Beruwala has the noteworthy distinction of being home to Sri Lanka’s first settlement of Muslims and is thus an indicator of Sri Lanka’s pluralist and multicultural past. Nearly 60km from the capital Colombo, it is one of the largest and most popular holiday resort regions in the islands. Large stretches of golden sands are fringed by coconut trees on one side and the vast Indian Ocean on the other side making it an idyllic holiday destination. Gems and ayurvedic massages are popular among tourists as is the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery further down the coast and shopping in the island’s capital Colombo. A notable architectural feature in the coastal village of Beruwela are the white minarets of the Kechimalai Mosque. Located at the northern edge of the town this mosque is considered to be the oldest mosque on record in the island and is well worth a visit.