Moratuwa – Our Little Rome

Moratuwa is thought to take its name from Mura-Atuwa which meant ‘Sentry Turret’ in Sinhala. This sentry post which once existed in Kaldemulla is said to have been manned by the Dutch who colonized our coastal districts in the 17th and 18th centuries.

This lovely town is traversed by the Galle Road which splits into two, Old and New Galle Road at the spot called Kurusa Handiya (Cross Junction). It is home to a very large Catholic population and may as well be called ‘Little Rome’.

Moratuwa, with its Portuguese-inspired Baila musical tradition emerged in modern times as the cradle of Sinhala pop music since anybody who mattered in the music scene had to perform here before making it big. Such has been its cultural influence which has even been celebrated in song. Singers loved to sing of Moratuwa and there’s a reason why.