The northernmost of the three beach resorts is Beruwala. The majority of the population is Muslim. They settled on this place around 920 AD as Arab traders. The name ‘Beruwala’ is derived from ‘be’, meaning ‘lower’ and ‘rewala’, meaning ‘the sails’. That’s why the two oldest mosques of Sri Lanka, as well as the oldest Muslim girls’ college, can be found in Beruwala, as well as the Maradana Abrar and the Kechimalai Mosques. The Arabs came alone to Sri Lanka and by marrying Singhalese girls set up a new Muslim community. Since the 1970s gem business has become an important trade in Beruwala. Twice a week there is a lively gem street market in China Fort (see seperate article) and Beruwala counts a large number of big gem traders and a lot of prestigious villas.
The pristine ‘Golden Mile’ of Beruwala
The beach of Beruwala is the biggest attraction and is situated in the southern part of the town, called Moraggala, somewhat away from the busy main road.The Beruwala beach merges with the beach of Aluthgama. It is the postcard pictured beach which you expect from a tropical paradise. A beautiful golden beach, decorated with overhanging coconut trees and other shadow providing tropical vegetation with a number of top class resort hotels for some delicious local and international food menus to complete your dream holiday. However there are also many more affordable accommodations available from guesthouses to bed and breakfast places at family homes. The bay of Beruwala is sheltered by some islands offshore, protecting the sea from dangerous under-currents and high waves; it makes this beach a year-round destination. However, always check the safety of swimming in the sea with the reception of your hotel or the local lifeguard. Tourists have a wide range of interesting watersports facilities, such as surfing, diving, wreck diving and deep sea fishing, at their disposal and when it is not sufficient, Bentota is the biggest watersports center in the region.