Weligama is a fishing village on the south coast of Sri Lanka, located in Matara District of Sri Lanka. The name Weligama, literally means “Sandy Village” which refers to the area’s sandy sweep bay. It is situated at an elevation of 9 m (30 ft) above the sea level.
Weligama beach is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka. The loveliest stretch of the bay beach is round the island of Taprobane. Most often dozens of traditional colorful outrigger boats are seen pulled up following the night fishing expeditions.
The most enchanting feature of the bay beach is the small island called “Taprobane” (Sri Lanka’s only privately owned island), just 200 m off the shore at Weligama. Peeping through the lush tropical greenery of the rocky island is red-tiled roof of the exquisite white villa built on the centermost elevation. The villa was built by exiled French Count de Mauny, who owned the island in the 1920’s. During the 30 years that Count de Mauny made Taprobane his home playing host to Kings, Statesmen, Aristocrats, Governors and Magnates. The villa and its gardens with the tropical beauty therein enraptured all the distinguished guests of the Count. Today the whole island and the villa that consists of 5 suites and infinity swimming pool, managed by a staff of five members are available for holiday makers.
Weligama beach is famous for its stilt fishermen. In chest-deep water on the beach, just few meters off-shore, are the stilt fishermen perched on a cross bar, one on one of a single pole planted into the sea-bed.
Weligama Lace weaving
Along the beach road are the verandas of the houses where the ladies can be seen busy at turning out exquisite products of crochet and tatting lace blouses, table clothes, table mats etc….. Introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th Century Lace making has remained a traditional handicraft of in the coastal stretch of Weligama. The trade of making lace flourishes herein at Weligama during the main tourist season of October to March.
Agrabodhi Rajamaha Viharaya
According to the Bodhiwamsa, one of the first 32 Bodhi saplings of the Sri Maha Bodhi at Anuradhapura was planted at this site. This Viharaya was destroyed by Portuguese but renovated during King Keerthi Sri Rajasinha of Kandyan Kingdom. The inscriptions are found near the image house.
14 km from Weligama on the Akuressa Road is the popular Snake Farm, which has fifteen kinds of snakes. Among the snakes are enormous pythons. The visitors are allowed to handle snakes.