Popularly known as ‘UK’, Uswetakeiyawa is a coastal town close to Wattala and is just a short drive away from the city of Colombo.
Words Udeshi Amarasinghe
Photographs Menaka Aravinda and Vishwathan Tharmakulasingham
If you are on the search for an alternative beach from the more well-known in Colombo, Uswetakeiyawa may be the one. As evening approaches residents from around the area gather to enjoy the cooling breeze and salty waters of the ocean. While in certain sections of the coastal stretch the sea is quite rough, there are smaller coves where people swim and kids play on the beach.
Families came in numbers, and the little ones excitedly ran to the ocean…
Along the coconut fringed beach we walked, the sky was cloudy and the waves crashed on the large reef. Once you have reached its edge, there was an apparent deep drop into the water. The view from here is completely unique, a mix of unending seascapes and urban landscapes. As the sea roars and wind encircles, to be in the town of Uswetakeiyawa is a totally different experience.
Opting to explore farther we drove towards Palliyawatte. Along the stretch of the road, statues of Jesus Christ and holy saints were placed at regular intervals reflecting the great religiosity of the area. Boats travelled along the lagoon undoubtedly on an exciting journey to discover the many interesting aspects along the waters. At one stop on the breakwater, we met a long line fisherman, enjoying his daily routine in the evening light.
The strong coastal gusts swayed the coconut palms, it was ideal weather to fly kites.
Passing many shops, restaurants and hotels we soon reached a more popular beach area, with a greater space for relaxation and enjoyment. Families came in numbers, and the little ones excitedly ran to the ocean, thrilled at the prospect of playing with sand and water. Adults would enjoy an evening sea bath, which is especially relaxing and soothing. The strong coastal gusts swayed the coconut palms, and it was the ideal weather to fly kites and a youngster was doing exactly that – his colourful kite soared high in the air. We sat and enjoyed the simple bliss of the ocean. It was apparent that we were not very far from Colombo, as views of the harbour, high rise buildings and new constructions of the changing city horizon was very much evident.
Uswetakeiyawa may not seem like much, but it is an unassuming beachside town where fishing is the main livelihood of the people living in the area. The coast may vary with huge thundering waves lapping high, deep ends and shallow pools, yet this is an offbeat beach that provides the ideal getaway from the rush of the bustling city.