Polwathumodara Estuary Weligama

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The Polwathumodara estuary is unique not only in its raw beauty, but also in the fact that not many people know it even exists. Where Polwatta river flows into the Gulf of India, the area is home to a lush mangrove forest, a small fishing community and a handful of resorts with stunning designs and sweeping ocean views. About 10 minute’s drive from Weligama town, is blessed with picturesque scenery. Rows of swaying casuarina trees line the endless miles of white sandy beach stretching towards the south. Just north of it, a verdant mangrove forest extends from the Polwatta river and merges with Polwathumodara bridge.

Polwathumodara, Weligama sheltered natural harbor popular with sailors and visitors alike. The Estuary is largely unspoilt and hence designated an area of outstanding natural beauty, great for coastal walks. Popular for sailing, canoeing and visiting yachts and motor boat safari.

The Polwatta river winds through a small Polwathumodara fishing village, sailors and beautiful countryside. Boats are available for hire, and will take you up the river to explore the locals’ way of life. Take a stroll on a 4 km long ride that crosses through a dense mangrove forest and section of the Polwatta river. estuary of Polwatta river and provides a great opportunity for travelers to explore the river and wildlife in and around it on a boat trip. Crocodiles of Polwatta river has always been celebrated for their giant size while the estuary and bay area is also home to a number of residents, migratory and vagrant seabirds including tern and gull varieties, who nests among the mangroves.
Polwathumodara estuary view from Polwathumodara bridge

What is an Estuary?

An estuary is an area where a freshwater river or stream meets the ocean. In estuaries, the salty ocean mixes with a freshwater river, resulting in brackish water. Brackish water is somewhat salty, but not as salty as the ocean. An estuary may also be called a bay, lagoon, sound, or slough. Water continually circulates into and out of an estuary. Tides create the largest flow of saltwater, while river mouths create the largest flow of freshwater.
Aerial view shows how Polwatta river (right) adjoins Indian ocean (left) in Polwathumodara estuary

Ecosystems around Polwathumodara Estuary

Many plant and animal species thrive in estuaries. The calm waters provide a safe area for small fish, shellfish, migrating birds and shore animals. The freshwater crocodile, for example, is an apex predator of tropical Asian estuaries. Those freshwater crocodiles are ideally adapted to the brackish water of river estuaries. They can survive equally well in freshwater and saltwater ecosystems. During the rainy season, estuarine crocodiles live in freshwater rivers and streams. Fish remain the main component of their diet. But fortunately, those crocodiles are not sighted in the beach.
Fisheman in Polwatta river

How to get here?

Get into the Polwathumodara estuary is a easy ride. You can take slow bus ride of Weligama - Matara from Weligama bus station and get-off from Polwathumodara bridge. Then cross roads towards beach and walk all the way to beach, a small road that leads towards Mandara Resort. Or otherwise you can walk all the way alongside from Weligama beach. And furthermore you can come by your own rented tuk tuk or scooter.
Aerial view of Polwathumodara railway bridge and road bridge

Accommodations nearby Polwathumodara Estuary

There are some fantastic accommodations which are located near by this magnificent Polwathumodara estuary. It provides magical coastal vibes with tropical river and sea experience. Recommended accommodations are Mandara Resort, Twenty-Two Weligambay, Backpackers Weligama bayVilla sea open space, Relax Beach Resort, Jagabay Resort & Restaurant, Weligama Bay Eco Villa, Aussie Swiss Beach Resort.
Polwathumodara Estuary view from nearby hotels

Famous location for Model Photography?

Polwathumodara Estuary also famous for photography where provides unique landscape for photographers. Below model photography is taken in Polwathumodara Estuary background. Photos taken from Hemal Perera Photography.

Going a river safari on Polwatta river?

Many travelers love going on a river safari on Polwatta river. Please read River Safari article for more details.

Location on Google maps

Below map include how travelers come to see Polwathumodara Estuary, using bus, walking or taxi.