Beruwala, located 60 km South of Colombo
the main west coast road (Galle road), together with
Bentota Bay Beach Resort
further south is the
gateway to some pretty, secluded beaches extending all the way to
Hikkaduwa Bay Beach
. The twin resorts have
been developed into Sri Lanka's chief package-tour resort zone. It has a
long string of mid range & top-end hotels along its fine beach, where
locals address foreigners initially in German. Moragalla beach located
slightly north of Beruwale has been practically merged with Beruwala in
terms of holidaying.
The name Beruwala is derived from the Sinhalese words Ba Ruvala (lower
the sail). Beruwala has a large population of Muslims. Beruwala is the
oldest recorded Moorish settlement in Sri Lanka.
The oldest recorded Moorish settlement in Buddhist Island of Lanka,
Beruwala is home to the oldest mosque in the island. Just north of the
Hotel colony, the Kechimalai Mosque is built on the spot where the first
Muslim traders from the Middle East landed & settled in 1024 AD. The
mosque with its white minarets, out on a rocky headland on the northern
edge is the town's most significant landmark. This is an exquisite
location from which to watch the sunset, with views over the bay & light
house. The mosque is the focus for a major Id-ul-Fitr festival at the
end of Ramadan which draws around 50,000 pilgrims from all over the
East of the mosque, Beruwala harbour is an interesting place to watch
the fishermen unload their catch. The harbour has over 600 boats; many
of them are quite sizeable since the fishermen spend up to two months at
sea. The fish market is busy each morning. The business begins at the
crack of the dawn with sharks, tunas changing hands at a brisk pace. You
may well see fresh shark or tuna change hands even before sun is up.
We can hire a boat to the lighthouse raised on a small island off shore
which offers an excellent view of the coastline.
By boat to Bentota
We can accept the offers of fishermen to ferry us, the holidaymakers
across the narrow estuary to Bentota, the next resort.