new year according to both the Sinhalese and Tamil calendars.
  2. Vesak: This Buddhist festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death (Parinirvana) of Lord Buddha. It usually falls in May and is celebrated with colorful lanterns, decorations, processions, and acts of charity.
  3. Navaratri: A Hindu festival dedicated to Goddess Durga that spans nine nights (Navaratri means nine nights). It involves fasting, prayers, devotional music performances (bhajans), dance performances such as Garba and Dandiya Raas.
  4. Christmas: Celebrated by Christians on December 25th each year to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Churches are beautifully decorated for midnight masses while people exchange gifts.
  5. Colombo International Film Festival: An annual event held in September/October that showcases a wide range of local and international films across various genres.
  6. Kala Pola Art Festival: Organized by The George Keyt Foundation since 1993 at Viharamahadevi Park during January/February every year; it is an open-air art fair where artists display their works for sale.
  7. Colombo Fashion Week: A biannual fashion event held in March/April showcasing local designers’ collections alongside international brands.

These are just a few examples; there are many more cultural events taking place throughout the year in Colombo and its surrounding areas that residents of Athurugiriya can enjoy and participate in.


Cuisine

  1. Kandoori – Known for its delicious Indian and Sri Lankan dishes, including biryani, tandoori chicken, and various curries.
  2. The Factory Outlet – A popular restaurant offering a range of international cuisines such as Chinese, Italian, and Sri Lankan dishes.
  3. Hotel Nippon – Famous for its authentic Japanese cuisine like sushi, sashimi, tempura, and teppanyaki.
  4. The Sandwich Factory – A favorite spot for sandwiches with a variety of fillings like chicken tikka, BBQ beef, seafood mix.
  5. Green Cabin Restaurant – A long-standing establishment known for its traditional Sri Lankan food like rice & curry meals with various curries and accompaniments.
  6. Cream House Bakery & Pastry Shop – Famous for its fresh pastries like cream buns, patties (savory pastries), cakes, breads.

Parks and Recreation

Places to Visit in Athurugiriya

Places to Visit in Athurugiriya

  1. Athurugiriya Jogging Track: A popular spot for jogging and walking, this track offers a scenic view of the surrounding area.
  2. Diyatha Uyana: Located nearby in Battaramulla, this park features a beautiful lake with boat rides, walking paths, and various food stalls.
  3. Millennium Elephant Foundation: This sanctuary is located in nearby Pinnawala and offers visitors the chance to interact with elephants through activities like feeding and bathing them.
  4. Thalangama Lake: A serene lake located close to Athurugiriya where visitors can enjoy boating or simply relax by the water.
  5. Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya: One of the most famous Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, it is located nearby in Bellanwila and offers a peaceful environment for meditation or exploring its beautiful grounds.
  6. Water World Lanka: Situated near Athurugiriya, this water park provides thrilling water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and other fun-filled activities for all ages.
  7. Leisure World Water Park: Located in Avissawella (approximately 20 km from Athurugiriya), it is one of Sri Lanka’s largest theme parks offering various water-based attractions including slides and pools as well as other amusement rides.

Please note that some of these activities may require traveling outside of Athurugiriya but are within close proximity to the town.


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