Unawatuna is a
coastal town in Galle district of Sri Lanka. Unawatuna is a major
tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and famous for its beautiful beach
and corals. It is a suburb of Galle city which is situated about 5
km southeast to the city center.
Unawatuna is rich in its biodiversity. Unfortunately, its greatest
potential attraction for eco-tourism was the marsh land or
mangrove called Kadolana which was partially destroyed, dredged
and filled up to build a chain hotel which never got off the
ground. Many locals believe it to have been cursed for being built
at the doorstep of the Wella Devalaya.
Over sixty species of endemic birds, including Terns, Egrets,
Herons, Sandpipers, Kingfishers, as well as rarer species such as
the Lesser Whistling Duck, the Asian Palm Swift, the White
Breasted Waterhen, the Turnstone Loten's Sunbird, and the Black
Bittern have been sighted in the locality by the ornithologist,
Clive Byers. These birds are mostly sighted in the remaining
marshy area and Rumassala Hillock.
Off the coast of Unawatuna, beneath the Indian Ocean lies a number
of coral reefs, shipwrecks, and a great variety of fish and
turtles. The turtles still wade onto the shore to lay their nests
and eggs, and at times, as if to lay first claim to the sandy
shore now invaded by the tourists and dotted by restaurateurs,
even go right into the beach front restaurants.