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Chilaw is a town in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka. The western side of Chilaw are covered with sandpits, facing the Indian Ocean.


Chilaw is a large town in Puttalam District, 80 km north of Colombo. The majority of Chilaw residents are Tamil, with large minorities of Buddhist and Muslim Sri Lankans.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Map of Chilaw

You have to get onto the train at the 1 Maradana Railway Station. The journey from Colombo takes around 2 hours.

  • Chilaw Train Station (82.5 km away), +94 32 2 222 271.
  • 1st Class= Rs. 260
  • 2nd Class= Rs. 140
  • 3rd Class= Rs. 75

By bus and taxi[edit]

You can go to the Chilaw from the 2 . Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal by bus which use the Colombo - Katunayaka expressway. If you are travelling with a group, it is best to hire a private bus for the journey. It costs about Rs. 250 to travel from Colombo to Chilaw, and takes about 1 hour (June 2020). +94 112 333 222

By car[edit]

It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to travel the 81 km.

By taxi[edit]

Going to Chilaw directly by taxi is also an option, but it cost extra compared to the other two options. Hiring a small nano cab is the best option when travelling alone. When travelling with family and friends, a taxi isn't the best option, a van would be the way to go. It will cost Rs. 4100-4900.


Compared to its history, Chilaw has quite a few tourist sites that relate with ancient architecture, but Chilaw also has a nice coastline that is popular with tourists.

  • 1 Sri Munneswaram Devasthanam, Maha Devalayam, Wariyapola Road, +94 322 224 833. Completed in 1753. A Hindu temple with a great regional importance in Sri Lanka. The temple complex consists a total of five separate buildings and was dedicated to the hindu gods. The temple displays the architectural skills of the early hindu society of Sri Lanka. The temple is in the village of Munneswaram, which has Sinhala and Tamil populations. In its mid-history, the temple was destroyed twice by Portuguese troops, and then reconstructed to its original form. The temple is a tourist site and is important to the Sinhalese and Tamil cultures.
  • 2 Chilaw Silver beach. A beautiful sandy beach where you can enjoy the sunset. It's not crowded and no money will be needed.
  • 3 Chilaw Sandpits. A sandy beach, renowned as a location for birdwatching by the Ceylon Bird club. A sandy beach facing the Indian Ocean, Many waterbirds such as terns, sandpipers, egrets, gulls, shanks and thick-knees can be found along the coast. It is 3 km north of Chilaw. Take a camera or a binocular.
  • 4 Udappu. A Tamil fishing and shrimp farming village a few miles north of Chilaw. The west of the village is bordered by the Indian Ocean and the south by Andimunai Sand dunes. The majority of the village are Hindu Tamils and the population density is estimated up to 15,00p individuals Due to the effects of the Civil War, many Tamils have taken refuge in this village.


  • Birdwatching- Bird watching is ideal in the sandy beaches. Searching for waders would be really interesting in these parts. If you are interested in bird watching, you should bring along a binocular and a camera a lens measuring up to 200 mm at minimum. Bringing along a small notebook to sketch would work instead of the camera, but wouldn't help you with the specification of the bird.
  • Sightseeing- Sightseeing in places like the munneswaram temple which has been here since the 18th century is really interesting. You can get to know how the town was maintained during the Civil War and its history related to all the religious groups.
  • Photography- Chilaw beaches are filled with scenic places, so take your camera with you.
  • Souvenir shops or little snack shops can be found along the streets in Chilaw. For buying groceries and cosmetics, you should visit the Super markets. Although many supermarkets exist in Sri Lanka, the trusted markets are limited down to 3, the can be simply identified as cargills, keels and laugh supermarkets, other than that, corperative markets such as co-op city are ideal places to purchase grains.
  • Cargills food city, 98 Chilaw - Colombo Main Rd, +94 32 2 223 307. Daily 8AM to 10PM. It is a supermarket, best to buy snacks.


  • Many food shops can be found along the road as well but check the cleanliness of the establishment before ordering.
  • 1 Chilaw Rest house, +94 32 2 222 299. 6AM to 11:30PM. A great average budget hotel.
  • 2 Pizza hut, Chilaw. 11AM-11PM. Most trusted pizza restaurant.
  • 3 Beach boat family restaurant, Chilaw - Colombo Main Rd, +94 77 900 0299 (mobile).
  • 4 Singing fish restaurant, Corea St, +94 32 2 222 316. 10AM onwards.


  • Water or 'Kurumba' (King Coconut) are the best types of drinks in these types of areas. Soft drinks can also be obtained from small roadside restaurants.You can drink tea from small rest stops. The local soft drink brand is renowned as elephant house, even though coca cola, sprite and fanta are in stores as well, elephant house drinks are more common and cheap. Judging by the climate, a cold drink would be a perfect refreshment when traveling from place to place. Hot drinks are only recommended in the evening.


An overnight stay is not really necessary if visiting from Colombo.

  • 1 Chilaw Far Inn Hotel, +94 32 2 222 954. Rs. 7070 for 2 guests.
  • 2 Hotel pearl gate, 215, Ebert Silva Estate, Colombo Road, +94 71 657 8791 (mobile). Very low budget hotel. Rs. 3500 for one night.


List of hospitals

  • 3 General hospital.
  • 4 District general hospital, +94 32 2 223 261. 24 hours.

Pharmacies in the area

  • Suhada Pharmacy, No. 02 Road Chilaw, Colombo, +94 32 2 223 474. M-F 8AM.

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