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“Interesting experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ariyapala Mask Museum

Ariyapala Mask Museum
426, Main Street, Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka
94 912258373
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Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
Attraction details
Mangalore, India
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
58 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Interesting experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

The masks is one of the symbols you often seen in Sri Lanka. This museum (also a factory) has great information on the masks. A guide explains the various kinds of masks and the story behind each mask. One can also see the various artisans working on the masks. Photography is allowed. The entire process of the mask making can be seen here. Its an interesting experience as mask making is not often found in many countries.

It also has a shop were you can buy the masks as well as other souvenirs. Prices are reasonable and quality is good.

Visited March 2014
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32 reviews from our community

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Forest Row, UK
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
51 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Interesting and informative workshop with small 'museum'”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

This is not so much a museum as a workshop with a sales area and a small museum attached.

Our visit lasted about 20 minutes and it was an interesting experience. The lady who showed us round explained the symbolism and purpose of the various masks (there are hundreds), and it was also interesting to see the carving and painting of balsa-wood masks in the workshop.

I wouldn't recommend anyone to go out of his way to visit this museum (even if it has the largest collection on the island), as you can see much the same thing in handicraft shops in other towns - but if you are passing through Ambalangoda on the Galle road it is definitely worth a stop.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nyc
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Boy are there a lot of masks!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

This is a small, well-used building. The "museum" is a couple of small rooms in the basement. Upstairs is a shop that sells dozens and dozens of different types and sizes of masks. A workshop is attached to the side of the building. Definitely worth a visit, but unless you're buying, expect to be done in about 15 minutes.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, England
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“A really informative little museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

This definitely feels like the real thing - and the attached shop sells excellent quality and seemingly genuine, ethnic masks. The guides and staff are uniformly helpful, polite and knowledgeable.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Masks are made of light balsa wood, so buy away!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

We read the reviews and were wary of pushy sales, but when we got there we didn't experience any more than any other place.
Before we went into the shop we were taken round the small museum and made a voluntary donation afterwards. The guide explained the masks and drama of the displays and she did a very good job. When we went into the mask shop we knew which were the ones we wanted to buy for health and posterity!
We bought three masks and a carved elephant ashtray. We bartered a little bit and got a good price. The side 'ears' of the masks come off for packaging and the wood is very light balsa, so will not make a real impact on your luggage allowance.
There is a toilet in there, but I'd recommend you 'go' before you go.
Our masks are a great colourful reminder of our Sri Lankan holiday.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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