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The history of this dry zone dates back to the arrival of Prince Vijaya, nearly 2500 years ago, when his vessel washed ashore. The name "Puttalam" may be a modification of the Tamil word Uppuththalam. Of which Uppu means salt, and Thalam means salt production zone, thus evolved into the name Puttalam. Ibn Batuta, a traveling Moroccan historian of note describes Puttalam as one of two capitals of the Jaffna kingdom in 1344: the other in Nallur in the north. This was the case during the pearling season. Situated at the center of the Coconut Triangle, Puttalam is the second largest Coconut producer of the country, while also being the center of salt production. The Kaffir community in this area were brought to the island by the Portuguese from African villages. The Kaffir slaves settled here and their descendants speak Portuguese Creole.
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