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“Intersting Stop in Sri Lanka”

Ariyapala Mask Museum
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$319.00*
and up
2-Day Galle Tour from Colombo by Train
Ranked #2 of 13 things to do in Ambalangoda
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Intersting Stop in Sri Lanka”
Reviewed August 2, 2013

As we headed out of Colombo south along the coastline to the Galle Fort, we stopped at the Ariyapala Mask Museum. As you enter the shop, a docent will take you on a very quick tour of the museum's collection of antique masks, explaining what they represent, and then, as always in Sri Lanka, you're asked for a donation. Next is the gift shop, which was filled with all sorts of masks and baskets and trinkets. I just loved this gift shop and found the prices were ok -- no bargaining though!! I am pleased with my purchase of a colorful peacock God mask (the God of good humor, good look and harmony ... good choice!) and two beautiful masks of a Sri Lankan antique king and queen made from balsa wood. In Sri Lanka you're are constantly bombarded with hard core sales people, many seemingly untrustworthy, but this gift shop was not bad and I enjoyed my visit.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank mamayer102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 reviews from our community

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Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level Contributor
1,054 reviews
608 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 725 helpful votes
“Wood masks in the Sri Lankan tradition”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

On your way to Galle, you may make a quick stop at Ambalangoda, visiting the Ariyapala Mask Museum. Well, calling it a museum may be too much ... There, you will be able to see the woodshop with a few artisans working on future masks; the so called Museum itself, with a nice collection of masks, all related to Srin Lankan folklore; and, of course, the Museum Shop. Avoid it! Prices are extremely high and you may be tempted to buy a mask that will be a burden to carry during the rest of your vacations. The entrance is free but you won't escape of being asked to make a small contribution to the Museum maintenance. Enjoy!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank LuizDutraNeto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Faces, faces everywhere”
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Liked: makes possible a successful bank heist.

Disliked: The thoughts of conducting a bank heist :)
Use of masks is ingrained in local culture. One is exposed to the real as well as surreal when browsing the factory.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Basil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“These are the real masks”
Reviewed March 10, 2013

It was interesting to find the history of the masks and to see real artisans making them. These are the real mckoy, not the flat, factory made ones you see all over Sri Lanka

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Pete M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
372 reviews
194 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
“Mask Mania”
Reviewed March 3, 2013

This was not on our itinerary but our guide offered to stop for us to have a look and I am so glad she did. The museum is free and the lady in charge will provide you with information on the history of each exhibition in English. It was very interesting to learn about the masks and the history and cultural significance attached to different ones in the collection. i particularly liked the ones associated with medicine and "cures" for certain diseases!!

There is a shop attached to the museum but this is a very expensive place to purchase masks so I would advise giving this a miss. There are plenty of places throughout Sri Lanka where you can buy the same masks for about half the cost.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank KatielouAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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