Coordinates: 6°28′N 79°59′E / 6.467°N 79.983°E / 6.467; 79.983
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Kechchimalai Mosque, Beruwala (one of the oldest mosques in Sri Lanka)
Kechchimalai Mosque, Beruwala (one of the oldest mosques in Sri Lanka)
Beruwala is located in Sri Lanka
Location in Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 6°28′N 79°59′E / 6.467°N 79.983°E / 6.467; 79.983
CountrySri Lanka
ProvinceWestern Province
DistrictKalutara District
Divisional SecretariatBeruwala Division
 • Urban CouncilBeruwala Urban Council
 • HeadquartersBeruwala UC
 • Mayor of BeruwalaMazahim Mohamed (Independent Group)
 • Urban
33,053 (Urban Area)
 • Metro
113,364 (Beruwala Division Area)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (Sri Lanka Time)
Area code034

Beruwala (Sinhala:බේරුවල Tamil: பேருவளை) is a large town in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. The town covers a total area of approximately 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi) and is located on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka, 60 km (37 mi) south of Colombo.[1]


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 a Somali Sheikh Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn. The town was originally named Berbereen in honour and respect of the Somali Shaikh.[2] The Chinese also traded here and Beruwala was known to them as Piehlo-li.[3][4]


The first Muslim settlement of Sri Lanka was in Beruwala which is situated in the Western coastal area of the Island.[5] Beruwala was named "Berbereen" in the past in honor of Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn who is also known as Shaykh Abu Barakat al Barbari, a Somali Muslim scholar and a traveler who founded the city.[6][2]

As a result of Arabs arriving and settling down in the western coastal areas of Sri Lanka such as Beruwala between the 10th to 12th centuries AD, Beruwala became a popular city for Unani medicine.[7] During the 10th century Prince Jamal-ud-din, the son of Sultan of Konya arrived in Beruwala to practice Unani medicine. Eventually, Unani medicine was spread to many other parts of Sri Lanka and Unani Physicians can still be found in Beruwala and around Sri Lanka at present.[8]

As a result of the relationship between the Muslims and the Sinhalese, Sri Lanka has had a Muslim Ruler called Vathimi Raja, also known as Vathimi Deiyo, who reigned in Kurunegala for a brief period during the 14th century.[9][10] Vathimi Raja was a son of Buvanekabahu I, who married a Muslim spouse from Beruwala, the daughter of one of the chiefs.[11][9][12] Vathimi Raja was first seen by the Arab traveler Ibn Batuta during his visit to Sri Lanka in 1344 while Vathimi Raja's son Parakrama Bahu II (Alkeshwara II) was a Muslim while the lineage of Alkeshwara Kings was ended in 1410.[10]

The Vathimi Rajapura Housing Scheme in Beruwala was built in memory of Vathimi Raja and opened in the 1980's by the local Member of Parliament Alhaj M. A Bakeer Markar when he was then Speaker of the Parliament. M. A Bakeer Markar was once the acting Head of State of Sri Lanka, for a brief period in 1981, when President J. R. Jayewardene and Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa left for England to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.[13]

Alhaj M. I. M Naleem, a gem merchant and local philanthropist contributed much for the development of Islamic culture, tradition, and education in Beruwala, and he was also the founder of Naleemiah Institute of Islamic Studies.[14]


Beruwala is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural town. The population of Beruwala is predominantly Sri Lankan Moors with a mix of numerous other ethnic groups, including Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils, and Burghers.

Ethnicity according to Beruwala Urban Area (2007)

Ethnicity in Beruwala Urban Area
Population Percent
Sri Lankan Moors
Sri Lankan Tamils
Indian Tamils



The climate in Beruwala is tropical. A significant amount of rainfall can be seen in Beruwala during the year. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as Af. The average annual temperature is 26.3 °C | 79.3 °F in Beruwala. April being the warmest month, December has the lowest average temperature during the year in Beruwala.[15]


  • Ketchchimalai Mosque, one of Sri Lanka's oldest mosques, constructed by Arab traders.
  • Masjid Al Abrar, claimed to be the first Muslim Mosque of Sri Lanka, built in 920 ADs, presumably by Arab traders who frequented Sri Lanka by sea.
  • Barberyn Lighthouse, lighthouse on Barberyn Island.




Beruwala is served by the A2 highway, which runs past the town.


Beruwala railway station, is in the Coastal Line, connecting Colombo to Matara and Beliatta.

