Galapita Lodge | Buttala | Sri Lanka


Galapita Lodge & Healing Garden, Buttala, Sri Lanka

“Why go to heaven when you can come here”
Tashi – 10 year old Tibetan boy Feb 2006 – Guestbook

Galapita Healing Garden is one of those rare and magical places that seems to exist outside time as though the world only revolves around its boundaries as described by T.S. Eliot.

At the core of Galapita is a waterfall spilling into a gorge sculptured by the river of gems. The Galapita Lake and the paddy fields are beautifully laid before a stunning backdrop of Galapitagala ‘Rock upon a Rock’ in the nearby Yala Wildlife Reserve.

Cradled between the emerald green paddy fields and the river of gems is the two storied ecological abode – Navaratne Maluwa, the jewel of the Navaratne garden.

Across the river bridge over Sambandawala you alight on the Healing Garden. Nestled among the rocks along the meandering river of gems are Sleeping Pavilions, Healing Pavilions and Yoga Pavilions.

Walks on endless white sand paths, nutritious food, meditation and yoga, and the ayurveda treatments at the Galapita Healing Gardens will calm, relax, detoxify and rejuvenate your mind and soul

At Galapita the ecological pavilions and the 60 acre garden layout complete with Lake, Lotus Ponds, Paddy fields, are designed to reflect a contemporary interpretation of traditional Sri Lankan style and architecture. All buildings are constructed with local materials such as stone, wood, mud, and thatched roofs and by local villages. Galapita has adopted innovative environmental initiatives and planted over 10,000 indigenous trees to enrich the bio diversity.

At Galapita, all accessories are laid out for you with the compliments of the house, wicker baskets, canoes, mountain bikes, large inner tubes for floating down the river or binoculars are yours to select. If you request the staff they will guide you on trails of exploration in and around Galapita. Request in advance if you wish to visit any of the wildlife reserves in the vicinity such as Yala, Uda Walawe or Gal Oya or any of the sacred sites.

We recommend a picnic to the magnificent secret garden 45 minutes drive up river. Enjoy a day out by the 50 foot tall pigeon falls and explore other cascading waterfalls, and the surrounding forests. Occasionally you may encounter a snake and some snakes are poisonous, but the most comfort [comes from local wisdom, which] is that snakes try as hard as they can to stay away from us. Be cautious of running carelessly through undergrowth, don’t dig with bare hands under branches or fallen tree trunks. Your best protection is to walk slowly observing your surroundings and stay on the trails. As much as it is about anything, Galapita Healing Garden is about experiencing a relaxed contented lifestyle surrounded by nature, in peace and tranquillity.

Galapita Lodge - Accommodation


Galapita Pavilions are made of natural renewable materials and are nestled among protected pockets of forests, paddy fields, waterfalls and a lake along the meandering river of gems.

The four Sleeping Pavilions named after trees and gems, combine intimate bonding with nature and each other with all traditional comforts too.


At Galapita they grow their own fruits, rice, vegetables and culinary herbs. The fish and prawns come fresh from the river and the lakes surrounding the retreat and of course the sea off Arugam Bay. With a special selection of authentic yet sensational home grown spices and traditional cooking methods, the chefs serve you vegetarian cuisine cooked to perfection, accompanied with buffalo curd, delicious salads and delightful desserts. There’s also the best Sri Lankan seafood and chicken cooked with spices and herbs from the gardens.

You may ask the staff for any special requests you may have, such as organising a picnic lunch under a Banyan tree or dinner under the stars.


Panning for Gems, Manik Ganga, Sri LankaRIVER OF GEMS

Menik Ganga, the fabled river of gems itself, is your hydrotherapy spa. When it rains in the mountains the river swells and gathers force cascading through the gorge at Galapita. Uncut sapphires and cat’s eyes have occasionally been found rolling seaward along the riverbed. Several fine stones have been unearthed here, including a cornflower blue sapphire weighing 18 carats. If you wish, you may try your hand at “panning” for gemstones.

This traditional mining technique is effective yet low in environmental impact. Any gemstones you find are yours to keep. A wicker basket and a few instructions in the fine art of panning, which the staff will be happy to provide, you will soon be on your way to the river to start panning and perhaps – who knows? – To strike it rich..!

Canoeing on Galapita Lake within the sanctuary, can be a heavenly experience in the moonlight under a canopy of stars, or cruise around during the day among flocks of birds.

Tubing on the Manik RiverTUBING
Large rubber tubes are available on request from the Agasti Lounge – The ideal starting point for tubing is by the Jacuzzi below the waterfall. After several bends and twists the river, descends to where the two branches rejoin together under a canopy of trees, (A ten minute ride). For the more adventurous type, pass the river converging point and ride up to the end of the rapids a further ten minutes away. Buzz can vary depending on the velocity of the river flow. Life jackets & helmets are provided.

Sunrise over Galapitagala can be a breathtaking experience with peacocks flying in the mist that envelops at dawn. If you keep following the white sand paths you will be enraptured by the sight of birds, squirrels, bees and butterflies shimmering in the first rays of a breaking dawn.

Ride by the Galapita Lake down to the closest village observing the stunning bird life, iguanas and other assorted wildlife. Ride through the sugar cane fields in the evening to “Indikola’ Lake where you chill out and watch the sunset over thousands of white water lilies and exotic bird life. Watch-out for wild elephants.

Ride to “Kuda Oya” [river] in the sugarcane fields for a picnic and river bath. [A three hour round trip]. Once again, beware of wild elephants.

Ride around Galapita Lake, cut across the dirt road to the village temple by the river. There are 7Th century stone sculptures and ruins in the temple gardens.

Safari at GalapitaSAFARI
Dawn to dusk and into the night. You can cruise around the vicinity of Galapita or Yala National Park. You would almost always encounter elephants or if it’s your lucky day, bear or leopard. Request the staff in advance if you wish to visit any of the Wildlife reserves in the vicinity such as Yala, Uda Walawe or Galoya.

Remember to take along your flashlight and mosquito repellent for your night safaris.

Meditation is described as the highest form of yoga. Eliminating stress and providing a sense of peace and tranquillity, Yoga uses the physical body as a vehicle to reach the highest stage of spiritual consciousness. The southern end of the Galapita Healing Garden where the rivers converge, the Yoga Sala is built on the magnificent Asandgala sculptured with seven natural lotus ponds. This pavilion is a wonderful location to meet at dusk to enjoy magnificent sunsets.

Schedules of Yoga activities and visiting Yoga Teachers are available at the SPA. There are daily Yoga classes at the Sala, which are absolutely free.

Check-in/Check-out Time: Check-in is 12.00 noon and Check-Out is 11.00 a.m. An earlier Check-in Time or later Check-out time can be requested on a case by case basis and the resort may agree depending on availability.

Address: Buttala, Sri Lanka
Airport: Colombo International
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One comment on “Galapita Lodge | Buttala | Sri Lanka
  1. hiran says:

    that sounds beautiful.
    better if more details given ie: how to contact the management or how exactly to get there