Overview

For the biggest Buddhist procession you go to the Kandy Esala Perahera; for the biggest beach party you go to Hikkaduwa; for the most spectacular Poson Poya celebration you climb the rock in Mihintale; but for the biggest Eidul-Fitr, the sugar festival, marking the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramazan, you go to the Kechimalai Mosque in Beruwala. Locals, pilgrims and tourists alike are pulled to this very unique and antique mosque annually, situated on a rocky headland symbolizing the place where in 920 AD the first Arab traders lowered their sails, stranded on the shore and decided to settle in Sri Lanka. They built their first mosques, the Maradana Abrar and the Kechimalai, in Beruwala in 1221 AD. The sarcophagi of the founder of this mosque can be seen inside.

There is no other mosque in the area that is so special and such a clear landmark of Beruwela than Kechimalai, built on a rock formation in the sea. Its total white appearance makes it the perfect setting to watch a spectacular sunset. The building is assumed to have been built about 800 years ago by the first Arab settlers from Yemen. At first glance one could classify the structure as a typical baroque style building, a very elegant mosque, exposing its beauty to approaching vessels from the sea and to the vehicles on the land. From far away you can see this beauty in the distance, situated immediately on the west side of the fishing harbour. You cannot pass Beruwala without having paid a visit to this important historic landmark.

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