Fishery Harbour[edit]

Beruwala Fishery Harbour is in the coastal stretch of Beruwala which is a naturally protected area used by merchant vessels for hundreds of years as a Port. It is said that the current Fishery Harbour could have been used as a port since the British Ceylon period.[16]

The Fishery Harbour in Beruwala was initially constructed in 1965 by the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation. And since 1972 the maintenance and operations of the Fishery Harbour is carried out by the Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation.[17]


Education institutions in Beruwala have a long history. Beruwala has many schools some of which are government-owned, and others are private. Beruwala has got the first and the oldest Muslim girls School in Sri Lanka which is Al Fasiyathul Nasriya Muslim Balika Navodaya Vidyalaya situated in the coastal area in Maradana, Beruwala.[18] The school was heavily damaged by the tsunami-Indian Ocean earthquake and was repaired subsequently. An Islamic University is situated in Beruwala which is known as Naleemiah Institute of Islamic Studies also known as Jamiah Naleemiah was established in 1974 which provides seven years of Islamic Curriculum along with the Government curriculum.

Government Schools[edit]

  • Al Fasiyathul Nasriya Muslim Balika Navodaya Vidyalaya[19]
  • Naleem Hajiar Muslim Balika Vidyalaya (National School)[20]
  • Al Humaisara National School[21]
  • Z.A.M Refai Hajiar Maha Vidyalaya (National School)[22]
  • I.L.M Samsudeen Vidyalaya[23]
  • D.S Senanayake National School[24]
  • Ariyawansha Maha Vidyalaya[25]
  • Massala Primary School[26]
  • Beruwala Buddhist Junior School[27]

Government and politics[edit]

Local government

Beruwala is governed by an Urban Council.[28] The Chairman and Council members are elected through local government elections held once in four years. During the past, the Council has been controlled by the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Following the 2018 Local Authority elections, an independent alignment supported by former Chairmen Mazahim Mohamed, Marjan Faleel MP and former Chairman of Beruwala UC, and Milfer Caffoor former Chairman of Beruwala UC won the elections.[29] Mazahim Mohamed was subsequently appointed the Chairman and Munawar Rafaideen as Vice chairman of Beruwala Urban Council.

The Council Government provides sewer, road, and waste management services. The Urban Council liaises with the water supply and drainage board, the Ceylon electricity board and telephone service providers for Water, electricity, and telephone utility services.

City Limits

Beruwala is divided into nine Wards or divisions.[30]

Ward Number Ward Name
1 Polkotuwa
2 Akkaragoda
3 Cheenakotuwa
4 Kankanamgoda
5 Maligahena
6 Hettiyakanda
7 Maradana
8 Gorakaduwa
9 Mahagoda

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Beruwala is twinned with:


  1. ^ Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2007). Managing tourism & biodiversity: user's manual on the CBD guidelines on biodiversity and tourism development. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. p. 63.
  2. ^ a b Jaleel, Talib (11 July 2015). "Notes On Entering Deen Completely: Islam as its followers know it - Talib Jaleel - ßĘČ Google". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Journal of the Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society". 30–32. Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 1985: 78. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "Top Places To Visit In Beruwala During Your Sri Lanka Holiday". pickyourtrail. 28 May 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  5. ^ Devapriya, Uditha (26 June 2019). "The Muslims of Sri Lanka". Medium. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  6. ^ Frederick R.Ramont. "brihist". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  7. ^ "About – Unani Section | Institute of Indigenous Medicine". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  8. ^ "About – Unani Section | Institute of Indigenous Medicine". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  9. ^ a b "The Muslims in Sri Lanka". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Kandyan Kings, Unani Medicine And Buddhist Extremists". Colombo Telegraph. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Sri Lanka". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  12. ^ Reeves, Peter (2013). The Encyclopedia of the Sri Lankan Diaspora - Google Books. ISBN 9789814260831. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Deshamanya Bakeer Marker, a man worth emulating | Daily FT". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Beruwala climate: Average Temperature, weather by month, Beruwala water temperature -". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  17. ^ "Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Al Fasiyathul Nasriya Muslim Balika Navodaya School, Maradana Road Beruwala, Beruwala (2021)". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  19. ^ "DSIS". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  20. ^ "DSIS". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  21. ^ "DSIS". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  22. ^ "DSIS". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  23. ^ "DSIS". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  24. ^ "DSIS". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  25. ^ "DSIS". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  26. ^ "DSIS". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  27. ^ "DSIS". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  28. ^ "Beruwela Urban Council, Sri Lanka _ Members _ 21st-Century Maritime Cooperation Committee". 19 October 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  29. ^ "Local Authorities Election 2018 Results - Sri Lanka | Adaderana". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  30. ^ "Ward Map of Beruwala Urban Council - Kalutara District" (PDF).
  31. ^ "Reading - Town Twinning". Reading Borough Council. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013.

External links[edit]