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Best Places to visit in Okanda

Sri Lanka combines history, nature, encounters, and sunshine. It is also the island of smiles and spirituality; you quickly feel at ease thanks to the warm welcome of the Sri Lankans. This destination is ideal for family trips, thanks to the excellent tourist infrastructure and the wide choice of activities. Okanda is a tiny hamlet in the eastern region of Sri Lanka within the Ampara District. It is renowned for its Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan named Ukanthamalai Murugan Kovil and for surfing. Pilots in Eastern and Northern provinces visit the Okanda Murugan temple. Okanda Murugan temple during the Murugan Pada Yatra journey through the Kataragama Temple in the island's southern region. In this region, you may want to visit one or more of these locations: Badulla, Kandy, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, and Galle. To explore this area, scroll down and look through the available information. Okanda Devalaya is located at Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka. It is also a well-known surfing destination, as numerous people visit it to seek blessings and pray for their lives to be successful. Let’s come and know all about the best places to visit in Okanda.

About Okanda

 It is a country emerging from a tumultuous history, between a long civil war and a devastating tsunami, and experiencing booming tourist development. In this context, don't hesitate to think outside the box and avoid high season periods. Okanda Devalaya (Skanda Devalaya) is a hamlet that is in the sense of it is one of the Hindu Kovil, located within the Ampara district of Sri Lanka. The Temple is a significant persona in Sri Lanka's religion and cultural heritage. June to July is the best time to visit the place, as it is crowded with devotees participating in the Padayatra. Okanda Devalaya has a long and rich history. There is a belief that the Skanda god first set sail towards Sri Lanka in a golden vessel that turned into a rock called "Ran Oru Gala" when the god landed. The Temple is located nearby is located not too far away and is revered by all seafarers ready to enter the water and return to shore after a safe journey from the ocean. Okanda is situated near the entry point into Kumana National Park, 20 km south of Arugam Bay. The picturesque coastline of Okanda is free of hotels and tourist attractions as well as traffic noise and pollution; however, it is one of the island's most stunning beaches. However, bathing in the ocean is risky due to the underwater currents.Okanda is a sacred site. In July, it's a part of Sri Lanka's largest pilgrimage known as the Pada Yatra from Jaffna to Kataragama along the East Coast. Okanda is the final stop on the coast. It is pretty beautiful rich with greenery and relaxed vibes. The surf is best in spring. It is best suited to offshore winds that originate from the northwest. Most surf here originates from groundswells; the best direction for swells is southwest. It is not often crowded here. Make sure you take care of the sturdy cuts here.

Top Places to Visit in Okanda

It is pretty challenging to list all the Okanda's famous sights, and choosing what to see in Okanda in 1 day is not easy. Here you will know all about some of the best tourist’s destinations in Okanda.

Okanda Temple

Take a trip towards Okanda Temple and walk to the beach from there. It is possible to view that beach directly from the Temple. When you're at the beach and facing the ocean, the surf point is direct to your left, 200 meters to the west coast. It is also highlighted by a massive flat slab of rock with a crevice center that draws out water, similar to blowholes. Two rocks can be seen in the water. This is called the surf spot because of its distance from Arugam Bay.

Okanda National Park

Try your luck on a jeep safari in search of handsome leopards. Observe the wildlife and see elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, wild boars, roe deer, and many different birds in their natural habitat. Recognized internationally as the nesting ground of one of the largest populations of migratory birds on the planet, Akanda National Park accounts for approximately 25% of the protected mangrove in entire Africa. The Bantu tribe believes the Mondah forest, inside the park, is a sacred place and the origin of many myths and legends. It is also ideal for water sports, fishing, and watching dolphins and whales. There are more than 200 species of birds, elephants, buffaloes, monkeys, sloth bears, crocodiles, and leopards. Okanda National Park is home to the highest density of leopards in the world! Add to that an ideal geographical location in the southeast of the island, and you understand why Okanda has quickly become the most touristic park in the country. From the town of Tissamaharama, where most of the hotels are concentrated, Sri Lankan naturalist guides take you on a safari on the dusty tracks of the park. Meet when the park opens, before all the jeeps arrive. There are many mammals and reptiles, the Sri Lankan elephant is the largest of which. A drier zone of tropical forests surrounds extensive water and wetlands. Those who wish can stay in the park for a few days - there is a campsite for this purpose. The place is bustling during the high tourist season, between December and February.

