Puttalam (Sinhala: පුත්තලම, romanized: Puttalama; Tamil: புத்தளம், romanized: Puttaḷam) is a large town in Puttalam District, North Western Province, Sri Lanka. Puttalam is the administrative capital of the Puttalam District and governed by an Urban Council. Situated 130 kilometres (81 mi) north of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka and 95 kilometres (59 mi) north of Negombo. Puttalam is known for energy production, salt, coconut production and fishing. It has one of the largest lagoons in the country. Puttalam is popularly known for kind and hospitality people. It has many virgin tourist destination such as Wilpattu National Park, Kalpitiya, and virgin beaches, natural resources, Dolphin watch, carol watch and sand dunes etc. Puttalam town is near to Anamaduwa which is the biggest city in Puttalam.
The history of Puttalam dates back to the arrival of Prince Vijaya, nearly 2,500 years ago, when his vessel washed ashore to "Thambapani" which is located north side of Puttalam lagoon. The name "Puttalam" may be a modification of the Tamil word Uppuththalam, Uppu means salt and Thalam means salt production zone, which evolved into the name Puttalam.
Under the Köppen climate classification, Pattalam has a tropical savanna climate with a short dry season from June to September and a second dry season from January to March. The wet season is mainly from October to December. Temperatures remain steady throughout the year with little variations in between.
Urban areas are resided by Muslims(95%) while Buddhists and Christians are residing outside the town. Hindus are minority.
Puttalam has three main highways that connect it to major cities in the country, the A3 which connects Puttalam with Colombo via Negombo, the A10 which connects Puttalam with Kandy via Kurunegala and the A12 which connects Puttalam with Trincomalee via Anuradhapura.
Puttalam hosts one of the largest cement factories in the country: Insee Cement factory.
Puttalam is now the first place in Sri Lanka to host a Crab farm and hatchery run by a Singapore-based company.
Seguwantivu Wind Power (Private) Limited an Indian firm invests US$37 million and maintains 25 wind turbines which produce 20 MW s of electricity in Puttalam Seguwantivu region.
Norocholai Power Station is a large coal-fired power station in Norocholai, Puttalam, Sri Lanka. Construction of the facility began on 11 May 2006, and concluded with the commissioning on 22 March 2011. The first 300-megawatt phase was completed and ceremonially commissioned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 22 March 2011 at 18:27 local time, with the presence of deputy Minister of Energy Premalal Jayasekara. According to the Ceylon Electricity Board, the US$455 million first phase generates nearly 1.7 TWh of electricity annually; a very significant amount when compared to Sri Lanka's total production of 11.5 TWh in 2011. The plant is connected to the grid via 115 km (71 mi) 220-kilovolt transmission line to Veyangoda. Power station exhausts are emitted through a 150 m (492 ft) tall chimney, one of the country's tallest man-made structures. During its pre-development stages, a number of protests were launched by residents living at the project site, claiming that they were deceived by the government. Construction of the 600 MW Phase-1 and Phase-2 units were officially inaugurated by the President in March 2010.
Puttalam is well known for soccer although cricket is widely played in the country. The city is home for many soccer and cricket clubs as it has a strong sporting tradition.
Volleyball is also played in the town and there are volleyball clubs as well.