Galle’s background is a veritable tapestry of cultures. This Southwestern Sri Lankan seaport was a cash cow for local rulers and global seafaring dealers through the centuries. Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Persians passed in their journeys through Galle to get and sell exotic spices and products.
What to See
It seems that Sri Lanka’s booming seaport became the apple of Europe’s attention at the 16th century, along with also the Portuguese, Dutch, and British each had their sights set on Galle. Their existence made an everlasting mark and their effects can still be seen and felt to the day.
Galle is a grand example of a fortified city, Now. Scattered across the city are distinctive European fortifications, schools , churches, street plans, and traditions. It required a fantastic deal of preparation and manpower to safeguard Galle from threats.
The Portuguese built the fortifications . The Dutch East India Company remained for over 150 decades and improved over the original layout in the 1660s, when they shot over the city in 40, along with also the British enjoyed the fruits of their labour in flourishing Galle. It seems the place of the town used and has always been enviable as a means for commerce.
Visitors can have the best of both worlds-Sri Lankan culture melded with European background. Seventy two percent of the city is Sinhalese and the surviving colonial European heritage is being toured by the most important action in Galle. Because they’ve been relatively unaltered since their 22, the old city and its fortifications of galle comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tourists come to get fantastic deals, and to wander across the walls on the Bay of Galle, purchase handmade lace that is delicate. The fort’s colonial European structure is reminiscent of days from years past, when Galle was one of the very gems from the Indian Ocean.
It might take a few days to research Galle’s 130-acre historic fort. The Galle Fort referred to as the Dutch Fort, is much more of a city compared to a stronghold. The Portuguese were the first to start constructing here in 1588. After being seized from the Dutch in 1640, Galle was rebuilt, redesigned, and expanded to what we see today mostly by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). By utilizing coral and granite construction materials, the VOC was able to execute the project in true European fashion, attaining both functionality and grandness. The Galle Fort was well constructed that it appeared almost unscathed.
Note from David
Check out 5 Things to Watch in Kandy, Sri Lanka
Additional Travel Information
The Galle Fort is a special region which retains a great deal. It’ll transport you back in time around 300 years with colonial architecture and its own distinctive appeal. The most developments were made by the Dutch colonists arguably to the fort. One might be the underground sewer system which was created to self-clean with all the tides of the sea. The British finally took the fort over on February 23, 1796, exactly one week after Colombo was captured by them. It wouldn’t be which Sri Lanka gains full control of Galle Fort after becoming an independent state.
Begin your walking tour of Galle Fort at the Main Gate.
You will know if you look up you’re in the perfect area and watch that a coat of arms flanked by a lion and a stallion that reads: DIEU ET MON DROIT. It is a 1668 depiction of the British Royal Seal which reads in French:”God and my right will me defend.” Walking the Galle Fort clockwise will require you and to several of the colonial structures of the Fort. You will see bastions. They are vantage points, however, have been constructed with a function that is strategic. By positioning bastions (projections) across the fort, European troops could defend against invaders more efficiently.
The Dutch Reformed Church (the Great Church, or Groote Kerk in Dutch) is Situated near the Commandment Bastion on Church Street.
It is a structure with a roof that was constructed from the Dutch commander Casparus de Jong and his spouse following their son’s birth. A month, it is still used for services that were Protestant. Inside, visitors may see the antique pulpit of the church, along with the stained glass windows, the manhood that is elderly, engraved gravestones. The construction remodeled and was constructed in 1640. The organ was obtained from a different church in Colombo at 1760.
The Galle Fort Lighthouse is. Historically this 92-foot-high structure was used to guide merchant ships and to Colombo. It perished in a fire in 1936 because the structure was made from wood, although This was the first lighthouse constructed in Sri Lanka. Today, the refurbished lighthouse stands proudly atop Point Ultrecht Bastion.
Check out What to Watch at Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
The 1707 Dutch clock tower, located near the Star and Moon Bastions, stands seeing across the sea fortress.
Other Factors of interest on the Fort Comprise the Old Testament on Queen Street, Also the Dutch Museum (31 Leyn Baan Street)and Also the National Culture Museum Situated near the Main Gate entrance, the 1868 All Saints Anglican Church on Church Street, Meeran Jumma Masjid, the Older Arab quarters at the end of Church Street, along with the National Maritime Museum that Formerly served as the Great Warehouse (Situated inside the Old Gate).
There are numerous boutique hotels, private villas, restaurants, shops style homes, and other points of interest at Fort Galle. The area, though perhaps not the trade that is grandiose place it was, is a bustling community.
