Stilt fishermen, lace- making, hidden history and the sandy beach are all part of this coastal town. Located in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, Weligama is 30 km off Galle and has been gently touched by the tourism industry. The essence of a coastal life pervades every inch of this glorious terrain. Also finding an ideal spot in the area, Sri Sharavi Beach Villas provides the best accommodation among many Mirissa hotels. The villas give an edgy feel to the coastal town by also enabling many recreation opportunities. The town will be etched in your memory as these activities would range from whale and dolphin watching to deep sea fishing expeditions. But it is the town that holds more fascinating treasures.Rediscover them!
Hidden in the shadows is a history unknown to most. A 9.8ft high bas relief statue of Bodhi sattra Ara or ‘The Rock of the Leper King’ is a forgotten gem. It is said a king who reigned in the area wanted the statue carved as a gesture of gratitude to the gods. The king is supposed to have been cured of leprosy by drinking coconut water for a long period. Who was this king? Were there more kings in the area? The sight of the statue will give rise to many questions.
Cycle around the town and watch the town come alive. Sitting in a meditative posture are the stilt fishermen who glisten in the noonday sun. As perspiration streams down your face, you would wonder how these fishermen harden themselves to such harsh conditions.
The beeralu or lace-making industry which was first introduced to the island by the Portuguese colonizers has also survived through the years. Today, such expertise is embraced by clothes- makers around the world. You could watch nimble fingers at work.
Surfing and creating adventures among the waves are the most popular activities for those who visit Weligama. However it the towns people, their livelihoods and history that are most appealing to travellers who crave a different kind of experience.
Shehera Fioni is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Catalina Forbes. Her content is based on many thrilling escapades offered to travellers across the world.