Hambantota

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Hambantota
හම්බන්තොට / அம்பாந்தோட்டை
Magampura මාගම්පුර மாகம்புர
Town
Hambantota Administrative Complex
Hambantota Administrative Complex
Hambantota is located in Sri Lanka
Hambantota
Hambantota
Location in Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 06°07′28″N 81°07′21″E / 6.12444°N 81.12250°E / 6.12444; 81.12250Coordinates: 06°07′28″N 81°07′21″E / 6.12444°N 81.12250°E / 6.12444; 81.12250
Country  Sri Lanka
Province Southern Province
District Hambantota District
Elevation 3 ft (1 m)
Population (2001)
 • Total 11,213
Time zone +05:30
Area code(s) 047

Hambantota (Sinhala: හම්බන්තොට, Tamil: அம்பாந்தோட்டை) 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. 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.[1]

History[edit]

When the Kingdom of Ruhuna was established it received many travellers and traders from Siam, China and Indonesia who sought anchorage in the natural harbor at Godawaya, Ambalantota. The ships or large boats these traders travelled in were called “Sampans” and "thota" means port or anchorage so the port where sampans anchor came to be known as “Sampantota” (which is now known as Godawaya). After some time the area became to be called “Hambantota”.[2]

Ancient Hambantota[edit]

Hambantota District is part of the traditional south known as Ruhuna. In ancient times this region, especially Hambantota and the neighboring areas was the centre of a flourishing civilization. Historical evidence reveals that the region in that era was blessed with fertile fields and a stupendous irrigation network. Hambantota was known by many names ‘Mahagama’, ‘Ruhuna’ and ‘Dolos dahas rata’.

About 200 BC, the first Kingdom of Sri Lanka was flourishing in the north central region of Anuradhapura.

After a personal dispute with his brother, King Devanampiyatissa of Anuradhapura, King Mahanaga established the Kingdom of Ruhuna in the south of the island. This region played a vital role in building the nation as well as nurturing the Sri Lankan Buddhist culture. Close to Hambantota, the large temple of Tissamaharama was built to house a sacred tooth relic.[3]

Modern history[edit]

Around the years of 1801 and 1803, the British built a Martello tower on the tip of the rocky headland alongside the lighthouse overlooking the sea at Hambantota. The builder was a Captain Goper, who built the tower on the site of an earlier Dutch earthen fort. The tower was restored in 1999, and in the past, formed part of an office of the Hambantota Kachcheri where the Land Registry branch was housed. Today it houses a fisheries museum.

From 2 August to 9 September 1803, an Ensign J. Prendergast of the regiment of Ceylon native infantry was in command of the British colony at Hambantota during a Kandian attack that he was able to repel with the assistance of the snow ship Minerva.[4] Earlier, HMS  Wilhelmina had touched there and left off eight men from the Royal Artillery to reinforce him.[5] This detachment participated in Prendergast's successful defense of the colony.[6] If the tower at Hambantota was at all involved in repelling any attack this would be one of the only cases in which a British Martello tower had been involved in combat.

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake[edit]

The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated Hambantota, and reportedly killed a large proportion of the town's population.

Climate[edit]

Hambantota features a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw) under the Köppen climate classification. There is no true dry season, but there is significantly less rain from January–March and again from June–August. The heaviest rain falls in October and November. The city sees on average roughly 1,050 millimetres (41 in) of precipitation annually. Average temperatures in Hambantota change little throughout the year, ranging from 26.3 °C (79.3 °F) in January to 28.1 °C (82.6 °F) in April and May.

Climate data for Hambantota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.4
(90.3)
33.2
(91.8)
33.4
(92.1)
34.2
(93.6)
34.8
(94.6)
36.1
(97)
35.5
(95.9)
35.5
(95.9)
34.7
(94.5)
34.6
(94.3)
32.4
(90.3)
32.7
(90.9)
36.1
(97)
Average high °C (°F) 29.8
(85.6)
30.2
(86.4)
30.9
(87.6)
31.2
(88.2)
30.7
(87.3)
30.3
(86.5)
30.6
(87.1)
30.1
(86.2)
29.9
(85.8)
30.1
(86.2)
29.9
(85.8)
29.6
(85.3)
30.28
(86.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.3
(79.3)
26.6
(79.9)
27.4
(81.3)
28.1
(82.6)
28.1
(82.6)
27.7
(81.9)
27.6
(81.7)
27.4
(81.3)
27.2
(81)
27.1
(80.8)
26.8
(80.2)
26.5
(79.7)
27.23
(81.03)
Average low °C (°F) 22.8
(73)
23.0
(73.4)
23.9
(75)
25.0
(77)
25.5
(77.9)
25.1
(77.2)
24.7
(76.5)
24.6
(76.3)
24.5
(76.1)
24.2
(75.6)
23.6
(74.5)
23.3
(73.9)
24.18
(75.53)
Record low °C (°F) 19.1
(66.4)
19.2
(66.6)
20.5
(68.9)
21.6
(70.9)
21.7
(71.1)
22.1
(71.8)
22.0
(71.6)
21.8
(71.2)
21.6
(70.9)
21.9
(71.4)
20.6
(69.1)
19.1
(66.4)
19.1
(66.4)
Precipitation mm (inches) 58
(2.28)
47
(1.85)
66
(2.6)
95
(3.74)
89
(3.5)
59
(2.32)
48
(1.89)
55
(2.17)
71
(2.8)
151
(5.94)
188
(7.4)
118
(4.65)
1,045
(41.14)
Source: NOAA (1961-1990)[7]

