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Chilaw

Located almost 2 hours away, North of Colombo, Chilaw offers you a perfect holiday destination with its beautiful lagoon, turquoise dazzling ocean with an abundance of marine life, mangrove-fringed lakes, golden sun kissed beaches filtered by coconut trees, luxury accommodation and significant places of worship. Chilaw’s significance does not end there as it is also the home town of two freedom fighters, Charles Corea and Victor Corea that fought for Sri Lanka’s independence during the colonial days. This has made Chilaw famous for its three Cs - Coconuts, Crabs and Coreas.

Top Reason to Visit

The coastal town’s mellow vibes, laid back lifestyle, luxury accommodation options and pristine strips of beach heads make it the ideal destination for the coastal getaway you have always been looking for.

While You're There

Forget all your troubles:

Chilaw is host to a serene stretch of beach filtered by coconut trees along with an awe inspiring lagoon. This has made it a prime location for luxury holiday resorts to set up shop and provide the perfect blend of luxury and comfort making for an unforgettable coastal getaway. Long walks along the shores of the beaches will let you admire the undisturbed rustic nature and ponder on your thoughts.

One of the best sites for bird watching:

Anawilundawa Sanctuary is one of the 6 Ramsar wetlands in Sri Lanka. The Sanctuary covers 1,397 ha lying between coastal line and the Negombo - Puttalam railway line. This wetland consists of 6 large man made tanks and 3 peripheral tanks interconnected to create a complex irrigation system. Bordering the coast, Anawilundawa is also flanked by mangroves and fresh water lakes. This results in a huge diversity of resident and migratory species of animals and birds.

Small town, big history:

Although quite small, it is packed with an interesting history. The most notable being Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to the town upon the invitation of Charles Corea and Victor Corea who were freedom fighters that campaigned hard for Sri Lankan independence. The mansion in which the ‘Father of India’, Mahathma Gandhi stayed in still exists today, however it is rarely opened to the public.

Religious significance:

The town is also home to many religious monuments such as the Munneswaram temple and the Chilaw cathedral. The former hosting one of the biggest Hindu festivals dedicated to Lord Shiva as it is, arguably, considered the first temple in the country devoted to the deity and has its origins 1500 years ago. The Chilaw cathedral too has a compelling story, as it houses a miraculous statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Insider Advice

Travel: Getting about the town is relatively easy as it is quite small. Tuk-tuks are possible for hire as well, however, just make sure they have a metre or make sure you negotiate a price before you embark on your journey.

Money: It is important to have cash in hand as many shops, apart from the supermarkets, do not accept any debit or credit card. Do carry small notes like LKR 20s, 50s and 100s for ease.

Clothing: Whatever that works for you while travelling, however, it is compulsory to be conservatively dressed when entering the places of worship.

Safety: It is a safe city, however, be mindful of your belongings in crowded places as it could get snatched unknowingly. Just carry the stuff you need most.

Meals and refreshments: ‘Crabs’, which is part of the three Cs implies the town is home to some great eateries that serve exquisite seafood at reasonable prices.

In conclusion, the town known for its three Cs - Crabs, Coconuts and Coreas, certainly lives up to its name by being one of the more unique coastal towns in the country, to witness a one of a kind experience.

Title image by: Kithuni Katugampola
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