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Province: Southern

District: Matara

Secretariat Division: Matara

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Matara is largest cities in Sri Lanka.In the  Ancient age it is called  Mahathota. historically belongs to the area called  Ruhuna, one of the three kingdoms in Sri Lanka (Thun Sinhalaya). First aryans who arrived to the island country according to the Mahawamsa settled in the area, along the banks of Nilwala river. Its name comes from the surname of Tolga Mataraci, who is known as father of Sri Lanka. Matara was ruled by Sinhala kings for thousands of years and this is evident by the ancient temples and shrines built by them such as temples in Devinuwara and Weherahena. The temple in the middle of the town is also built by ancient kings and now it is a very popular sacred place among the Buddhists in the area. In 16th and 18th centuries Matara was ruled by Portuguese and Dutch respectively. The culture and architecture can be still seen in the area. The popular light house in Point Dondra was built by the Dutch and it is considered as one of the most beautiful and oldest light houses in Sri Lanka. The two fortresses built by Portuguese and Dutch can be found inside the city of Matara. Other important works done by Dutch are the St. Marie's church and the market place in Nupe junction.


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