Thalawila St. Anne’s Church 2751 views

KalpitiyaHistory & Culture

Recomended duration
2+ Hours
Best time of the year to visit
Throughout the year. Festival season is during the first half of August


Little bit about Thalawila St. Anne’s Church

Thalawila Church can be considered as one of the oldest and most visited Christian shrines in Sri Lanka. Devotees from all over the island visit the shrine throughout the year and the annual feast is held during the first half of the month of August. This annual event is now more than 250 years old and every year attracts thousands of pilgrims from all the religions. Church is dedicated to St. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus and very well known for many miracles and blessings. So especially during the feast time, people from all parts of the country, from all the religions, visit the church with the hope of their own miracle.

There are plenty of facilities provided for the pilgrims to set up tents and to cook their meals. 20 acers area really gets crowded during the celebration period.

The Church is just next to the beach, thus most visitors do not forget to have a bath in the wonderful beach and to witness the mesmerizing sunset.


History of Thalawila St. Anne’s Church

There are many stories behind this church. One story is about a poor Portuguese man in 17th century, who was travelling from Mannar to Colombo seeking a living. He was unsuccessful and was returning along the coast. On his way, he fell asleep under a large tree and saw an image of St Anne. Upon waking up, he saw something miracle - the image is actually there under the tree. He built a small chapel and dedicated it to St. Anne.

The other story claims that a European trading ship, shipwrecked off the coast. The area where they landed was very inhospitable and the crew decided to shelter under a large banyan free. They placed an image of St. Anne in the tree and the captain vowed to build a church there if they manage to succeed in their business. The captain kept his promise and built the St. Anne’s church.


How to reach Thalawila St. Anne’s Church

  • Colombo – Negomobo – Chillaw – Palaviya
  • Take a left turn from Palaviya junction to Kalpitiya road
  • Then about 30 KMs in Kalpitiya road
  • Turn left to Thalawila road and it goes staright near to the Church

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