Written by Mainak Biswas
When it comes to beaches in Sri Lanka, Unawatuna has no doubt one of the best beach stretches in Sri Lanka. The beach has drawn the attention of travelers far and wide, who come here to enjoy the soothing waters and absorb the tropical sun along clean and powdery beaches. So, if you are looking for a quieter alternative, head to Jungle Beach Beech.
The Jungle Beach is a tiny bay area that is well hidden from the usual hubbub of the city. Visiting this little-isolated haven is definitely among the best things to do in Unawatuna. The entrance to the beach is through a rather narrow and steep path that will take you to a sign with the name of the beach on it, which is painted on a rock. The entrance to the beach itself can be a bit crowded as there are several sun loungers as well as eateries that serve out quick bites and chilled drinks to the beach-goers. However, this is any case is much less crowded than the actual main line of beach stretch in Unawatuna.
To start with, the best part is reaching the beach itself. It’s a short, but a rather adventurous hike across a few rocky hills of the Rumassala Mountains. A small detour before reaching the beach, will take you to a secluded rock-beach with lots of crabs and the deep blue Indian will be just a few meters!!
Apparently, the Jungle Beach itself remained secluded until very recently because a fairly challenging hike was required to reach it. Latterly, a muddy path was carved out to save visitors the fear of getting lost in the jungle! The beach has since then seen more Crowd. A small eatery has been set up on Jungle Beach and a number of sunbeds. The eatery serves Sri Lankan snacks, as well as sandwiches and chilled drinks. The crowds gather in this section, while other areas are less congested. If you want a bit of seclusion all you have to do is to keep walking away from the sun beds. Leading off Jungle Beach, the bay is shallow and waters are mostly calm.
The waters of the Jungle beach are famous for being devoid of any strong currents or waves and the relatively shallow nature of the sea, makes it the ideal place for people to enjoy a quiet swim and sunbathing session. It is also a safe spot for beginners to brush up their confidence when it comes to swimming in the sea. (this exactly what sonakshi, my better half, was trying to do !!)High above the beach is the Rumassala Mountain. As mythology goes, Rumassala Mountain makes an appearance in the ancient Indian epic, Ramayana. The Monkey God, Hanuman throws away a gant piece of rock (sanjeevani parvat: mount Dunagiri) after using magical herbs growing on it to treat Rama’s brother Lakshman. This piece of rock is believed to have landed beside Jungle Beach and is now the mystical Rumassala Mountain. This rocky hill features a Japanese Peace Pagoda at the summit. The picturesque shrine was gifted by the Japanese Nipponzan-Myōhōji Order. A breathtaking view across the water is available at this vantage point and it is also where the steps leading down to Jungle Beach originate.
We really enjoyed our day out at Jungle Beach! Such a peaceful and quiet little beach, with great swimming. It is, however, a rather small beach, and it is a bit of hassle (read fun) to get there. It is a nice break from the Unawatuna Beach though, if you are staying in this area or in Galle.
About the author: Mainak Biswas