The background of galle is really a tapestry of civilizations. This Southwestern Sri Lankan seaport has been a cash cow for local rulers and foreign traders throughout the decades. Sell and arabs, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Persians passed through Galle in their travels to get exotic spices and goods.
What to See
It seems that Sri Lanka’s booming seaport became the apple of Europe’s attention in the 16th century, along with also the Portuguese, Dutch, and British each had their sights set on Galle. Their influences can nevertheless be seen and felt, and their existence left an everlasting mark around the city to the day.
Galle is a example of a fortified city, Now. Scattered across the city are distinctive fortifications, churches, schools, street programs, and customs. It required a fantastic deal of preparation and manpower to safeguard Galle.
The first fortifications were built by the Portuguese . The Dutch East India Company remained for over 150 years and improved on the original layout, when they shot over the city in 1796 along with also the British loved the fruits of their labor in Galle. It seems the place of the town has been enviable and used as a means for commerce.
Visitors now can have the best of the worlds-Sri Lankan culture melded with background. Seventy two percent of the town is Sinhalese and the activity in Galle is vacationing with the surviving colonial European heritage. The old city and its fortifications of galle comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site because they have been relatively unaltered since their source.
Tourists come from the hundreds to stroll along the fortified walls around the Bay of Galle, buy handmade lace that is fragile, and to find amazing bargains. The colonial architecture of the fort is reminiscent of days from long ago, when Galle was one of the most gems from the Indian Ocean.
It may take a couple of days to explore Galle’s 130-acre colonial fort. The Galle Fort, frequently referred to as the Dutch Fort, is more of a city than a stronghold. The Portuguese were the first to start building here in 1588. After being seized from the Dutch in 1640, Galle was rebuilt, redesigned, and expanded to what we see now largely by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). By utilizing granite and coral construction stuff, the VOC managed to execute the job in true European style, attaining performance and grandness. The Galle Fort was so well built that it emerged shortly after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
Note from David
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Added Travel Information
The Galle Fort is a special region that holds a terrific deal to see and do. It will transfer you back in time over 300 years with colonial architecture and its distinctive charm. The colonists arguably left the most improvements to the fort. One might be the underground sewer system that was developed with the ocean’s tides. The fort was eventually taken by the British over on February 23, 1796, exactly 1 week when they seized Colombo. It wouldn’t be after becoming an independent state, that Sri Lanka gains complete control of Galle Fort.
Begin with Your walking tour of Galle Fort in the Main Gate.
You will know you are in the ideal place if you look up and watch a coat of arms flanked by a lion DIEU ET MON DROIT. It’s a 1668 depiction of the British Royal Seal that reads in French:”God and my right shall me defend.” Walking the Galle Fort clockwise will require you and to several of the Fort structures. You will discover several bastions over the Galle Fort. They are scenic vantage points, but were constructed with a intent that is more tactical. By positioning bastions (projections) along the fort, European troops could defend against invaders more effectively.
The Dutch Reformed Church (the Great Church, or Groote Kerk in Dutch) is Situated near the Commandment Bastion on Church Street.
It’s a structure with a gabled roof that was built from the Dutch commander Casparus de Jong and his spouse after the birth of the first son. It’s still employed for services per month. Inside, visitors may observe the antique pulpit of the church, along with the checkerboard glass windows, the manhood that is elderly, engraved gravestones. The structure later remodeled and was built in 1640. The organ was received from another church in Colombo.
The Galle Fort Lighthouse is a white stone structure that was rebuilt by the British in 1939. Historically this 92-foot-high arrangement was used to direct merchant ships and also to Colombo with a gas lantern. It was the first lighthouse however it perished in a fire in 1936 since the original arrangement was made from timber. Nowadays, the refurbished lighthouse stands proudly atop Style Ultrecht Bastion.
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The 1707 Dutch clock tower, situated near the Star and Moon Bastions, stands like an old stone sentinel over Fort Galle, watching over all that stays inside its walls and the sea fortress.
Other Factors of interest to the Fort include the Old Testament on Queen Street, the Dutch Museum (31 Leyn Baan Street), the National Culture Museum Situated Close to the Main Gate entrance, the 1868 All Saints Anglican Church on Church Street, Meeran Jumma Masjid, the old Arab quarters in the end of Church Street, along with the National Maritime Museum that Formerly served as the Great Warehouse (Situated inside the Old Testament ).
Additionally, there are numerous boutique resorts, private villas, restaurants, shops, colonial style residences, and other points of attraction at Fort Galle. The place, but maybe perhaps not the grandiose trade post it once was, is a bustling community.