Okada Dewalt

Okada Dewala is another place that you should visit when visiting Arugam Bay. This is located on Panama Forest Road near the port of Okanda. The location is near the road to Kumana bird sanctuary. Many people, regardless of race or religion, visit this spot to worship with respect. There is a belief that God Skanda first set sail towards Sri Lanka in a golden vessel and that the vessel turned into an artificial rock that can be seen on the beach, and the rock remains in the sea. The name is 'Ranoru Gala.'

Exploring Okanda and an ancient forest monastery

Okanda Point is a lesser popular surf spot because of its proximity to Arugam Bay. Surfers can enjoy spectacular views of sunrise and sunset on the left. Some residents live at the Temple, and anglers who reside in the area—are interested in Surfing Okanda? Outside of being a part of the Pada Yatra pilgrimage season, the remote village on the coast of Okanda Beach is a peaceful sandy beach. One of the tourist attractions nearby is the picturesque Kudumbigala sanctuary, which is an old forest monastery. Further to the south, Okanda isn't quite ideal for surfers. However, they can afford their costs in this area also. Okanda beach isn't obstructed, and foreign tourists are scarce, even though this is among the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. However, The rumble of currents and waves shouldn't be undervalued. Vacationers should avoid swimming across the ocean in open waters. Lifeguards are not present at this isolated beach.

Kataragama Devalaya

From here, the pilgrimage trail passes through jungles before arriving at Kataragama. Devote pilgrims spend three consecutive days in Okanda and bathe in rituals near the ocean before the Temple. It is known as Okanda Kataragama Devalaya; Kataragama is the name of the god worshipped by Murugan, according to Tamils who live in India. Devalaya or Devale is a term used to describe Hindu temples, which Buddhists also frequent from Sinhalese. The Temple is located adjacent to the Thambiluvil holy site for pilgrims.

Kumana National Park

Each Okanda and Panama is excellent places to begin Safaris within the Kumana National Park. Kumana is like Yala. However, it is less visited by tourists. That's why the wildlife excursions in Kumana are one of the most authentic things you can experience on the island of Sri Lanka. A half-day trip to the rock monastery in Kundumbigala located near Okanda Beach and Kumana National Park is highly recommended. In Kudumbigala, the chances of observing wild bears outside the national park's boundaries aren't too tricky, especially during July and August. For devotees who travel during each year's Kataragama Pada Yathra, Okanda is the last place to gather before they enter the harsh forest of Kumana and Yala in Yala, where they can continue their trek of weeks toward Katragagama Devalaya.

Okanda Murugan Devalaya

Okanda Murugan Devalaya is located within the Kumana Panama jungle path Okanda Devalaya is believed to be where God Skanda first sailed into Sri Lanka in a golden boat. The boat, transformed into a rock, is still standing on Okanda beach, referred to as the "Ran Oru Gala'. In reverence by many, regardless of religion or creed, the Temple's history is unknown; however, evidence of an old monastery is nearby. Archeologists believe that the Temple near the old Okanda harbor also added to its significance as many sea-going men looked for its assistance before and after their journey.

Gabon a natural and the culture site

The site is renowned for its natural value to the culture and is recognized as the home of the worlds most significant and threatened mammal groups. Since it is the only heritage site in Gabon, this property is the most visited tourist destination in the nation. The park is an ecosystem as well as a landscape of cultural significance. Its Lope National Park covers tracts of tropical rainforests as well as grasslands of savanna, which contain rare and endangered species of animals. Through the creation of National parks like these, we can find a viable alternative for simply exploitation of natural resources, which will help to preserve our natural environment. There is already a general agreement that Gabon is a potential candidate.

