History of Beruwala


Beruwala, on Sri Lankas West Coast had the first Muslim community in Sri Lanka, recorded in 1024 AD.

Beruwala, is a town in Kalutara District,Western Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council.

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 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”.
Msjid-ul-Abrar, a landmark of Beruwala and Sri Lanka’s oldest mosque, was built by Arab traders on a rocky peninsula overlooking the town.
Beruwala is the starting point of the 130 km long stretch of beach. In the past few years great strides have been made in the field of resort development in this area. The bay around remains ideal for bathing almost for the whole year.

Sinhalese, Christians and the Muslims live in perfect harmony in Beruwela and its surrounding areas.

Mosques, Temples and Churches are built close to each other showing perfect harmony in this multi ethnic village.

In the 7th Century, Arab and Indian traders landed in the Coast of Beruwela and married the Sinhalese and settled down here. Even today the Muslims here are traders. During the 1970s Gem Boom, the Muslims of “China Fort”, a small hamlet in the interior, were quick to take advantage, as they traveled to “Ratnapura” (The City of Gems) and bought their gems and sold them in the local market to Sri Lankan and foreign gem traders.

Even today, the predominant economic activity of China–Fort and the surrounding areas of Beruwela is the trade of gems followed by fishing. One could visit this famous market in China Fort and buy these Precious stones that are cut and polished from the rough originals, which can be an excellent investment opportunity.

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