Ambalangoda is a city famous for its own masks and other handicrafts. Located 25 km northwest of Galle, it’s readily accessed via the CGHW Highway (A-2). Bundle up the family and head for an unforgettable cultural experience and an opportunity to Ambalangoda to purchase some of the most ornate masks that are handmade of Sri Lanka. Learn about the three different Kinds of masks; Kolam, Raksha, and Sanni in Ariyapala & Sons Mask Museum (426 Main Street). The vivid masks have been carved out of Kuduru forests and Balsa. Visitors will learn about Sri Lankan mask makers, the foundation behind the masksin, and the role masks play in Sri Lankan society that is contemporary. Sons Mask Museum & the Ariyapala also sells various masks at reasonable rates. These masks make excellent gifts or keepsakes.
If you want to experience another side of the neighborhood culture, the Ambalangoda is residence to the Bandu Wijesooriya Dance Academy (corner of Galle Road and Main Street / +94 91 225 8948), which hosts a person dancing shows utilizing conventional masks. Visitors can watch village dances conventional ritual dances, and Indian dances. To get 10,000 LKR and two days notice, you’re going to get your very own private dance series. Get in touch with the academy directly to organize this unbelievable experience during your visit to Ambalangoda.
Unawatuna is an underdeveloped stone that is located only six km from Galle. A five-minute driveway south along the CGHW Highway (A-2) will direct you with the legendary oasis that was formerly home to a number of the planet’s most gorgeous beaches. A terrific deal has been regained by the Unawatuna shore and is safe for relaxing and swimming. Whenever you are not tanning or mingling with other tourists along the sands of Unawatuna, you purchase snacks or beverages from one of the regional bars and can walk a couple steps to the shade of umbrellas.
Unawatuna has a laidback vibe that is excellent, ideal for decompression and relaxation. The setting are home to dozens of bird species that is native such as kingfishers, sandpipers, and herons. In addition to bird watching, Unawatuna is also renowned for snorkeling at boat rides, scuba diving, and Jungle Beach. The British steamer Rangoon’s Shipwreck is a popular dive spot about a 30-minute boat journey by the shore. Reservations and gear rentals for these tasks can be ordered at some of these local dive centers or in the shore. The easiest way to go also to Jungle Beach and around Unawatuna is by simply tuk-tuk.
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To get a culture and a bit less water, visitors have the Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya Buddhist stone temple that’s over 2,300 years old, or the choice of exploring the Rumassala temple with to-die-for viewpoints also features an 18-foot-long reclining Buddha. The Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya stone temple can be accomplished via the Unawatuna-Hinatigala Road.
For the animal lover in you, See the Habaraduwa Turtle Farm and Hatchery Situated about a mile out of Unawatuna.
The southern shore of sri Lanka is nesting ground for five. Hatchery and the Habaraduwa Turtle Farm gives lessons in conservation efforts and also the opportunity to people to experience these wonderful creatures up close. The turtle farm is open daily 8% to 6:30 p.m.
Located one mile along the CGHW (A-2) from Galle near Hikkaduwa, is Meetiyagoda, a city that’s renowned for its moonstones. The moonstone is a precious stone that comes in a variety of colors, and is commonly integrated into jewelry. Exterior of Sri Lanka, moonstones are mined in Madagascar, the USA, and Australia, Mexico, Norway, Poland. Unlike in other nations, the grim moonstone is often mined in Sri Lanka. The perfect way to learn about and shop for moonstones is to go straight to Beruwalage Gems & Jewellery (+94 91 226 0343) for an authentic and exceptional experience.
If you request to tour the complicated, you may observe the mineshaft, the process, take a look at a few raw moonstones, learn about the stone cutting techniques, and introduced into the lovely finished goods. Romans and ancient Greeks believed that these stones to be solidified moon beams. Nowadays, people buy them because they’re appealing, exotic, and cost less than stone. Moonstones near the source is much more affordable than buying them. Make sure you find a certificate of authenticity whenever buying a moonstone.
There are only a handful of classic fishing practices and Weligama stilt fishing is one of the most remarkable long-standing methods for catching fish you could possibly see. No ship is employed, a fishing rod plus only a stilt makes the fishermen of Weligama look like sentinels of the shore perched in their poles. The city is located in the southern part of the nation about 24 km from Galle, and is currently accessed via the CGHW (A-2). Weligama is a fishing village with lovely views of the Weligama Bay and home to a few of the best surf spots from the Indian Ocean with sections for novices and seasoned visitors alike.
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Weligama is surrounded by rubber and coconut tree plantations. Visitors learn about the goods made from these plants and may organize tours of the regional factories. Walking on the beach is a popular past time in Weligama. For relaxation and holistic health, and luxury resorts that are suitable, we recommend the Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort.
Located three km from Weligama along the CGHW (A-2), only beyond the southeastern point of Weligama Bay, is now the non primary village of Mirissa. Besides its virgin beaches, peaceful Mirissa has only claim to fame; the shores off its shore are great for whale and dolphin watching. Nearby Dondra Point is Sri Lanka whale viewing place. Visitors come from all over the world to view spinner dolphins moving in their migration routes, blue whales, and sperm whales. The months with the highest chance of seeing these creatures are December, January, and April.