Ambalangoda is a city famous for its own masks and other handicrafts. Situated 25 kilometers northwest of Galle, it’s easily accessed via the CGHW Highway (A-2). Pack up the family and head to Ambalangoda for an unforgettable cultural experience and an opportunity to buy a few of Sri Lanka elaborate masks. Learn about the 3 Distinct Kinds of masks; Kolam, Raksha, and Sanni at Ariyapala & Sons Mask Museum (426 Main Street). The masks have been carved from tender Balsa and Kuduru forests. Visitors will learn about Sri Lankan mask manufacturers, the foundation behind the masksin, and the role masks play in contemporary Sri Lankan society. Sons Mask Museum & the Ariyapala offers various masks at prices that are reasonable. These masks make excellent gifts or keepsakes.
If you want to experience a different facet of the local culture, then the Ambalangoda is house 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 observe village dances, ritual dances, and Indian dances. To get two weeks notice and 10,000 LKR, you are going to receive your own private dance show. Contact the academy directly to arrange this experience during your trip to Ambalangoda.
Unawatuna is an underdeveloped hidden jewel which lies only six kilometers from Galle. A five-minute driveway south across the CGHW Highway (A-2) will direct you to the mythical oasis which was formerly home to a number of the planet’s most gorgeous beaches. The Unawatuna shore has recovered a great deal since being devastated from the 2004 tsunami, and so is once again safe for relaxing and swimming. Whenever you are not tanning or mingling with other tourists across the sands of Unawatuna, you order snacks or beverages from one of the local bars and can walk a couple steps to the color of umbrellas.
Unawatuna includes a amazing laidback vibe, ideal for decompression and comfort. The lush setting are also 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 in the boat rides, scuba diving, and Jungle Beach. The Shipwreck of the British steamer Rangoon is a favorite dive area about a 30-minute boat journey by the beach. Reservations and gear rentals for these activities can be organized at the beach or at some of the local dive centers. The easiest way to get to Jungle Beach and around Unawatuna is by tuk-tuk.
Check out the Top 12 Things to See and Do in Colombo, Sri Lanka
To get a culture and a little less water, visitors have the choice of researching the Rumassala temple with viewpoints, or even the early Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya Buddhist stone temple that’s over 2,300 years old and contains an reclining Buddha. The Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya stone temple can be reached via the Unawatuna-Hinatigala Road.
For the animal lover on Your Own, visit with Hatchery and the Habaraduwa Turtle Farm Situated about a mile from Unawatuna.
Sri Lanka’s southern shore is ground for five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles. The Habaraduwa Turtle Farm and Hatchery provides visitors lessons in conservation efforts along with the chance to experience these awesome animals. The turtle farm is open every day 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Located one mile across the CGHW (A-2) in Galle close Hikkaduwa, is Meetiyagoda, a city that’s famed because of its moonstones. The moonstone is a precious stone that comes in a variety of colours, and is incorporated into jewellery. Outside of Sri Lanka, moonstones are headquartered in Madagascar, the United States, and Australia, Mexico, Norway, Poland. Unlike in other countries, the blue moonstone is mined in Sri Lanka. The ideal way to learn about and shop for moonstones is to head right to Beruwalage Gems & Jewellery (+94 91 226 0343) to get an authentic and unique experience.
If you ask to tour the complex, you may see the mineshaft learn about the rock cutting processes check out some raw moonstones, and then introduced into the beautiful finished products. Romans and ancient Greeks thought that these stones to be solidified moon rays. Today, they are bought by people simply because they’re attractive, exotic, and cost considerably less than precious stones. Buying moonstones near the source is less expensive than buying them. Make sure you have a certification of authenticity by the jeweler, whenever buying a moonstone.
There are not a lot of fishing techniques left on the planet and Weligama stilt fishing is one of the most remarkable long-standing techniques of catching fish you will ever see. No ship is used, a fishing pole plus only a stilt makes Weligama’s fishermen look like sentinels of the beach. The city can be found at the southern region of the country about 24 kilometers from Galle, and is currently obtained via the CGHW (A-2). Weligama is a sleepy fishing village with lovely views of the Weligama Bay and home to one of the very best surf spots from the Indian Ocean with departments for visitors alike.
Check out What to See and Do in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Weligama is surrounded by rubber and coconut tree plantations. Visitors learn about the goods and may arrange tours of the factories that are local. Walking on the beach is also a favorite past time in Weligama that is serene. For comfort and holistic wellbeing, and luxury resorts that are compatible, we urge the Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort.
Located three kilometers from Weligama across the CGHW (A-2), only beyond the southeastern stage of Weligama Bay, is the low key village of Mirissa. Besides its virgin beaches, the peaceful Mirissa has a single claim to fame; the seas off its shore are ideal for whale and dolphin watching. Nearby Dondra Point is Sri Lanka’s premiere whale. Visitors come to see blue whales, sperm whales, and spinner dolphins moving in their migration paths. The months with the maximum chance of spotting these majestic animals are January, December, and April.
