56 km. south of Colombo , Beruwela marks the beginning of a 130 km. stretch of beach where resort development has taken immense strides in the past few years.
Anyone who prefers to stay near the coast, on the other hand, will have to put up with the potholes when traveling west. The unexpectedly broad curve of the bay ends with a small raised spit of land: the sea swirls powerfully against the rocky projection from the west, but the attractively decorated, snow-white “Kechchimalai Mosque” stands firm on the hill (malai), defying the strong winds. Though it does not date back to the first Moors (the Islamic section of the population) in Sri Lanka , it is one of the island’s oldest mosques. It is a reminder of the fact that this sheltered bay was the first place that Arabs landed on the island, probably some time in the eighth century, after which they settled down and stayed. Many of their fellow-Muslims were to follow them. Beruwala population is still predominantly Moorish, mainly employed either in fishing or the gem trade.
A long stone wall east of the mosque provides a secure anchorage for hundreds of colorful fishing boats. The larger boats are suitable for deep-sea fishing and go out on tours of about one week, generally with a four-man crew, to fish the grounds of the Maldive Islands some 400 nautical miles – 740 kilometers – away. The smaller boats, dugout canoes equipped with outriggers, tend to fish at night close to the coast. The fish are auctioned off every morning on the beach opposite the Rest House. Traveling hawkers come on bikes, get some crushed ice from one of the ice factory’s waiting trucks, pack their fish into a wooden crate, and fasten it onto their carriers.
Tourist Sights/ Activity/ Excursions
|Additional Expenses for Guest||Approximate timing|
|Entrance Ticket||Photo Permit||Jeep/Boat/ TukTuk/ Elephant etc.|
|Yala National Park wild live Jeep Safari||NO||YES||NO||NO||About 5 hours by Jeep|
|Bundala National Park wild live Jeep Safari||NO||YES||NO||NO||About 4 hours by Jeep|
|Visit Kataragama Temple||YES||NO||NO||NO||About 1 hour|
|Weligama Stick Fishermen||YES||NO||YES||NO||About ½ about|
|Whale watching||NO||NO||NO||YES||About 5 hours by Boat|
|Visit Galle Dutch Fort||YES||NO||NO||NO||About ½ hour|
|Visit Masks Museum workshop in Ambalangoda||YES||NO||NO||NO||About ½ about|
|Visit Metiyagoda Moonstone Mine||YES||NO||NO||NO||About ½ about|
|Hikkaduwa Glass Bottom Boat||NO||NO||NO||YES||About ½ about|
|Maduganga wetland Boat Safari||NO||NO||NO||YES||About ½ hour|
|Visit Kosgoda Turtle Farms||NO||YES||NO||YES||About ½ about|
|Water Sports (Jet Ski, Banana Ride, Surfing etc.)||NO||NO||NO||YES|