2010-10-13 21:11
Hambantota beachfront. (Getty)


Hambantota is a coastal city in the south of Sri Lanka, and the capital of the Hambantota District. An underdeveloped area that was hit hard by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, it is currently undergoing a number of major development projects, including the construction of a new sea port, international airport and an international cricket stadium that will host games for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium

The Hambantota International Airport is an international airport currently under construction in the town of Matala. After completion, it would be one of two international airports in Sri Lanka, after the Bandaranaike International Airport situated at Colombo.

A new railway link with Colombo, as well as improved intercity roads are already under construction.

Like other south coast towns and villages, it would probably already have made the transition if not for the troubles of the 1980s and 1990s in Sri Lanka. Hambantota stands on a sandy headland, on the seaward side of which a huge fleet of outrigger fishing Hambantota Birdscanoes draws up, and the horizon is almost always dotted with their small triangular sails.

With sweeping sandy beaches on either side, it is also a convenient base for exploring the nearby Bundala National Park and, somewhat further away, the Ruhuna National Park and the temples at Kataragama.


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