Halavata is the name of a town in Sri Lanka’s Northwestern Province, which is located 45 km to the north of Negombo. Besides Negombo and Puttalam, Halavata is the most important traditional fishing harbour at Sri Lanka’s west coast. Halavata is the Sinhala name of Chilaw, which is the colonial English name derived from the traditional Tamil name Cilapam. The term Halavata has become more common recently. Chilaw is mainly Sinhalese. There is a large Roman-Catholic community in this area. Chilaw is a bishop’s see. The main attraction of Halavata however is Hindu, the Munneshvaram temple in the suburb of the same name is one of the four most-venerated Shiva temples on the island. It’s surrounded by smaller Tamil temples dedicated to other Hindu deities. The annual temple feast of Munneshvaram attracts devotees of other religious communities, too. The beaches of Halavata are not yet crowded with tourists.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka,