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Galle Sri Lanka

Galle is so heavily imbued with Sri Lankan history and culture, and not a little ancient and modern controversy, that it is difficult to know where to start.
The obvious place is Gall Fort, and the fact that this amazing and picturesque walled township is a UNESCO World heritage site of rare distinction and diversity.
Although its exact origins are lost in antiquity, evidence shows that it flourished in pre-Christian and Roman times before emerging as a magnet for traders from all over the known world.
The massive and impressive fortifications were created and expanded during the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial periods, which are reflected in the mix of architectural styles and street layouts.
While Galle has always been a hugely important trading center, hence the fortifications, today it is also noted for its electic mix of tourist attractions, including boutiques, cafes and hotels, many owned by foreigners, as are a third of the houses.
This has caused much present-day controversy, with leading Sri Lankan experts maintaining that this unique historical should remain in Sri Lankan hands.
UNESCO agrees, saying: “Archaeological experts and other organisations interested in the preservation of this World Heritage site are raising alarm at the facilities afforded to foreigners to purchase land within the Galle Fort…
“By 1998, over 50 houses had been bought by non-Lankans including 30 Dutch colonial period houses. Are the alarm bells ringing far too late – or is there hope yet for the survival of this historic monument?”
Despite this foreboding, or maybe because of it, the Sri Lanka government has acted to ensure that Gall Fort not only survives, but thrives, and remains an absolute must-visit for foreign and domestic visitors alike.
Its sporting claim to fame is its cricket ground, the Galle International Stadium, which has hosted numerous Test Matches and is one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.

Activities in Galle


Cycling

If you prefer cycling but aren't so keen on struggling with uphill climbs, there are many interesting trails in the lowlands of Sri Lanka that take you through a beautiful landscape of tea, rubber and spice plantations or even the ancient capital of POLONNARUWA .

Photography and Filming

Sri Lanka a breathtakingly beautiful island set in Indian ocean, where the sun shines 12 hours a day.Sri Lanka offers a wide variety of locations.We offer exotic and extraordinary locations that are normally inaccessible such as naturally beautiful settings, majestic hills, mist clad mount

Shopping

Shopping in Sri Lanka can take many forms haggling with a handicraft-seller while sunbathing on the beach choosing fruit from the traditional village store, 'the kade' while side-stepping sacks of rice or checking out the bargain-priced latest international fashions (Sri Lanka is a major g

City Tour

Explore our exotic city. We will let you have a feel and look around the city area in 4 hours on our half day city tour.

Attractions in Galle


Ariyapala Mask Museum

The hand-carved masks of Ariyapala are the colourful and revealing face of Sri Lanka’s cultural and historical attachment to the mysteries of dance, legend and exorcism.

Tsunami Honganji Vihara

Tragedy and despair lie behind Honganji Vihara temple at Hikkaduwa, reflected in the somber countenance of the 60ft Buddha statue as it stands gazing out to sea.

Seenigama Muhudu Viharaya

Got a problem with someone? Been on the sharp end of someone’s bad karma? Then go to this island temple just off Hikkaduwa beach and toast a few chillies. That’ll do the trick.

Galle Fort

Galle Fort, begun in 1588 by the Portuguese and transformed into a fortified town by the Dutch in the 17th century, is famed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site of unique cultural importance.

Old Town Of Galle & its Fortifications

Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, before the arrival of the British.

Dutch Reformed Church

The historic Dutch Reformed Church, tucked away inside Matara Fort, was built by the Dutch in 1706 and is one of the oldest Protestant churches in Sri Lanka.

Galle Fort Lighthouse

Galle Lighthouse (also known as Pointe de Galle Light)[1] is an onshore Lighthouse in Galle, Sri Lanka and is operated and maintained by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.[2] This is Sri Lanka's oldest light station[3] dating back to 1848,[1] but the original 24.5 metres (80 ft) high lighthouse built by the British[4] was located about 100 metres (330 ft) from the current site, however it was destroyed by fire in 1934.[1][3] The existing 26.5 metres (87 ft) high light house was erected here in 1939.[1][3] The original light was furnished with a glass prism lens floating in a bath of mercury (to reduce friction) and was powered by a weight driven machine.[5]

Meera Mosque

The beautiful and historic Meeran Mosque, the biggest and best known in Galle Fort, is a must-see attraction for Muslims and non-believers alike. The colourful floor tiles and stained glass in the main hall date back over 300 years, and set off the style and symmetry of a graceful architectural motif that follow centuries of tradition. The mosque has served generations of Muslims, man descendants of the traders and seafarers for whom Sri Lanks’s renowned gems and spices made this southern harbor an essential port of call.

All Saints Anglican Church

An sign outside All Saints Anglican Church notes that the site was previously occupied by a court house, with the ghoulish suggestion that the alter was once the site of the gallows!

Clock Tower

An inscription on Galle Fort’s landmark Clock Tower reads: ‘This tower erected by public subscription to the perpetual memory of Peter Daniel Anthonisz (born in Galle) in testimony of his skill and benevolence in relieving human suffering. MDCCCLXXXIII [1883]’. It was a grateful testament to the medical skills of Dr Anthonisz, a renowned Burgher doctor who not only served as the Southern Province’s Colonial Surgeon, but was also on the Legislative Council. The actual clock was the gift of Mudaliyar Samson de Abrew Rajapakse, one of Dr Anthonisz’s grateful patients who was nursed back to health after a particularly debilitating illness.

