|• Chairman||Rehaan DW Jayawickreme|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+6 (Summer time)|
Weligama (Sinhala : වැලිගම, Tamil : வெலிகாமம்) is a town on the south coast of Sri Lanka, located in Matara District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. The name Weligama, literally means "sandy village" which refers to the area's sandy sweep bay. It is approximately 144 kilometres (89 mi) south of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 9 metres (30 ft) above the sea level.
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 Avalokiteśvara, 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.
Weligama is located on the Coastal or Southern Rail Line (connecting Colombo through to Matara), and the A2 highway, connecting Colombo to Weligama.
The Weligama Urban Council area is Sinhalese Majority with a large Sri Lankan Muslim population, and a small number of Sri Lankan Tamils. Others including Indian Tamils, Burgher, Malay.
Transport in Sri Lanka is based on its road network, which is centred on the country's commercial capital Colombo. A rail network handles a portion of Sri Lanka's transport needs. There are navigable waterways, harbours and three international airports: in Katunayake, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Colombo, in Hambantota, and in Jaffna.
Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip, 119 kilometres (74 mi) from Colombo. Galle is the provincial capital and largest city of Southern Province, Sri Lanka and is the capital of Galle District.
The Southern Province of Sri Lanka 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. It is the 7th largest province by area and is home to 2.5 million people, the 3rd most populated province. The province is bordered by Sabaragamuwa Province and Uva Province to the North, Eastern Province to the Northeast, Western Province to the Northwest and the Indian Ocean to the South, West and East. The Province's capital is Galle.
Hambantota is the main town in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka. This underdeveloped area was hit hard by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and is undergoing a number of major development projects including the construction of a new sea port and international airport finished in 2013. These projects and others such as Hambantota Cricket Stadium are said to form part of the government's plan to transform Hambantota into the second major urban hub of Sri Lanka, away from Colombo.
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.
Arugam Bay, known locally as "Arugam Kudah", is situated on the Indian Ocean in the dry zone of Sri Lanka's southeast coast, and a historic settlement of the ancient Batticaloa Territory. 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 expatriates, 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.
Matara is a major city in Sri Lanka, on the southern coast of Southern Province. It is the second largest city in Southern Province. It is 160 km (99 mi) from Colombo. It is a major commercial hub, and it is the administrative capital and largest city of Matara District.
Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the west coast and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, in Western Province, 38 km from Colombo via Colombo - Katunayake Expressway.
Swarnawahini is a Sinhala language general entertainment and news television channel in Sri Lanka owned by EAP Broadcasting Company, a subsidiary of EAP Holdings. Launched in 1994 as ETV, it was one of Sri Lanka's first privately owned television channels. Its sister channel ETV 2 was launched in 1995 when ETV was re-branded ETV 1. The channel's owner Extra Terrestrial Vision (Private) Limited, who had been incorporated on 6 July 1992, changed its name to EAP Network (Private) Limited on 30 April 1996 following the acquisition by EAP. At that time ETV 1 was re-broadcasting BBC. ETV 1 was re-launched as Swarnavahini, a mass market Sinhala language channel, on 16 March 1997. EAP Network (Private) Limited changed its name to EAP Broadcasting Company (Private) Limited on 16 May 2012, EAP Network (Private) Limited on 31 October 2012, EAP Network Limited on 28 August 2013 and EAP Broadcasting Company Limited on 11 September 2013.
Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 kilometres (92 mi) east of Colombo, 72 kilometres (45 mi) north of Kandy and 43 km (27 mi) north of Matale
The Sri Lanka Railway Department is Sri Lanka's railway owner and primary operator. As part of the Sri Lankan government, it is overseen by the Ministry of Transport. Founded in 1858 as the Ceylon Government Railway, it operates the nation's railways and links Colombo with other population centres and tourist destinations.
Taprobane Island, originally called "Galduwa", is a private island with one villa, located just off the southern coast of Sri Lanka opposite the village of Weligama. The island was renamed after the old Greek word for Sri Lanka, by its most famous owner, Maurice Talvande, who sighted it around 1925 after a long search for an earthly paradise. He built its villa and replanted the island to create a private Eden. The islet passed on to the American author and composer Paul Bowles and then the Sri Lankan born former United Nations Chief Prosecutor Sir Desmond Lorenz de Silva before it came to the ownership of the Australian businessman Geoffrey Dobbs.
Tangalle is a large town in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. It is one of the largest towns in southern province. It is located 195 km (121 mi) south of Colombo and 35 km (22 mi) east of Matara. It has a mild climate, in comparison to the rest of the district, and sandy beaches.
Gandara is a village in the Matara District on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, 168 kilometres (104 mi) from Colombo. It is an important village in Matara. It was slightly affected by the Asian tsunami in December 2004.
The coastal line is a major railway line in Sri Lanka, running between Colombo Fort and Beliatta, via Galle and Matara. Operated by Sri Lanka Railways, the line includes some of the busiest rail services in the country. The line has been extended to Beliatta on 8 April 2019 and is proposed to be extended to Kataragama, via Hambantota. With a designed maximum speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) between Kalutara and Matara, and a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) between Matara and Beliatta, the line is one of the fastest in Sri Lanka.
The Methodist Church of Sri Lanka and in is a Protestant Christian denomination in Sri Lanka. Its headquarters is in Colombo and was established on 29 June 1814. It is a member of the World Council of Churches, the Christian Conference of Asia, the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka and the World Methodist Council.
Mirissa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka, located in the Matara District of the Southern Province. It is approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 4 metres (13 ft) above sea level. Mirissa's beach and nightlife make it a popular tourist destination. It is also a fishing port and one of the island's main whale and dolphin watching locations.
Koggala is a small coastal town, situated at the edge of a lagoon on the south coast of Sri Lanka, located in Galle District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. Koggala is bounded on one side by a reef, and on the other by a large lake, Koggala Lake, into which the numerous tributaries of the Koggala Oya drain. It is approximately 139 kilometres (86 mi) south of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 3 metres (9.8 ft) above the sea level.
The coastline of Tamil Nadu is located on the southeast coast of Indian Peninsula, and forms a part of Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. It is 1076km long and is the second-longest coastline in the country after Gujarat. Chennai, the capital of the state and an important commercial and industrial center in the country is located in the northern part of the coast with Kanniyakumari, forming the southern tip where Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea meet. It also shares maritime border with Sri Lanka across the Palk strait in Gulf of Mannar. The coastal corridor consists of 13 districts with 15 major ports and harbors, sandy beaches, lakes and river estuaries. Tamil Nadu is the only state in India with territory on the both the eastern and western coastlines.
Maurice Talvande, Count de Mauny Talvande, (1866–1941) was a French-born naturalised British landscaper, furniture-maker, and self-inventor, who is best known as the owner and recreator of Taprobane Island, in Sri Lanka.
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