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“Life changing”

Tsunami Photo Museum
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Telwatta
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We visited the Tsunami museum at Parelyia, Telwatta almost by chance. It is half way (more or less) between Bentota and Galle in Sri Lanka. on the coast road (not the new Express Highway). Our guide offered us a dozen places (turtle farm, mask factories, gem 'superstores', etc.) that we should visit between Bentota and Galle.
We told him that we wanted to go (en route) only to the Tsunami photo museum and to the Maritime Archaeology Museum in Galle and the Rampart restaurant in Galle port
We recommend everybody to Google, check TripAdvisor (etc.) and make their decisions… and tell their guides where they want to go
Anyway we arrived at this rather inconspicuous bungalow on the side of the road, called ‘Tsunami Photo’
We went in, we looked, we were totally taken aback, we cried for an hour and we left… not knowing what we had just experienced
It is very difficult to describe our experience. We simply encourage anybody visiting Sri Lanka to visit this very simple ‘reality’ museum’ – photos.
Newspaper cuttings, children's drawings, please for help … capturing what happened when on Boxing Day in 2004. 40,000 people died in Sri Lanka, and a total of a quarter of million in all the countries of the Indian Ocean.
One of the most poignant anecdotes captured by the photographs is that of the train that was running on the line about 300 metres from the Ocean. After the first wave (there were two) the train stopped at Parelyia, Telwatta. Local people ran from the beach and boarded the train seeking safety. The second wave (at a height of the palm trees and telephone lines) crushed the train and killed almost 2000 people. The guard’s story (he helped people onto the train and he survived) is told in the museum.
When we left t the museum our guide offered us a tissue; he knew we were struggling to come to terms with our experience.
We are grateful to Kamani de Silva who looks after this museum and Jacky van Oostveen in the Netherlands (00310630266520 / info@kunstkoffer.nl) for their work in keeping the story of the 2004 Tsunami alive

5  Thank Peter O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 - 105 of 140 reviews

Reviewed January 22, 2013

The lady who runs this small museum used to live in this house before the tsunami. Fortunately she and her family survived. Within the house there are pictures and stories from so many - and from the families of many who did not survive.

The wrecked houses and overgrown damage certainly remind you of this horrific day - but this museum helps humanize the circumstances that frame the very existence of the communities all along the Sri Lankan coast who lost so many.

Thank Gareth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2012

Certainly this Photo Museum is worth visiting than all those places waiting to punch holes in our pocket. No entrance fee. But I think whoever visits certainly will DONATE. A great place to reminisce 2004 Tsunami. Thanks to the volunteers and people who have set up this Photo Museum. Great effort and hope through this review visitors would spare some time at this museum.

2  Thank truvoice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2011

This small museum off the main road on the main Galle to Bentota Road and not far from the Tsunami memorial is a must visit. It is only small and the pictures are ragged, but who stops to take pictures with tsunami coming at you? Mrs Di Silva hersef a victim uses her old house for the museum. She survived by running 2 kms inland. Nearby is the site where a train with 1000 people on board were swept away, the engine ended up 5kms inland. Make sure you go to the room at the back which has pictures drawn by the children as their pictorial record of a day which changed their lives.

5  Thank EleHunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
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Thank Ilse B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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