Wildlife and Ecological Data

The site is a unique transitional zone that spans the savanna and forest environments and provides a chronology of ongoing ecological processes in which the fauna, flora, and habitats have evolved to post-glacial climate conditions. The area is rich in species of plants and animals due to the interplay between humans, the environment, and ecological and natural processes.

The site hosts more than 1,550 plants, including 40 species not found anywhere else in the world. Wild primates are abundant in the area, with mandrills, sun-tailed macaque western lowland gorillas, buffaloes, forest elephant leopards, and black colobus monkeys.

Local color

Visiting all the sights will not give a complete picture of this beautiful colorful island. Set aside a couple of days for walking along the streets of cities, visiting local markets, bus stations, and supermarkets. Be sure to take a ride on local transport: one bus ride will be remembered for a lifetime. Local buses run so that it stops; you will need to jump into them on the go practically. Such a fast ride is surprising because many Sri Lankans are very slow. There are practically no traffic signs, traffic lights too; everyone is buzzing, creating a whole cacophony on the road. And you, in horror, pray to the Buddha, whose statuette is in every bus near the driver, so that he would have mercy on you and help you get out of this bus in this life and not the next. It is also worth taking a ride on the local train. You won't need to jump into it, but you can jump out at any time - the doors on the train are always open.

Nature and Climate

Okanda Devalaya with the rocky boulders swayed by the canopy of trees on the one hand and a delicate part on the coast of East Africa on the other. The summit is topped by two small shrines dedicated to Valli Amma, and right in front of one of these shrines is a gorgeous natural pool that offers the location an aura of beauty and tranquility. After a short time, we reached the top of the rock. We sat there in awe, not so much from the effort but the breathtaking view from the rock's summit. The lush green forest with the ocean and lagoon offered vibrant shades and depth. The Okanda Devalaya is comprised of a variety of places that pilgrims use. These are usually deserted during most times of the year. However, in July, the atmosphere shifts. The annual celebration of the shrine is always celebrated in grand style and draws people from all over this country. But especially those from Northern Province. Northern Province. The following day, we visited Okanda Devalaya with the rocky boulder swaying in the canopy of trees on one side and a peaceful part on the eastern coast on the other. There are on the top two small shrines that are believed to dedicate to Valli Amma, and right in front of one shrine is a gorgeous natural pool, which gives the location beauty and tranquility.

Where to stay?

There aren't any hotels or guesthouses within Okanda. The only accommodation available for those who can't have private accommodations is a few rooms utilized by those who go to the Temple. A Tamil shop has a small restaurant catering to Sinhala or Tamil guests. The food is a local one, naturally. In collaboration with locals, Lanka Excursions Holidays will be able to organize private accommodation for guests who wish to accept the lifestyle of the locals as their home for their holidays. Accommodation options aren't available within the immediate vicinity, and you'll have to travel towards Arugam Bay for some decent guesthouses. However, because Arugam Bay is a surfing destination, there are no star-category hotels within the city.

Final Words

Paradise, blessed land, the world of Buddhism, fragrant Ceylon tea, and various spices - this is how the island of Sri Lanka appears to its guests. Even though this fantastic island is very tiny, a whole scattering of miracles is concentrated here - these are the most diverse sights of Sri Lanka, based on which your first acquaintance with this country will take place. When you visit Okanda Devalaya, ensure that you dress modestly and dress your legs and arms in a covering. It is essential to show respect to the beliefs and religions of the area and take off your shoes upon entering the area. The wave passed through us, and I think this is the best sensation here. There's a fascinating story concerning this particular rock. There was a notice board on it. The beach is also beautiful. Please help save this beautiful beach. Be aware of yourself too. Here are many other best places to visit in Okanda, like Kudumbigala Monastery, Wildlife and archaeological sites within Kumana National Park, Arugam Bay Surfing, etc. The peaceful and tranquil Okanda Devalaya is a hive of activity in July, with thousands of visitors visiting the sacred site to engage in ceremonies to honor the god Skanda. They also take a rest beneath the massive banyan trees that are situated in the area. The celebration comes to an end. It is the time that Okanda Devalaya is Okanda Hindu temple is restored to its tranquil self, bringing one back to the cycles of life of rejuvenation, rest, and renewal.

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