Galle: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View of the city from the sea side

Galle is located in Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 6°3′0″N 80°13′0″E / 6.05°N 80.216667°E / 6.05; 80.216667
Country  Sri Lanka
Province Southern Province
 - Mayor
 - Total 1,652 km2 (637.8 sq mi)
 - Land 1,617 km2 (624.3 sq mi)
 - Water 35 km2 (13.5 sq mi)
Population (2001)
 - Total 99,500
 Density 613/km2 (1,587.7/sq mi)
Time zone Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone (UTC+5:30)

Galle (ගාල්ල in Sinhala; காலி in Tamil) (pronounced as one syllable in English, /ˈɡɔːl/ "Gaul", and as two in Sinhalese, IPA: [ɡaːlːə]) is a city situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km from Colombo. Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali) before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. The major river is Gin River (Gin Ganga) which starts from Gongala Kanda and passing villages such as Neluwa, Nagoda, Baddegama, Thelikada, Wakwella and kisses the sea at Ginthota. In Wakwella over the river there is Wakwella Bridge which is the longest bridge in Sri Lanka.

Galle lies in Galle District.

On 26 December 2004 the city was devastated by the massive Boxing Day Tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that occurred a thousand miles away, off the coast of Indonesia. Thousands were killed in the city alone.

Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in south and southeast Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and south Asian traditions. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Other prominent landmarks in Galle include St. Mary's Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island, and The Amangalla, a historic luxury hotel.

Galle is the main town in the most southerly part of the island, with a population of around 100,000, and is connected by rail to Colombo and Matara. It is home to a cricket ground, the Galle International Stadium, rebuilt after the 2004 tsunami. Test matches resumed there on December 18, 2007.

Gall offers a unique opportunaity to create a visible demonstration of the conservation of this inheritance and an exciting new internationally famous visitor desitination. The vision is to brand Galle as "[GreenCity-Greengalle [1]]" to create and promote Galle as SriLanka's cool and healthy coastal city with clean green canopy.

Rumassala Kanda is a large mound-like hill, which forms the eastern protective barrier to the Galle harbour. Local tradition associates this hill with some events of the Ramayana.

Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Fort: View of the lighthouse
State Party  Sri Lanka
Type Cultural
Criteria iv
Reference 451
Region** Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1988  (10th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.



The beauty of Galle countryside, Wakwella with Sri Lanka's longest bridge on the river Gin

According to James Emerson Tennent, Galle was the ancient seaport of Tarshish, from which King Solomon drew ivory, peacocks and other valuables. Certainly, cinnamon was exported from Sri Lanka as early as 1400 BC and the root of the word itself is Hebrew, so Galle may have been a main entrepot for the spice.[citation needed]

Galle had been a prominent seaport long before western rule in the country. Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays, Indians, and Chinese were doing business through Galle port. In 1411, the Galle Trilingual Inscription, a stone tablet inscription in three languages, Chinese, Tamil and Persian, was erected in Galle to commemorate the second visit to Sri Lanka by the Chinese admiral Zheng He.

The "modern" history of Galle starts in 1505, when the first Portuguese ship, under Lourenço de Almeida was driven there by a storm. However, the people of the city refused to let the Portuguese enter it, so the Portuguese took it by force.

In 1640, the Portuguese had to surrender to the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch built the present Fort in the year 1663. They built a fortified wall, using solid granite, and built three bastions, known as "Sun", "Moon" and "Star".

After the British took over the country from the Dutch in the year 1796, they preserved the Fort unchanged, and used it as the administrative centre of Galle.

New Galle Mayor is Mr. Methsiri de Silva, appointed 2008.12.04.The Vision of [Galle City[2]] is "Building of moderate city through the supply of relatively increased utility services to the citizens who pay taxes to the Municipal council.


Galle is a sizeable town, by Sri Lankan standards, and has a population of 91,000, the majority of whom are of Sinhalese ethnicity. There is also a large Sri Lankan Moor minority, particularly in the fort area, who descend from Arab merchants that settled in the ancient port of Galle.

Ethnicity Population % Of Total
Sinhalese 66,114 72.71
Sri Lankan Moors 23,234 25.56
Sri Lankan Tamils 989 1.09
Indian Tamils 255 0.28
Other (including Burgher, Malay) 342 0.38
Total 90,934 100

Source: 2001 Census

Galle is also notable for its foreign population, both residents and owners of holiday homes.


The city consists of multi religious multi cultural and multi ethnic communities.


Faculty of engineering, Galle

Two main faculties of University of Ruhuna are located in Galle. Faculty of Engineering is located at Hapugala about 5 km from the city center. The faculty of Medicine is located at Karapitiya near the Karapitiya Hospital.

  • Faculty Of Engineering visit
  • Faculty of Medicine visit

Higher Education Institutes

Labuduwa Advanced Technological Institute was Started in year 2000 and it was planned to offer Higher national Diploma in Information Technology(HNDIT), Higher National Diploma in Technology (Agriculture) HNDT(Agri).Since then Labuduwa ATI has been the pioneer in technological education in SriLanka


Mahinda College, Galle was established in March 1, 1892, by the Buddhist Theosophical Society led by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott.

