The intriguing coastal town of Kalutara has a lot to offer and one place that you definitely shouldn’t miss is Ranjith’s Carving and Batik Museum which offers an intimate glimpse into traditional Sri Lankan arts and crafts.
This museum functions both as an exhibition space of sorts as well as a shop simultaneously, allowing visitors to purchase anything that meets their fancy, as well as providing local artists with a platform to showcase and trade their art. It’s one of the best places to visit in Kalutara for a unique shopping experience.
Woodcarving in Sri Lanka
This concept has been practiced in Sri Lanka for millennia and is a cultural hallmark with many artisans who have attained unprecedented mastery of their art. With materials such as sandalwood, ebony, and kaduru, skilled artists form sculptures encompassing animals, religious figures, and demon masks.
The locals believe these masks to contain the power that is potent enough to scare away evil spirits. They are even believed to be able to cure certain kinds of ailments and diseases. As a result, you are likely to find them in many households.
What to Expect
True to its name, the museum features an astonishing range of wood-carvings and batik products. This includes more than 500 varieties of traditional Sri Lankan masks and a vast collection of clothes and batik paintings which can be purchased by visitors should they take a liking to them.
Ranjith is the master artisan and he has trained many proteges in this industry for 40 years. The prices of the crafts are fair because he doesn’t employ any beach boys/touts to promote his products. The batiks are produced by himself and he does the freehand painting. Clothes are sewn by his wife Sujeewa. His shop had once been devastated by the 2004 Tsunami.
The shop is pretty easy to find. It is located in Waskaduwa, mere 3.6 km north of the Kalutara town. Just next to the Royal Palms Beach Hotel on the beach side. Drive past the hotel and take the first left towards the beach.
Open Hours –
09.00 AM – 07.00 PM
Laksiri Station Road,
Beachfront next to Royal Palms Hotel,
+94 77 676 4819