Western Province, Sri Lanka: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
The Western Province is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, the first level administrative division of the country. The province is the most densely populated province in the country and is home to the legislative capital Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte as well to Colombo, the nation’s administrative and business center. This province is located in the south west of Sri Lanka and it is surrounded by the Laccadive Sea to the west, North Western Province to the north, Sabaragamuwa Province to the east and the Southern Province to the south. The major cities of the province are Colombo, Beruwala, Kalutara and Negombo. Firstly, Colombo is Sri Lanka’s capital is both commercial and financial hub of the country. It is a huge, sprawling city which can be visited any time of the year due to its tropical climate. If you are planning to visit the city, expect heat and traffic. These two combined can sometimes be a hassle for an average traveller. Colombo is rich in colonial heritage. Colombo's Western coast is a fusion of races, religions and cultures. It also displays the best the country has to offer. Secondly, Beruwala was the first Muslim settlement on the island which was established by Arab traders around the 8th century AD. Kachimalai also known as Masjid-ul-Abrar, a landmark of Beruwala and Sri Lanka’s oldest mosque is located on a rock peninsula overlooking the town. Beruwala is also a very famous holiday spot with its seaside resorts and attractive beaches. The town is also famous for Ayurvedic treatments as almost all hotels provide special herbal massages and steam baths. Thirdly, Kalutara is known for its beaches and historical and cultural importance. The city was once one of Sri Lanka’s main export harbours for spices with Arab traders visiting regularly from across the Arabian Sea in ancient times. The city’s location is highly convenient that it is close to the commercial capital Colombo and it is the gateway to the gem mining city of Ratnapura and the Sinharaja Rain Forest. Many travellers come there every year for its beautiful beach resort. Lastly, Negombo is known for its fishing industry and sandy beaches. It used to be a trading port for Portuguese and Dutch with the same name. In the past, the city has been ruled by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. That is the reason that the architecture of the city is very diverse. There are remnants of the colonial period like canals constructed by the Dutch and churches built by the Portuguese. The city holds many attractions and it is famous among tourists for its beautiful beach resorts. The sandy beaches of Negombo are safe for swimming and different water sport activities. There is also a 100 km long canal network in Negombo that is also used by locals for transportation by using canoes.