Matara (Sinhalese: මාතර, Tamil: மாத்தறை) (originally Mahathota) is a major city in Sri Lanka, on the southern coast of Southern Province, 160 km from Colombo. It is a major commercial hub, and it is the administrative capital of Matara District. It was gravely affected by the Asian tsunami in December 2004.
Matara is a busy, booming and sprawling commercial town that owes almost nothing to tourism – which can make it a fascinating window on modern Sri Lankan life. Matara’s main attractions are its ramparts, Dutch architecture, a well-preserved fort and its street life.