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Ketchimalai Mosque- Beruwala, Sri Lanka.jpg

Kechchimalai Mosque, Beruwala (one of the oldest mosques in Sri Lanka)
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Location in Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 6°28′N79°59′E / 6.467°N 79.983°E / 6.467; 79.983 Coordinates: 6°28′N79°59′E / 6.467°N 79.983°E / 6.467; 79.983
Country Sri Lanka
Province Western Province
District Kalutara District
  Type Urban Council
  Chairman Masahim Mohamed
Population (2012)
  Total 34,256
Time zone Sri Lanka Time (UTC+5:30)
Area code(s) 034

Beruwala (Sinhala:බේරුවල Tamil: பேருவளை ) is a town in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. Beruwala with a total area of approximately 15 square kilometres and is located on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka, 60 km (37 mi) south of Colombo. [1]

Tamil language language

Tamil is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka, and by the Tamil diaspora, Sri Lankan Moors, Douglas, and Chindians. Tamil is an official language of two countries: Sri Lanka and Singapore and official language of the Indian state Tamil Nadu. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. It is used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay and Mandarin. Tamil is spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.

Kalutara District Administrative District in Western, Sri Lanka

Kalutara District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the town of Kalutara.

Western Province, Sri Lanka Province in Sri Lanka

The Western Province is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, the first level administrative division of the country. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but did not have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. 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.



The name Beruwala is derived from the Sinhalese word for the place where the sail is lowered. It marks the spot for the first Muslim settlement on the island, established by the Somali Sheikh Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn, who converted the people into Islam. The town was originally named Berbereen in honour and respect of the Somali Shaikh. [2] The Chinese also traded here and Beruwala was known to them as Piehlo-li. [3]

Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn, popularly known as Aw Barkhadle, Yusuf Al Kownayn, Yusuf Al Bagdhadi, and Shaykh Abu Barakat al Barbari, was a Muslim scholar and traveler. Based on reference to Yusuf Al Kawneyn in the Harar manuscripts, Dr. Enrico Cerulli has suggested that Al-Kawneyn was the founder and ancestor of the Walashma dynasty that governed both Sultanate of Ifat and Adal Sultanate during the middle ages. Another genealogical tradition according to C.J Cruttenden is that Aw Barkhadle was a descendant of Ismail Sheikh Isaaq ibn Ahmed. However, many accounts indicate Shaykh Yusuf al Kownayn and Shaykh Isaaq were known to be contemporaries and in contact at the same time.


Beruwala has the first recorded Muslim settlement in Sri Lanka, with records establishing the settlement by Arab traders around the 8th century AD.

A large population of Sri Lankan Moors, many of them are gem merchants, still live in the town, particularly in the China Fort and Maradana areas.


Sri Lankan Moors ethnic group

Sri Lankan Moors are an ethnic minority group in Sri Lanka, comprising 9.3% of the country's total population. They are mainly native speakers of the Tamil language with influence of Sinhalese and Arabic words. They are predominantly followers of Islam.



The Beruwala railway station, is located on the Coastal Line, connecting Colombo to Matara.

Fort railway station

Fort railway station is a major rail hub in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The station is served by Sri Lanka Railways, with many inter-city and commuter trains entering each day. Fort Station is the main rail gateway to central Colombo; it is the terminus of most intercity trains in the country.

Matara railway station

Matara railway station is a station in Matara, Sri Lanka. It is owned and operated by Sri Lanka Railways. Matara railway station opened on 17 December 1895 as the terminus of the Coastal Line.


Beruwala is served by the A2 highway, which runs past the town.

A2 highway (Sri Lanka) road in Sri Lanka

The A 2 is an A-Grade road in Sri Lanka. It connects Colombo and Wellawaya via Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Hambantota.


Beruwala is home to Al-Fasiyatul Nasriya Muslim Balika Navodaya School Maradana, which is the first and oldest Islamic girls school in Sri Lanka.[ citation needed ] It was damaged by the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami megathrust underwater earthquake and subsequent tsunami out at the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on 26 December, with an epicentre off the west coast of northern Sumatra. It was an undersea megathrust earthquake that registered a magnitude of 9.1–9.3 Mw, reaching a Mercalli intensity up to IX in certain areas. The earthquake was caused by a rupture along the fault between the Burma Plate and the Indian Plate.

Government schools

International schools

University and colleges

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Beruwala is twinned with:

See also

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  1. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2007). Managing tourism & biodiversity: user's manual on the CBD guidelines on biodiversity and tourism development. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. p. 63.
  2. Jaleel, Talib (8 July 2015). Notes On Entering Deen Completely: Islam as its followers know it. EDC Foundation. p. 1106.
  3. "Journal of the Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society". 30-32. Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 1985: 78.
  4. "Reading - Town Twinning". Reading Borough Council. Archived from the original on 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2013-07-14.