is located in southern coastline of Sri Lanka, 116km off the capital
Colombo. Most prominent among the attractions of Galle is UNESCO designated
World Heritage Site the Dutch Fort. Number of colonial buildings would give
you sense as if you are in Dutchland. You can enjoy a nice evening on the
beautiful beach of Unawatuna. Best time to visit Galle is from October
Portuguese made this fort to shield themselves from attacks of the Sri
Lankan natives. However the Dutch captured this fort after they subjugated
the Portuguese. They then improved the defence system of the fort, deepening
and widening the moat, and strengthening the ramparts. The British who
followed the Dutch left the Fort intact.for they shifted themselves to
Colombo. The Dutch atmosphere in the fort still prevails.
Groote Klerk, the oldest Protestant church in Sri Lanka, was built in
Galle. The 'new' Dutch Church was constructed on Church Street in 1754.
Several hatchments and engraved tombstones here were transferred from the
old church. Old Dutch graveyard is located at the entrance to the market.
Ahangama / Midigama
The area is known for its unique method of silt fishing. It offers a very
beautiful scenery which becomes extra beautiful during sunset. This is a
popular surfing place.
Dating from British times, those of these which still stand are a
reminder of British mercantile prosperity. The best preserved of them, the
Closenberg, with the P&O sunburst on its roof supports was the residence
of the P&O agent Captain Bailey. Also worth visiting is the mansion on
Leyn Baan Street in- side which is a museum. No fee is charged. The superbly
sited Arm stage, on its last legs now, once inspired poetic hymns by Bishop
Heber. The 300 year old New Orient Hotel on Church Road as the oldest hotel
in Sri Lanka deserves a look for its ambience and antique furniture.
A well-known local writer Martin Wikramasinghe was born here. Museum of
Folk, Art & Culture is built in his honour at his old residence. The
museum displays intriguing local folk items. Attires of folk dancers, sports
items, household items and furniture and vast arena of the folk life of the
early 20th century are also displayed. Koggala Lake is a popular destination
for picnics and bird watching.
Located 5 kms off the main town, Unawatuna Beach is pretty good place to
pass some productive time.
How to Reach
Land at Bhandarnaike Airport of Colombo. Then take a
bux or taxi for Galle.
Galle is an international sea port with passenger
vessels ferrying to and from various important ports across the world.
A good network of road and rail services links Galle to other parts of Sri
Lanka. For visiting various places within Galle one can rely on taxis and
You need not worry accommodation services in Galle. Various types of
accommodation catering to all kinds of budgets are located in Galle. Hotels,
inns, guest houses, resorts, all kinds of accommodation are available in
Lace making is a popular handicraft here. Brussels and the more
contemporary Honiton type lace is available. This type of lace is handmade
on pillows. Another popular local craft is gem polishing. Several jewellers
shops are located here. Carved pieces of ebony are another option if lace
and jewelery don't fascinate you. Without having a souvenir a visit to Galle
Before 1587 Sinhala monarchs ruled Galle. However the town was annexed by
the Portuguese. They built the first fort here. Their capture of Point de
GalIe was relatively short as it was won from them only 53 years later by
the Dutch. During the battle between the two, Portuguese women and children
had taken refuge in an underground vault. However all of them perished
before one of the armies reached there because of congestion and lack of
food and water. The victorious Dutch were later overrun by the British.
Galle acquired independence in 1948.