Matara

Matara is a major city in Sri Lanka, on the southern coast of Southern Province, 160 km from Colombo. It is a major commercial hub, and it is the administrative capital of Matara District. It was gravely affected by the Asian tsunami in December 2004.

 

Attractions

  • Paravi Dupatha temple is a relatively modern Buddhist temple on Pigeon Island (a small offshore island) in front of the city. It is reached by an elegant cable-stayed footbridge, which was erected in 2008 (replacing an earlier bridge, which was washed away in the 2004 tsunami). The temple is set in attractive gardens and houses numerous statues of Buddha and a replica of the alleged footprint found on Adam's Peak.
  • Weragampita Rajamaha Viharaya Temple
  • Matara Bodhiya, a Buddhist temple, which is the site of a sacred fig tree.
  • Matara fort/ramparts: The Matara fort was built in 1560 by the Portuguese and was substantially re-built by the Dutch in 1640, following the capture of Galle. The fort, which consists of a large stone rampart, occupies the promontory, which separates the Niwala River lagoon and the ocean.
  • Dutch Reformed Church, Matara was constructed within Matara fort by the Dutch in 1706. It was extensively remodeled in 1767, following the recapture of the fort in 1762.
  • Star Fort is on the western or landward side of the Nawali River. The fort was constructed by the Dutch following the Matara rebellion in 1761, to protect the main fort from attacks originating from the river. Construction of the unique star-shaped fort was completed in 1765.
  • Old Nupe Market was constructed in 1784 by the Dutch, about 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) from Matara fort.
  • St Mary's Church is on Beach Road. The date on the doorway (1769) refers to the reconstruction following the 1762 Matara Rebellion.

 

 

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