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“Worth a short stop only”

Ariyapala Mask Museum
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$278.00*
and up
2-Day Galle Tour from Colombo by Train
Ranked #3 of 18 things to do in Ambalangoda
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 12, 2013

The mask museum is touted as Sri Lanka's original/oldest by most people. It's located on the Galle Road and is a fairly small joint. A garage type workshop where one can do a very quick walk through seeing the artisans at work is the primary feature. The museum is a very small gallery depicting the culture and details on masks (nothing much to write home about). The staff make a very hesitant request for donations (albeit the large signboard that clearly specifies that the museum has been sponsored by a german agency). They are not pushy though. There is no entry fee (some places in Sri Lanka can hit you with a very high fee is you dont ask upfront).

1  Thank Amalans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"balsa wood"
in 5 reviews
"interesting history"
in 3 reviews
"sri lanka"
in 11 reviews
"en route"
in 2 reviews
"shop upstairs"
in 2 reviews
"worth making"
in 2 reviews
"for sale"
in 2 reviews
"other places"
in 2 reviews
"mask"
in 15 reviews
"workshop"
in 16 reviews
"quality"
in 10 reviews
"culture"
in 6 reviews
"explanation"
in 4 reviews
"factory"
in 5 reviews
"god"
in 2 reviews
"gifts"
in 2 reviews
"heritage"
in 2 reviews
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58 - 62 of 101 reviews

Reviewed September 26, 2013 via mobile

We bought a lot of boxes and a wooden mask that makes our day now in the house :) The place has also a museum and the lady there is very helpful in offering details and explaining all about masks. They have a lovely shop, very well provided and on its right side you can see the real-time work of children and people overthere. A lot of work though...

1  Thank Achibitsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

Our guide appeared rather bored by the whole thing but there were some interesting masks and the shop was good with no pushy sales pitch.

2  Thank Anne A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

3  Thank mamayer102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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!

4  Thank LuizDutraNeto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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