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The pristine Bentota Beach, located close to Galle, sits on Sri Lanka’s South West coast, and is one of the most picturesque spots in the country. The beach stretches northwards, where it turns into sandy strip known as Paradise Island, parallel to Bentota Lagoon. On Bentota River, the centuries old Galapata Temple features a large Buddha statue. It is said to have been built by Parakramabahu the Great, who also built the city of Polonnaruwa. Southeast in Lunuganga lie the estate and gardens of the famed architect Geoffrey Bawa. Northeast is his brother Bevis’s Brief Garden, crafted in a Japanese-style design – many sculptures by Bevis and other artists are on display here. Bentota’s beaches are good for diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, jet skiing and other water sports – coral rich dive sites include Canoe Rock.