Matara is a heritage zone near the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Several archaeological and historical heritage sites representing the historic age are scattered here. Particularly, Matara town comes into prominence during the colonial period. The Matara fortress was first controlled by the Portuguese, which was taken over by the Dutch in 1645, and Matara operated as a trade centre for cinnamon and elephants. During the period a Dutch fortress was built within the Matara town. Finally, the English took hold of the fortress and such architectural constructions as the churches, fortresses, and houses, etc. are now preserved as colonial legacies. There are several Buddhist monasteries within this heritage zone with murals representing the southern painting tradition of Sri Lanka.
The Central Cultural Fund began heritage management within this heritage zone under the Ruhunu Heritage Circle in 2013. Under this project architectural conservation and mural conservation are done.