Even though Dondra Point is easily accessed from several other cities, Mirissa has the accommodations. Included in these are wellness, luxury shore, and hotels that are eco-friendly. For information, booking whale watching excursions from Mirissa, and schedule, get in touch with the Paradise Beach Club. Tours vary from three to five hours in duration, include breakfast, also cost roughly $50 per individual.
Much like Galle, the town of Matara is a historical place that still bears testament to European occupation. The Dutch employed Matara for cinnamon and elephants’ exchange as a interface. The Nilwala River runs through Matara, dividing the Old Town from Matara that is contemporary and is the largest lake in Sri Lanka. There are just two temples to see : Main Fort along with Star Fort. The Dutch, is located in the Old Town and built the Main Fort, or Matara Fort from the 1630s. Visitors may walk along the Main Fort and see the colonial homes , the Dutch Reformed Church, St. Mary’s Church, and get unobstructed sea views along the border. Unlike the Galle Fort, Matara’s Main Fort was severely affected by the 2004 tsunami and so many of the buildings have fallen into disrepair.
Other attractions from Matara include the Weherahena Buddhist Temple Which Contains a Massive statue of Buddha, along with the Muhiyiddenil Jeelani Mosque at the Old Town Situated close to the bridge, Star Fort in Contemporary Matara Throughout the River Nilwala.
Visitors may snorkel. The reef is safe to float as a natural barrier to protect swimmers out of strong tides is created by the coral. Getting around by tuk-tuk is the easiest mode of transport. Matara is situated about 45 km from Galle along the CGHW (A-2).
The Southwestern shore of the island of Sri Lanka is relatively undeveloped in terms of cities and beach resorts and is one of the most enchanting places on Earth. My stay in the Aditya Resort in Galle was phenomenal- it had been the ideal place to come back to each day after hours on sightseeing and the street on foot. The Galle Fort will transfer you to a time – if commerce was king and the Dutch were in control of the land.
Between moonstones the masks , and wooden Buddha carvings my suitcase was about to burst after I visited with that region of the nation. There’s so much to be discovered along the shores of Southwestern Sri Lanka. Besides attractions, temples, parks, and the sprawling beaches, there’s something to be said about the friendliness of the coastal towns of Sri Lanka. The people are warm and always eager to impart knowledge for culture and their customs. The CGHW (A-2) roadway is the main road running along Sri Lanka’s west shore. It’s frequently referred to simply as”Galle Road.” Tuk-tuks are a great way to go around in Galle and each of the cities, especially should you not own a driver.
My suggestion about Galle and the afternoon excursions in this manual is to get out there! Before hotel chains start to develop this region into beaches that are man-made and resort towns do it. Oceanfront properties don’t last in this time, and I have no doubt that the western shore of Sri Lanka will become one of the world’s most popular tourist spots. For now it’s charming hotels, historic sites, drained fishing villages, and lazy beaches. And I would not have had it any other way.
Time zone: GMT +5:30 hours (Indian Standard Time)
Capital city: Colombo
Languages spoken: Sinhalese, Tamalese along with English
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Currency converter: XE
Getting around: When traveling between towns, buses and trains are best. Buses could be extremely crowded and therefore are. Trains are slower and may be crowded as well though, they often believed the mode of transport. When in the city, tuk-tuks, buses, taxis, and, oftentimes, just walking, are all viable forms of transport. Sometimes, cars and drivers may be hired for a day or bicycles may be rented.
Tipping policy: Service fees, typically 10 percent, are contained at most casinos. Manuals and drivers will expect tips. A suggestion of 50 LKR is acceptable for hotel doormen and the people who accumulate guests’ shoes in the temple.
Electricity: There are two Kinds of sockets, the Type D Indian 5 amp BS-546 along with the Western CEE 7/16 Europlug.
Entry/exit requirements: As of January 1, 2012, all holiday and business passengers to Sri Lanka have to possess an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). This may be obtained online through the Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization System website.
Health and safety: Though cases are rare, dengue fever is endemic to Sri Lanka. The disorder, though treatable, has potential. By preventing getting bitten by 16, the only way to protect against contracting the dengue virus is. Use a cream or spray insect repellent to help keep mosquitoes at bay whenever 21, and then sleep under a mosquito net. Symptoms usually start after being bitten by an infected mosquito. If you think you have dengue fever, seek medical care. Emergency medical care in hospitals could be costly. It’s highly advisable to have travel health insurance coverage throughout your stay. We advocate the Explorer bundle by World Nomads. To prevent unwanted attention, refrain such as sporting jewelry and producing large quantities of money.
Best time to go: Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons, so your trip does require some pre-planning. The dry season in the south region of the country is between December and March. The dry season from the northern and eastern segments of the nation lasts from May to September. Throughout the nation , sporadic rains occur between October and November. December through March is the most popular and also the time.
In Galle, the large tourist season lasts from November 15 to January 20. In this time people could expect to pay high rates. We recommend visiting in March or February to take advantage of arid weather and low room rates.
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