Hardly is there anyone traveling by road from Colombo to the hill capital Kandy, who has not heard about Pasyala Cadjugama and its claim for fame.
It has almost become customary for motorists to stop here and savor the taste of delicious cashew nuts while admiring women who in their colorful attire sell cashew to the passersby. These girls stand by the roadside and wave at passing motorists, enticing them to stop and savor the taste of freshly roasted cashew nuts.
Located in Gampaha District, Pasyala Cadjugama is a small town about 40 km from the heart of Colombo. The name Cadjugama is derived from two words cadju means cashew nut tree and gama, a Sinhala word for village.
Ironically, cashew nuts are not grown here but in places about 32 km away called Kurunegala and Alauwa. Even more interesting is that Cadjugama is not the regional name of the place. A town called Iddhamalgada was named Cadjugama owing to its popularity for selling cashew nuts. Here, the main road is lined with wayside stalls where the traditional cashew girls or cadjugirls sell cashew nuts splashing the road with vibrant colors and broad smiles.
Although conservative and shy by nature, the cashew girls soon discovered that they sold more cashew nuts than their menfolk.
Excited by the success, their attire over the years became decidedly more bright-hued and attractive. Along with their attractive and eye-catching dress, their coy smiles and disarming manner boosted the sale of cashew nuts.
The beautiful, elegant, and colorful cashew girls continue to add dynamic energy to this sleepy little town.
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