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“Interesting”

Ariyapala Mask Museum
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US$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
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
64 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Interesting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

Very small museum with really beautiful traditional masks. We enjoyed the brief tour. The shop selling masks above is great and we found the prices very reasonable.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank DianeDowntown
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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Colombo, Sri Lanka
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Traditional Sri Lankan wooden masks & crafts”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2014

On your way to Galle, you may make a quick stop at Ambalangoda, visiting the Ariyapala Mask Museum. Within half an hour you can finish your visit. The premises have a museum with a nice collection of masks, a shop and a workshop. You will be able to see the workshop with a few artisans making masks by step by step. 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.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank B_H_Thiranka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mangalore, India
Level Contributor
557 reviews
326 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
“Interesting experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 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
Helpful?
1 Thank mgprabhu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Forest Row, UK
Level Contributor
151 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Interesting and informative workshop with small 'museum'”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 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
Helpful?
2 Thank TiggerInIndia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nyc
Level Contributor
65 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Boy are there a lot of masks!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 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
Helpful?
1 Thank melsays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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