Fort Shri Sudarmalaya Buddhist Temple

Visitors to this small and peaceful Buddhist temple have likened it to a mosque or a church. As such it is popular with visitors of all religions who seek a moment to rest and catch their breath after a busy morning’s sightseeing.

Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya

The Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya Buddhist temple, a favourite of Sri Lanka’s ancient kings, is today renowned as a particularly serene and peaceful place of worship and contemplation.

Dutch Government House

The Dutch Commandeur's residence or Government House is right opposite the Old Post Office or the Dutch Church. Over the doorway is the date 1683, and the cockerel crest of Galle.

Kataluva Purvarama Maha Viharaya

Around 5 km beyond Koggala lies one of the south's most absorbing temples, the Kataluwa Purvarama Mahavihara. The temple was built originally in the 13th century with additions being included in the late 19th century. This temple is renowned for its remarkable Kandyan-style paintings in the main shrine, dating from the late nineteenth century, illustrating an interesting piece of social history. Some of the Jatake tales (episodes from the Buddha's series of 550 previous lives) scenes painted here are said to be 200 years old. Cameo-style paintings of Queen Victoria & the Queen Mother too are found, in gratitude of Queen Victoria's role in ensuring the free practice of Buddhism during the British occupation of the island.

Black Fort

Galle Fort’s sea-facing Zwart bastion is also known as the Black Fort because the stones became stained by the smoke from canons on the battlements and nearby smithies.

Bodhi Temple

This small and modest Buddhist temple next to the Dutch Market on Galle Fort’s bustling main street is dominated by a sacred Bodhi tree, and is much appreciated for its calm and tranquil atmosphere.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest is Sri Lanka’s premier national park, and its international significance prompted UNESCO in 1978 to name it a biosphere reserve and World Heritage Site. The UNESCO citation notes that ‘Sinharaja is the country's last viable area of primary tropical rainforest.

Rumasalla Mountain

In the past, Rumassala was known as Buono Vista, a name that dates back to the colonial period, and most likely a corruption of ‘Buena Vista', or Spanish for ‘pleasant view'. Regardless of origin it is indeed an accurate description of the place they chose to name, for the top of Rumassala hill offers what are arguably the best coastal views along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. The calm waters of Galle bay provided safe anchorage for numerous ships that plied the Indian Ocean maritime routes, transporting vast quantities of spices, minerals and precious stones. During this period, ships used the southern end of Rumassala known as Watering Point to take in fresh water before setting off on long voyages.

Kanneliya Rain Forest Reserve

This precious forested eco-wonderland has been designated a special biosphere reserve by UNESCO, and with good reason. One of only two rainforests remaining in Sri Lanka, it is recognized as home to one of the richest collections of tropical plant life in South Asia.

Lankagama Duwili Ella Falls

The Lankagama Duwili Falls near Galle is the last of a series of magnificent cataracts on a steep 1km stretch of the Hariyawa stream, which cascades through some of the most inaccessible forests in the region.

Gal Oruwa Ella Falls

he 30m Gal Oruwa Ella Falls’s catchments are the aquifers of Sinharaja Forest. The stream flows between two boulders measuring 30m high 2m wide & 40m in lengths. There is a boulder at the bottom covering the fall on three sides, resembling a boat synonymous whit it’s name: Rock Boat The fall cascades into this boat shaped abyss, emitting a fearful roar.

Maritime Archeology Museum

The sea has long played a vital role in Sri Lanka’s seafaring culture, as has Galle, with its natural harbor that for centuries was the island’s premier port of call for traders across the known world.

Historical Mansion Museum

Anywhere else, the Historical Mansion Museum might be seen as the somewhat eccentric obsession of a canny merchant determined to make a living from the past.

Galle fort light house

Galle Lighthouse is the oldest of Sri Lanka’s 14 lighthouses, although the original was destroyed by fire and rebuilt on the ramparts at what is known as the Point Utrecht Bastion.

Holiday Packages in Galle


Classic Sri Lanka Tour

Negombo | Dambulla | Kandy | Nuwara Eliya

No visit to Sri Lanka would be complete without seeing the best of our renowned Cultural Triangle,..

Luxury in the Footsteps of Geoffrey Bawa

Dambulla | Kandy | Bandarawela | Galle | Bentota | Colombo

The Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa is hailed as one of the most important Asian architects...

Luxury Getaway

Negombo | Hatton | Koggala | Colombo

First stop Negombo after arrival at Sri Lanka’s nearby international airport, and a night at..

Luxury Island Tour

Negombo | Sigiriya | Kandy | Nuwara Eliya | Yala | Galle | Colombo

Cultural diversity is more than matched by the upscale hotels awaiting travellers on this tour.

Family Adventure

Galle | Yala | Udawalawe | Sinharaja Forest | Hatton | Negombo

This would be a 14 nights / 15 day tour package for a family to enjoy the adventurous Sri Lanka.

Journey of Sri Lanka

Colombo | Dambulla | Kandy | Yala | Bentota

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and Sigiriya Rock Fortress are two tour destinations most loved...

Romantic Escape

Kandy | Nuwara Eliya | Bentota

Complete your Love Story…visit “the finest island of its size in all the world”

Cape Weligama

Weligama

Amazing views and panoramas complement the 39 private residences designed by Lek Bunnag...

Sri Lanka Bespoke Wedding

Kahanda Kanda, Sri Lanka’s most exclusive boutique hotel has a stylish wedding packages...

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