Tam: சிலாபம் c(h)ilāpam – Sin: හලාවත halāvata

‘Pearl Fishery’  Town, NWP,  Sri Lanka

From Por: c(i)lão, a corruption of Tam: c(h)ilapam, ‘pearl-fishery’.

Divers operated the coast from Mannar to Chilaw until the early 20thC, collecting as many as 3,000 oysters a day from depths of up to 20m [Article: Diving For Pearls].

Chilaw is famous, it is said, for three things: crabs, coconuts and Coreas.

The Corea Family are descendants of Dominicus Corea (he fought against King Dharmapala and the Portuguese) who settled here and  created a dynasty of landowners, political activists, government officials, lawyers and doctors.

For related place names see Sri Lanka Place names.


Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Chilaw)            Amarabandu1234