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Masjid Ul Abrar ‘ Posted By: Maggie Tulliver

Situated in the coastal town of Beruwela, the Masjid ul Arbar is the oldest mosque in Sri Lanka. The storm tossed Arabs first prayed here together for bringing them to this exotic island. It is renowned among the Sri Lankan Muslim community for its contribution to the religion, and is well known for standing the test of time. The mosque has a century old story attached to it tracing way back to when the settlement of Arabs first began in the country that is known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. The story has it that this Arabian travellers fled from a lower cast in Arabia to get away from the cruel treatment of the nobles.

They fled to countries such as Thailand and Burma and settled in the coastal areas. Arriving in Sri Lanka however was by chance, when their ship met with a disaster on the Indian Ocean and led them to being swept ashore onto the island. They prayed to Allah for saving them from tragedy, and built a mosque in his glory at the very spot they prayed on. The bodies of these early settlers reside in the adjoining ancient burial ground.

Over the years the mosque has undergone various renovations and extensions to accommodate the growing number of devotees and has greatly changed from its original layout. However its historic glory remains rooted in the hearts of Sri Lankan Muslims. In the early 2000s the mosque was named a Cultural Heritage Site by the government of Sri Lanka.

Beruwela has emerged a very popular tourist destination, owing to the gorgeous beaches that are perfect for surfing, diving and just about any water sport. Accommodation found in the area varies from comfortable B&B options to five star luxury resorts. The adjoining city of Kalutara also offers interesting accommodation options and Beruwela can be easily accessed from here. A Kalutara hotel that has emerged a favourite in the area is Mermaid Hotel & Club. This Sri Lanka beach hotel offers great value for money if you are looking out for comfortable yet affordable accommodation options to unwind in after all those walks on the beach or such activities as swimming and surfing.

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