Matale is a busy town that does not have many attractions of its town, but serves as an entry point to Sri Lanka’s ancient cities. Tourists en route from Kandy to Dambulla often make a stopover in Matale to visit the Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanam– an attractive kovil located on the town’s main road, and dedicated to the goddess Mariamman. The statuary on the gopuras is painted in muted colors, in stark contrast to the vivid coloring of other temples found on the island.
About 2 km north of Matale is the Aluvihare Heritage Centre set up by renowned Sri Lankan artist Ena de Silve. Visitors can walk around and explore the sprawling gardens and watch artisans producing intricate batik and fine embroidery in the centre’s workshops. If arranged in advance, it is possible to have lunch at the centre’s Aluvihare Kitchens, where a buffet offering various rice dishes and as many as 24 different curries is served to groups of four or more. More