Kalpitiya is located in Puttalam district, North Western province of Sri Lanka and Alankuda Beach 130 km. Away, from the international Airport. It is known for its serene beauty. It consists of 14 islands. It has a total area of 16.73 km2. The people of Kalpitiya are mostly fishermen. It is now developing as an attractive tourist destination.
Rich in natural beauty, Kalpitiya’s history is no less interesting. Records going far back reveal that the peninsula was associated with maritime trade and smuggling escapades since ancient times. It was first colonized by the Portuguese in early 17th Century. The arrival of the Dutch eventually resulted in the ousting of the Portuguese from here and elsewhere in the island. Historical records show that during the Dutch period of the island’s colonial history, the northern end of the peninsula was used as a strategic base for a military garrison and naval outpost to monopolies trade supplies to the mainland. A well preserved Dutch-era fort (incorporating an earlier Portuguese-era church) occupied by the Sri Lanka Navy, and a Dutch church remain today. Nearby at Thalavila to the south, a vibrant annual festival keeps alive its Portuguese heritage, at the ancient St Anne’s church festival, when thousands of Catholic devotees descend upon the tiny village to celebrate St Anne’s Day on July 26.
It is now developing as an attractive tourist destination. It is a marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangroves swamps, salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches. It provides nursing grounds for many species of fish and crustaceans. The coastal waters are also home to spinner, bottlenose and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and even the elusive dugong that are of great appeal to potential tourists. The Sri Lankan government has now formulated a master plan for the development of tourism industry here.
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