Bay and area
| Pottuvil and Arugam
Bay are situated on the Indian Ocean in the dry
zone of Sri Lanka's South-East coast. The
area is rich in bird life and wildlife in the widespread
jungle areas, wetlands and lagoons nearby. It
has it's own specific climate with very little rain
compared to the rest of the island.
temperatures in the shade are:
|28-30 degrees Celsius
during Nov. Dec. and Jan.
|30-32 degrees Celsius
during Feb. Mar. and Sept. Oct.
|32-36 degrees Celsius
during April May June July August
|November and December
are quiet, but beautiful.
It is often windy, but still warm and it rains on
and off. It is the rainy time in the East, but still
there are many sunny days. All through the
year the variating landscape invites trips on bycycle,
motorfbike and off-roaders, as well as walking
along the beaches. During this period many migrating
January, February and March have a very
agreeable , though slightly humid climate. Refreshing
winds blow from the North-East. The weather
and waves are mostly good for wind-surfing, rafting,
fishing and swimming, and this is the best time
During April and May the sun is at its Zenith,
and it can get rather hot and humid. The wind
changes to South-East, and the season for body-surf
starts. Arugam Bay is known as one of the best
surf-points in the world.
From June the climate starts to feel less
hot, as the soil and air get drier. Before
midday a constant breeze from South East blows. The
waves are now mostly steady for surf. A canoe
trip in the lagoon during sunset is unforgettable.
The same is true for July, August, September
and October, which are dry as well. This
is contrary to the climate on the West Coast and
many holidaymakers and surfers arrive during
these months. A couple of showers in September
or October make the landscape green again.
THE AREA AND THE
PEOPLEIn the area of Arugam Bay live
approximately 3.500 people. It consists of
three small villages, where fishing and farming
are the main occupations. The farmers grow
rice and keep cattle for production of meat and
Ullae is the fishing village in the corner of the
Bay, where the sea is quiet and the land forms a natural
fishing harbour. As it is fishing season nearly
all year round there is a colourful life on the
beach, with plenty of small boats, nets and
Being such an attractive spot a whole community
of Singhalese fishing families from the West Coast settles
down every year in temporary palmhuts on the beach.
Most local people in Ullae are families from the
Tamil community, Christians and some Hindu. There
are some Singhalese families, too. They follow the
Buddist tradition. Intermarriages among Singhalese
and Tamil are not uncommon in this area of Sri Lanka.
Ullae has a Singhalese and a Tamil school and lies
between Perie Ullae (south) and Sinne Ullae (north).
In Perie Ullae there is a sub-postoffice, a Mosque,
a Muslim school and a predominantly Muslim population. Also
in Sinne Ullae the population is mostly Muslim families
with a Mosque and a Muslim school.
| The nearest town is
Pottuvil, 2 km away from the Bay. It has 12.000
inhabitants out of which 80% are Muslim.
Pottuvil is a real cowboy-town around a mainstreet with
a rather widespread residential nabourhood consisting
of many well-built villas as well as more humble palmhuts
and cottages. In Pottuvil the cowboys ride
on bycycle. 5 banks can change cash, travellers
cheques and visa cards only. Additionally there are 5 ATMs.
There is a simple communication centre, a market,
and many small shops with the daily needs for the
local population of farmers, fishermen and
traders. Being dominantly Muslim there are no liquor
shops. The nearest liquor shop is in Siyambalanduwa
35 km from Pottuvil, where the population is Singhalese
Pottuvil has a small government hospital. The hospital's
doctors have private clinics in Pottuvil, where
they practice in the mornings and evenings.
Additionaly there is a rather well equipped new generel hospital.
Public transportation is cheap and mainly in small
private vans and three-wheelers. You can also hire
a three- wheeler for yourself only. The buses
to Moneragala and Colombo leaves early morning from
In Moneragala there is a big bus stand with connections
to the rest of the island. Every second day
in the afternoon a direct bus leaves from Pottuvil
for Colombo, arriving there 11-12 hours later.
If you hire a car the direct drive to Colombo takes
8 hours, although it is only 320km.
Arugam Bay and Pottuvil are part of Ampara district,
which has a population of 42.000 people representing
all communities. The general rule is that along
the coastline nearly every second village or town
is either Tamil or Muslim. The Singhalese communities
live further inland.
|The daily activities
in Arugam Bay and Pottuvil start early. Around 4
o'clock the first fishing boats go out to sea. It
is possible to arrange trips with them.
An hour later the Mullah in the mosque sends his
first morning prayers out, and at six the sky is
The sun raises over the sea an hour later. Now
the early surfers are already swimming near the
surfpoint. This is also the ideal time to start
walks along the beach or take a bycycle-ride inland.
If you want to watch wildlife, you may drive in
a jeep 10-15 km down South before sunrise or walk
along the lagoon. But in the evenings as well
after 5 o'clock till 7 p.m. you meet wild elephants,
deer, wild pig, crocodiles and many other animals
nearby. Also the birdlife is known to be very rich
and interesting to watch in this area.
You can swim or fight with the waves in the sea
all year round. On few occasions in January and
February is the lagoon opened up by the people
living on it's shores, and excess water is streaming
out to the sea. Then there is a bustling fishing
life around the opening, and it is dangerous to
swimm nearby untill it is closed again.
Being an area with links back to ancient kingdoms
there are many remnants in the jungle from old Buddist
culture. Just outside Pottuvil behind the dunes
are escavations of a 2000 year old temple, Modu
website, though sponsored by The Stardust Beach Hotel,
is a resource of information about Arugam Bay, the neighbouring
town of Pottuvil and Sri Lanka itself. We want many more
people to visit this area, both to enjoy an unforgettable
and magical experience, and to provide a much-needed
boost to our local economy. We warmly welcome
all contributions and suggestions.
is one of the world's top 10 surf locations, situated
on the idyllic and unspoilt East Coast of Sri Lanka. The
closest town is Pottuvil, and it is within easy reach
of the superb kovils at Oganda, Yala and Lahugala National
Park, and Kataragama. The legendary Vihara Maha Devi is
thought to have landed at Arugam Bay - or perhaps at Panama,
a few miles to the south, the site of an important Buddhist
temple. The drive north up the coast through Komari, Thirukovil
(site of a fabulous Hindu temple), Oluvil, Akkaraipattu
and Kalmunai towards Batticaloa, through jungle fringes
where elephants roam and past numerous enchanting lagoons,
is one of the most beautiful coastal journeys in the world.