Mirissa has the accommodations, Though Dondra Point can be obtained from various other nearby cities. These include health luxury beach, and hotels that are green. For info, schedule, and whale watching tours from Mirissa, speak to the Paradise Beach Club. Tours include breakfast, range from 3 to five hours in length, also cost approximately $50 per person.
Like Galle, Matara’s city is an ancient place that bears testament to colonial occupation. The Dutch used Matara for the exchange of elephants and cinnamon as a strategic port. The Nilwala River is the third longest river in Sri Lanka and runs breaking up the Old Town from Matara that is contemporary. There are two forts to visit: Main Fort along with Star Fort. The Main Fort, or Matara Fort, is located in the Old Town and has been assembled by the Dutch from the 1630s. Visitors may wander across the Main Fort and visit the Hawaiian homes , the Dutch Reformed Church, St. Mary’s Church, and receive unobstructed sea views across the border. Contrary to the Galle Fort, Matara’s Main Fort was affected by the 2004 tsunami and many of the buildings have fallen into disrepair.
Attractions from Matara Comprise the Muhiyiddenil Jeelani Mosque at the Old Town Situated near the bridge, Star Fort in Contemporary Matara along with Also the Weherahena Buddhist Temple that features an immense statue of Buddha.
Visitors may snorkel at Polhena Reef, which is located about two kilometers from the city center. The reef is very safe because the coral makes a natural barrier to protect swimmers to float. Getting around by tuk-tuk is the easiest mode of transportation. Matara is located about 45 kilometers from Galle across the CGHW (A-2).
The Southwestern shore of the island of Sri Lanka can be comparatively undeveloped in terms of beach resorts and contemporary cities and is one of the most magical spots on Earth. My stay at the Aditya Resort at Galle was phenomenal- it was the ideal place to return to each day following hours on the road and sightseeing on foot. One will transport to a time that is different – if commerce was king and the Dutch were entirely in control of the land.
Between wooden Buddha carvings, moonstones , and the masks after I visited that region of the country my bag was going to burst. There’s so much to be discovered along the beaches of Southwestern Sri Lanka. Besides temples, the beaches, and attractions, there’s something to be said concerning the joys of the coastal towns of Sri Lanka. The people are warm and always ready to impart knowledge about their culture and customs. The CGHW (A-2) roadway is the main road running across Sri Lanka’s west shore. It is often known simply as”Galle Road.” Tuk-tuks really are a wonderful way to get around at Galle and each of the cities, especially should you not own a driver.
The afternoon excursions in this manual and my suggestion of Galle is to simply get out there! Before hotel chains start to develop this area into man-made beaches and hotel towns do it. Oceanfront properties that are pristine do not last long in this time, and I don’t have any doubt that the western shore of Sri Lanka will become one of the world’s most popular tourist spots that are hot. For today it has lazy beaches, historic sites, green hotels that are charming, and fishing villages. 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 cities, trains and buses are best. Buses can be crowded and are. Trains are slower and more may be crowded too Although, they believed the more comfortable mode of transportation. When in the city, buses, tuk-tuks, taxis, and, in many cases, simply walking, are all viable forms of transportation. In some cases, drivers and cars may be hired for a single day or bikes may be rented.
Tipping coverage: Service fees, normally 10%, are contained at most restaurants. Guides and drivers will also expect advice. A tip of 50 LKR is suitable for hotel doormen and the individuals who accumulate guests’ shoes.
Electricity: There are two Kinds of sockets, the Form D Indian 5 amp BS-546 along with Also the Western CEE 7/16 Europlug.
Entry/exit demands: 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 via the Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization System site.
Health and security: Though instances are rare, dengue fever is endemic to Sri Lanka. The illness, however treatable, has potential. The only way to stop contracting the virus is by preventing getting bitten. Use a lotion or spray insect repellent to help keep mosquitoes at bay whenever 21, and also sleep under a mosquito net. Symptoms generally start after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Seek medical care if you think you have fever. Adequate emergency medical care in private hospitals can be costly. It is highly recommended to have travel medical insurance coverage during your stay. We advocate the Explorer bundle. To prevent unwanted attention, such as sporting jewelry, refrain and producing large amounts of cash.
Best time to go: Sri Lanka includes two monsoon seasons, which means that your trip does require some pre-planning. The dry season in the south western region of the country is between December and March. The dry season from the country’s southern and northern segments proceeds from May to September. Throughout the country rains occur between October and November. December through March is the most bizarre time and the most famous.
In Galle, the tourist season lasts from November 15. During this period visitors can expect to pay higher rates at hotels. We recommend seeing in March or February to take advantage of room rates and dry weather.
Can you like our article of what things to see in and around Galle? Leave us a query or comment under!