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BEACHES

UNAWATUNA

Unawatuna is a coastal town in Galle district of Sri Lanka. Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and famous for its beautiful beach and corals. It is a suburb of Galle, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southeast to the city center and approximately 108 kilometres (67 mi) south of Colombo. Unawatuna is situated at an elevation of 5 metres (16 ft) above the sea level.

WELIGAMA BAY

The main industries are tourism and fishing. Weligama is a popular tourist destination and hosts several boutique hotels including an off shore islet known as Taprobane, which houses a villa constructed by the French Count de Mauny, and is currently owned by Geoffrey Dobbs. It was the birthplace of the scholar monk Weligama Sri Sumangala.

Weligama was significantly affected by the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, with 15% of the area destroyed, with over 2,200 houses damaged or washed away, and 469 reported deaths.

There are a number of sites of historical importance within Weligama and its vicinity, including a 3 metres (9.8 ft) high bas-relief statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, carved into the surrounding rock, between the 6th-9th century AD. It is known locally as Kusta Raja Gala or Rock of the Leper King and is thought to represent a king smitten with a skin disease (prossibly leprosy "kusta"), who was prompted in a vision to take coconut pulp and water for three months as a cure. When he fulfilled the vision his health was restored, he then commissioned his figure to be carved on the rock commemorating this miraculous cure. This sculpture is believed to be all that is left of the old Agrabodhi Vihara that was located there.

Weligama is recognised for its beeralu lace-making. First introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century lace-making has remained a traditional handicraft along the coastal area of Weligama, with a number of households producing crochet and tatting lace.

The area is also famous for its distinct stilt fishermen,who erect a single pole in the chest-deep water on the beach, just few meters off-shore, where they perch on a cross bar and using bamboo fishing rods cast their lines out beyond the surf break to catch small fish.

PASIKUDA

Pasikudah or Pasikuda is a coastal resort town located 35 kilometers northwest of Batticaloa, Batticaloa District, Sri Lanka. Historically a small Tamil hamlet alongside nearby Kalkudah, it used to be a popular tourist destination, however suffered huge devastation following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the Sri Lankan Civil War.

Foreign travel to Pasikudah has recently increased due to growth in investment and development. It is home to the Pasikudah Mariamman temple. Pasikudah is easily accessible from the cities of Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

The nearest airport to Pasikudah is Batticaloa Airport, which has scheduled flights operating from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport.

ARUGAMBAY

Arugam Bay, known locally as "Arugam Kudah", is a bay situated on the Indian Ocean in the dry zone of Sri Lanka's southeast coast, and a historic settlement of the ancient Batticaloa Territory (Mattakallappu Desam). The bay is located 117 kilometres (73 mi) south of Batticaloa, 320 kilometres (200 mi) due east of Colombo, and approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of the market town of Pottuvil. The main settlement in the area, known locally as Ullae, is predominantly Muslim,however there is a significant Sri Lankan Tamil and Sinhala population to the south of the village, as well as a number of international migrants, largely from Europe and Australia. While traditionally fishing has dominated the local economy, tourism has grown rapidly in the area in recent years. Arugam Kudah's literal Tamil translation is "Bay of Cynodon dactylon". Tourism in Arugam Bay is dominated by surf tourism, thanks to several quality breaks in the area, however tourists are also attracted by the local beaches, lagoons, historic temples and the nearby Kumana National Park.

NEGOMBO BEACH

Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the west coast and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, in Western Province.

Negombo is one of the major commercial hubs in the country and the administrative centre of Negombo Division. Negombo has about 144,136 population within its divisional secretariat division.

Negombo is known for its long sandy beaches and centuries old fishing industry. Negombo has a large bilingual population of Roman Catholics, known as Negombo Tamils who have their own Tamil dialect but mostly identify themselves as Sinhalese.

HIKKADUWA BEACH

Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka located in the Southern Province, about 17 km (11 mi) north-west of Galle and 98 km (61 mi) south of Colombo.

NILAVELI BEACH

Nilaveli is a coastal resort town and suburb of the Trincomalee District, Sri Lanka located 16 km northwest of the city of Trincomalee. A historically popular Tamil village and tourist destination of the district alongside the nearby Uppuveli, the numbers of visitors declined following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Sri Lankan Civil War, but have risen again since 2010. Pigeon Island National Park, one of the two marine national parks of the region is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, its many species of vegetation, coral and reef fish contributing to Nilaveli's rich biodiversity.