Economy and infrastructure[edit]

A cement grinding and bagging factory is being set up, as well as fertiliser bagging plants. Large salt plains are a prominent feature of Hambantota. The town is a major producer of salt.[3]

Convention Centre[edit]

Hambantota International Convention Centre, located at Siribopura, will begin operations in early 2013.[8]

Wind farm[edit]

The Hambantota Wind Farm is the first wind farm in Sri Lanka (there are two more commercial wind farms).[9] It's a pilot project to test wind power generation in the island nation.[10] Wind energy development faces immense obstacles such as poor roads and an unstable power grid.

Port[edit]

Hambantota Port
Hambantota Port Tower

Hambantota is the selected site for a new international port, the Port of Hambantota. It is scheduled to be built in three phases, with the first phase due to be completed by the end of 2010 at a cost of $360 million.[11] As part of the port, a $550 million tax-free port zone is being started, with companies in India, China, Russia and Dubai expressing interest in setting up shipbuilding, ship-repair and warehousing facilities in the zone. It is expected to be completed by November 2010.[dated info] When all phases are fully complete, it will be able to berth 33 vessels, which would make it the biggest port in South Asia.[12]

Bunkering facility: 14 tanks (8 for oil, 3 for aviation fuel and 3 for LP gas)

Airport[edit]

Terminal building of the airport.

The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is in Mattala. It is one of two international airports in Sri Lanka, after the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

Transport[edit]

A2 highway connects Colombo with Hambantota town through Galle and Matara.

In support of the new harbour, construction work started in 2006 on the Matara-Kataragama Railway Line project, a broad gauge railway being implemented at an estimated cost of $91 million.[13] The E01 Southern expressway from Kottawa to Matara will be connected to Hambantota via Beliatta.

Sports[edit]

Hambantota International Cricket Stadium

The Hambantota Cricket Stadium, with a capacity of 35,000 seats, was built for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. The cost of this project is an estimated Rs. 900 million (US$7.86m). It's known as Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium. Sri Lanka Cricket is seeking relief from its debts incurred in building infrastructure etc. for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.[1] Hambantota had bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, however it lost to the Australian city of Gold Coast. Hambantota will host the 2017 Asian Youth Games.

Tele-cinema village[edit]

A new tele-cinema village is being constructed at Ranmihitenna. It consists of three stages and will be constructed at a cost of 2 billion rupees. The first stage, opened on 30 March 2010 at a cost of 600 million rupees consists of an administration building, accommodation hall (with facilities for 96 individuals), a large studio, 31 sets, three showrooms for costumes, two seminar halls, two libraries, kitchens, back lots, workshops and common facilities.

Twin cities[edit]

Hambantota is twinned with:

Country City State / Region Since
China China[14] National Emblem of the People's Republic of China.svg Guangzhou Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Guangdong 2007

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fernando, Andrew Fidel (April 5, 2013). "SLC expects financial assistance from government". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Hambantota". Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Hambantota District. Hambantota: Sri Lanka's Deep South
  4. ^ The Asiatic annual register, or, A View of the history of ..., Volume 8, Issue 1, p.74.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 15689. p. 405. 3 April 1804.
  6. ^ Stubbs, Francis W. (January 2010). History of the Organization, Equipment, and War Services of the Regiment of Bengal Artillery. General Books. p. 165. ISBN 1-150-23818-6. 
  7. ^ "Climate Normals for Habantota". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Samath, Feizal. "Rising like a phoenix". TTGmice. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Shirajiv Sirimane (21 February 2010). "Hambantota port, gateway to world". Sunday Observer. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  12. ^ Ondaatjie, Anusha (2010-03-08). "Sri Lanka to Seek Tenants for $550 Million Tax-Free Port Zone". Business Week. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  13. ^ Massive Development in Hambantota District, Media Centre for National Development in Sri Lanka, retrieved 2010-01-19
  14. ^ "Guangzhou Sister Cities [via WaybackMachine.com]". Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  • Stubbs, Francis W. (1877) History of the organization, equipment, and war services of the regiment of Bengal artillery : compiled from published works, official records, and various private sources. (Henry S. King & Co.).

External links[edit]