Arugam Bay

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Arugam Bay is a bay situated on the Indian Ocean in the dry zone of Sri Lanka’s southeast coast. The bay is located 320 km due east of Colombo. It is a popular surfing and tourist destination. Many of the buildings were destroyed in the 2004 tsunami. Due to its popularity among tourists, the area has managed a slow recovery by private initiatives only. The main road through town has still not been repaved. By the end of 2008 no help has been received from any official source or international organizations. An exception is uncoordinated support for fishing folk as well as many school rebuilding programs, resulting in a continuation to provide only separatist schools for each community. Although there is a huge demand for an international school, one huge new building donated by the people of Japan remains unoccupied since the grand ‘opening’ ceremony in 2007.
The bay hosts a large fleet of fishing boats which operates off the beach. Many organizations donated boats after the tsunami and as a result there are far more fishing boats than ever before. The main beach is a bit dirty as it is used as a garbage dump and a toilet by some locals. Nearby beaches are more esthetically pleasing and also have excellent waves. Arugam Surf Point has a very long, consistent, sectiony right hand break. Many organizations claim to have done extensive work in the area. No notable progress can be observed locally and on close inspection, as late as New Year’s Day, 2009. The main road, shown below in 2004 still looks the very same mid 2009. Despite calls for a walking street contractors have commenced construction of a fast trunk road through the hamlet. Repeating the mistakes made in other seaside tourist resorts such as Negombo and Hikkaduwa. US ‘Mercy Corps’ has been the most active of any organization. Funded by Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Angel Network’, following a huge fund-raising TV series in the United States. Sadly, none of their projects survived the first year of operation. A new bridge has been constructed by USAID. It was opened for traffic in 2008. It replaced the 1960s, original landmark box girder construction linking Arugam Bay with Pottuvil. At km 313 on the main A4 road, an excellent shortcut link road exists, which ends up in the very middle of Arugam Bay itself. This picturesque drive avoids the dusty town of PottuVille. Also no bridges need to be crossed, raising questions regarding the wisdom for the need of the so-called ‘high tech’ USAID bridge construction. There is excellent elephant viewing nearby, incl. on this mentioned jungle road and the surrounding lagoon, as well as two types of monkeys wandering around the area.
The nearby (4 km) Muslim village of Pottuvil is the center of commerce and transportation while tourist accommodations lie along the beach to the south of Pottuvil. Arugam Bay (4 km) is also the gateway and the only road access to the Yala East National Park. This area is known as Kumana (44 km), to be reached via the Sinhalese settlement of Panama (17 km) and the shires at Okanda (32 km). Sources of further, up-to-date local information: [1] [2] Arugam Bay has its own insiders, veteran and fan club (777 members end 2008), which has risen to 5,500 members in August, 2009. Making it the fasted growing Facebook site in Sri Lanka: [3]
Posted by wasantha kumara at 7:35 PM

1 Response to “Arugam Bay”

  • The above post appears to be a copy of an outdated Wikipedia entry.
    As it was published in a local Sri Lanka blog semi-automatically included the article here.

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