Located along the southern coastal belt, Matara, once a citadel of the ancient Kingdom of Ruhuna, has come a long way from its historic roots where the town is now a hive of activity. The Matara Dutch Fort, built by the Dutch in 1645 and then acquired by the British in 1796, still stands strong at the centre of the town. There is so much to explore within the Fort including the Dutch Reformatory Church, which is the oldest building within the fortification with a history spanning over 300 years. Inside the church are tombstones with dates running as far back as the 1600s.

Outside the Fort, one can catch a glimpse of the Mahanama Bridge that is laid across the NilwalaRiver. A few meters away from the bridge is the Star Fort, which was built after the Matara Rebellion in 1762, to provide extra protection to the Matara Fort. The elegant Sri RohanaUposathagaraya that is situated in the midst of the Pigeons Island, connected to the mainland by only a footbridge, is yet another interesting place in Matara.

Positioned across the small beach strip where many find a respite among the waves is the Church of our Lady of Matara, formerly known as St Mary’s Church. Constructed in 1907, the statue of the Blessed Mary and Child within the church is said to have belonged to the Portuguese era. Other places that are worth a visit in the town of Matara is the Matara Bodhiya, the WeragampitaRajamahaViharaya and the bustling Nupe Market.

Hummanaya blowhole, Sri Lanka - VISIT 2 SRI LANKA
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