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Coordinates: 6°35′13″N79°57′37″E / 6.58694°N 79.96028°E / 6.58694; 79.96028 Coordinates: 6°35′13″N79°57′37″E / 6.58694°N 79.96028°E / 6.58694; 79.96028
Province Western Province
District Kalutara District
Divisional Secretariat Kalutara Division
  Type Kalutara Urban Council
  ChairmanM. Ameer Nazeer
37,081 (Urban Council Area)
159,697 (Kalutara Division Area)
Time zone UTC+5:30 (Sri Lanka Standard Time)

Kalutara (Sinhala : කළුතර, Tamil : களுத்துறை) or Kalutota is a major city in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is also the administrative capital of Kalutara District. It is located approximately 43 km (27 mi) south of the capital Colombo.The city holds a unique position for one of the four major rivers in Sri Lanka (Kalu River) which joins the sea at the center of the city. Kaluthara is known for making rope, baskets, and other articles from the fibre of the coconut palm. [1] The area also produces the Mangosteens, a fruit introduced from Malaysia in the 19th century. [2]



Caltura Fort (1799), by James Welsh. 0032 Caltura (1796).jpg
Caltura Fort (1799), by James Welsh.

Once an important spice-trading center, the town's name is derived from the Kalu Ganga River ('Black River' in native Sinhala). In the 11th Century, the town was temporarily made a capital on the orders of a South Indian Prince. The region was later planted with coconut trees, whose by-products are used for both internal and external trade. The location also boast fortifications (Kalutara fort) dating back from the times when Portuguese, Dutch and British vied for control of the area.

The 38 m (125 ft) long Kalutara Bridge was built at the mouth of the Kalu Ganga River and serves as a major link between the country's western and southern border.


Kalutara is governed by an Urban Council with a chairman. The council has 20 (since 2018) members, elected by the local government election. The local board of Kalutara was established in 1878. Then in 1923, the local board was succeeded by the Urban District Council.


Kalutara is Sinhalese majority city. Muslims are second largest group in the city. There are also small numbers of Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils. Others include Malay and Burger.

Ethnicity according to Kalutara urban area (2001)

Ethnicity in Kalutara Urban Area
Sri Lankan Tamils
Indian Tamils

Source: statistics.gov.lk



Kalutara has three national schools, eleven provincial schools, two semi-government schools and three international schools. It also has a branch of Open University of Sri Lanka and the JMC International College. A number of the schools and colleges are listed below:

Kalutara Public library is located near the High Court and one of the largest libraries of Sri Lanka.[ citation needed ]



Kalutara has two railway stations, Kalutara North and Kalutara South. Kalutara South is closest to the heart of the Kalutara town. Kalutara south railway station is a major railway hub on the Coastal or Southern Rail Line (connecting Colombo through to Matara).


Kalutara is located on the A2 highway connecting Colombo, via Galle through to Wellawaya via Matara. As a result a large number of bus services pass through the town. It is the main point for bus routes in Kalutara district.[ citation needed ]

See also

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  1. "Kalutara | Geography & History". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  2. Gunawardana, C. A. (2003). Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. New Delhi: Sterlin Publishers Privet Limited. p. 165. ISBN   81-207-2536-0.
  3. "Discovering the Kalutara Bodhiya – A Sacred Tree Rooted in History"