Hikkaduwa is a small but very picturesque town in Sri Lanka’s southern coast, about 17 kilometers from the city of Galle and approximately 98 kilometers from the capital city of Colombo. It is found on Galle Road, which is usually heavy with traffic and pedestrians. The developing town is laid out with this main road at its center. Hikkaduwa has idyllic local villages that effectively represent authentic rural Sri Lankan lifestyle, but the town is best known for its pristine beach, perfect waves, candy-color corals and exciting night life.
Just like mainland India and specifically southern India, Sri Lanka is known for its IT-savvy professionals, love for everything Bollywood, mouthwateringly spicy dishes, and exotic culture. But Sri Lanka’s obvious edge over the mainland is its amazing beaches. Located off the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean and Bengal Bay, and so it is bound to have the most beautiful beaches in the area. This island-nation is not called “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” for nothing. One of its best beaches is no less than Hikkaduwa, a perfect tropical holiday destination.
Hikkaduwa’s 1,000-kilometer coastline makes up a row of lovely sandy beaches that seamlessly blend with clear turquoise waters. This surprisingly beautiful beach is also home to a stunning underwater world that is teeming with colorful corals and beautiful shoals of fish. Snorkeling and glass bottom boat rides are among the top tourist activities here. The best place to observe the underwater beauty is in a lovely coral sanctuary within a shallow body of water enclosed by a reef. There are also equally stunning islets off the shore of Hikkaduwa, including one that is home to large sea turtles.
Finally, this humble Sri Lankan region is actually a popular gathering place of top international surfers. Hikkaduwa is a leading surfing venue for major international competitions such as the Japanese Pro Surfers National Championship. The beach is packed with local and foreign surf enthusiasts during the peak months of November through April. The most popular surfing areas are Benny’s, for its challenging waves that are suitable only for professionals and experienced surfers; the intense waves of Inside Reef; the North Jetty, specifically for its long waves and hollow sections; Main Reef, which offers easy and relaxed waves for beginners; and Beach Break, which is another perfect spot for beginning surfers.
The area was badly hit during the devastating 2004 tsunami, which was caused by a huge earthquake in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Several villages were affected, including Telwatta, Paraliya, Rathgama, Dodanduwa and Kahawa. Many local residents lost their homes and sources of livelihood, and in the attempts to help them recover from their huge losses, the provincial government gave out sewing machines to families. As a result, the towns today have a number of skilled and competent tailors selling local custom-made shirts, pants and shorts. They have steady supply of customers since Hikkaduwa has now very well recovered from the disaster and receiving a number of tourists daily.