Bentota is a coastal town in Sri Lanka. Situated on the southern bank of the Bentota River mouth, the name of the town is derived from a mythical story which claims a demon named 'Bem' ruled the tota or river bank. Benthota is also a historical place described in ancient messenger poems (sandeśa kāvya). The Galapatha Viharaya is one of a cluster of five ancient temples in the region.
Bentota is a tourist attraction, with a local airport (Bentota River Airport) and a handful of world-class hotels. It is a destination for watersports. The town also delivers an ancient art of healing called Ayurveda. Bentota is famous for its toddy production, an alcoholic beverage made out of coconut nectar. It also has a turtle hatchery, located on Induruwa beach.