Ohiya - ඔහිය

Negombo grew from a historic little town with many legacies of its Dutch and Portuguese settlers, into Sri Lanka’s first beach resort. For the traveler with little time to linger, Negombo is a great coastal town to absorb beach life and rest before jetting back to the “real world”. Visit the ‘Maha Lellama’, or local fish market: Known as the Lellama, this fish market is probably the island’s most famed and located west of Negombo. A bustling wholesale fish market that functions in accordance to time-based fishing the Lellama is the binding core of the area’s local community, providing their essential means of livelihood through fishing. Defined by the people’s chaotic lifestyle patterns the existing wholesale market is characterised by a lack of proper infrastructural facilities and mismanagement which is apparent in most underserved communities. The existing market space becomes dead around mid-morning so ensure you get there early to witness peak activity and to avoid the stench.

Fact: The 100km long canals of Negombo served once as a supply route to the Dutch administration, old churches and fishing villagers.

Tip: Explore the city on your own on foot. The coastal town is full of pubs and restaurants, boutique shops and spas tucked away along coastal lanes. Fact: In Sinhala, the term ‘Wallawwa’ is used to express both the Sinhala concept of aristocracy and the physical location of the primary seat of a particular Sinhala family who enjoy high connections to the local kings or colonial masters.

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