Barberyn…Where Moors First Landed


I took the scenic coastal road to Colombo from Kadolana last Saturday and stopped at Beruwela for lunch. This predominantly Muslim town is considered to be the place where first Arab traders landed in Sri Lanka in the 8th century. They probably came from the Yemen and called their landfall Barberyn. The Kechchimalai Mosque, one of the oldest on the island, stands on a rocky headland, marking the spot. Today, just under 10% of the population of Sri Lanka is Muslim and are called Sri Lankan Moors. They no longer speak Arabic and have adopted Tamil as their language.

...where the Moors first landed...

…Barberyn – where the Moors first landed…

Kechchimalai mosque

Kechchimalai mosque

Beruwela marks the start of a 130 km stretch of pristine beach studded with resorts. Beruwela has a 110 ft lighthouse built by the British in 1928 on a small island called Barberyn which can be visited, and a flourishing fishing harbour.

fishermen hauling in a net

fishermen hauling in a net – a common sight on the coast

A girl selling fresh, wild mussels

A girl selling fresh, wild mussels

A muslim fruit seller

A Muslim fruit seller

One thought on “Barberyn…Where Moors First Landed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.