Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka located in the Southern Province, about 17 km (11 mi) north-west of Galle and 98 km (61 mi) south of Colombo. It is known for its strong surf and beaches, including palm-dotted Hikkaduwa Beach, lined with restaurants and bars. The shallow waters opposite Hikkaduwa Beach shelter the Hikkaduwa National Park, which is a coral sanctuary and home to marine turtles and exotic fish. Inland, Gangarama Maha Vihara is a Buddhist temple decorated with hand-painted murals.
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Hikkaduwa’s beach and night life make it a popular tourist destination. It is a well-known international destination for board-surfing. The town was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s television show No Reservations.
Hikkaduwa was affected by the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake along with nearby villages Telwatta, Paraliya (Queen of the Sea rail disaster), Dodanduwa, Kahawa and Rathgama. In the aftermath of the tsunami, many of the families who had lost everything were given sewing machines as part of the relief operations. As a result, the town has a multitude of tailors who will custom make shirts, pants, and shorts.