Twin cities

Galle Cricket Ground

The City of Galle is twinned with:

Although not an official twin city, Australia Melbourne, Australia 'adopted' Galle after the 2004 tsunami disaster, funding the reconstruction of its cricket ground and providing financial and other support, including a mobile library. G/nindana Maha Vidayalaya

See also

External links

Coordinates: 6°02′02.97″N 80°12′58.77″E / 6.0341583°N 80.216325°E / 6.0341583; 80.216325


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Galle is in Sri Lanka.

Get in

From Colombo you can take the train or bus. Both travel right next to the beach coast and have beautiful views. This is why getting in is one of the best things about Galle.

Depending on traffic, or how many stops the train makes, traveling from Colombo city can be anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours.

Get around

Tuk Tuk or on foot is your best bet if you are traveling in Galle or close by.

The bus is an easy and cheap way to get to Matara or Hikkaduwa from Galle.

  • The Kalutara temple is a place you must not miss.
  • Always make a donation and say a prayer at Seenigama temple for good luck.
  • A walk along the Fort's walls at sunset is very pleasant if you don't mind being hassled to buy table cloths, fake antique 'Dutch' coins, or powdered milk.
The south ramparts of Galle Fort
The south ramparts of Galle Fort
  • The Peace Pagoda and the view from on a clear day is also quite lovely.
  • An around the world sailboat rally (30 boats in 2007) stops in Galle. The rally sails west to the country of Djibouti on the African Continent. Generally, from January to March boats sail in the direction of the Suez Canal.
  • Galle Fort - Shopping for gems and antiques
  • Visit one of the turtle hatcheries along the coast


You will find the best tourist shopping inside the Fort. But you will need to go into town if you want fresh fruits and veggies or clothing.

  • The Rampart Hotel inside the fort on the south ramparts does good local and "international" meals and serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It is quite expensive by local standards though at about R1600/- (US$15) for a meal with a couple of drinks.
  • In the Fort, there is also a great little cafe called The Pedler's Inn on Pedler Street. The milkshakes are a must for a hot day, and the sandwiches are pretty good, too!
  • Also just inside the fort is the small friendly and family run Anura's Restaurant, which serves a mixture of local foods, pizzas, sandwiches and other snacks.
  • For a treat, try the all-you-can eat buffet at the ultra posh Lighthouse Hotel for only about R1200/-. (You might not get any further than the hors d'oeuvres.)
  • fortinn guesthouse & restaurant, 31 pedlar street,fort,galle., 0094912248094. fortinn guest house is familly run has four rooms .2 with a/c others with fan ,hot water.we provide food as your request.  edit
  • The Sydney Hotel is one of the more splendidly seedy bars on earth, beloved of the "Barmy Army"[1] of England cricket followers, and near the bus station opposite the International Cricket Stadium. The beer is cheap, the environment sordid and the only time the toilets have ever been cleaned was on boxing day 2004.
  • fortinn guesthouse & restaurant, 31,pedlar street,fort,galle,srilanka., 0094912248094. fortinn is familly run has 4 rooms.2 with a/c others with fan & hotwater .it provide deliouse food as your request.(  edit
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Galle has quite a few small boutique hotels and more seem to be cropping up after the tsunami. Within the Galle Fort there is Amangalla (within the renovated Oriental Hotel) and the Galle Fort Hotel [2]. On the outskirts of Galle there is the Sun House.

On the road into Galle from Colombo there is the Lighthouse Resort designed by Bawa, famous architect.

  • fortinn restaurant, 31 pedlar street,fort,galle,sri lanka., 0094912248094. we restaurant & guest house in galle fort.can you enter that to your website  edit
  • khalid's guest house, 102 pedlar street fort Galle (Galle Fort), 0094 77 317 7676, [3]. longest running family guest house in historical dutch fort. beautifully blended dutch house with good taste. highly speaks about the traditional meals here, which is probably the best in Sri Lanka. all rooms with attached bath and hot water. some rooms with balcony sea view. good value for money. very highly recommonded which features in all travel guide books. sadly lonly planet 11th edition has misinterprited this great establishment which is really the best you can find in Galle fort. 20US$.  edit
  • The rooms at the family run Rampart View Guest House (tel. 4389566, 37 Rampart Street) have a shared balcony overlooking the ramparts at the southern end of Galle Fort with the Indian Ocean beyond, and it has a small roof garden. The rooms are clean, with air-con, and the owners are friendly and helpful. The breakfasts include lots of fresh fruit, bread, eggs and good rich tea.
  • They have only two en suite rooms at Mamas 76 Lleyn Baan st,Galle Fort, but the best roof terrace in the fort.morning fresh local food served by a willing local family, fluent english speaking ex tour guide Jerome runs his own business. V. good value. []
  • fort inn guest house is four rooms with hot water. some rooms with a/c others with fan.


The Lighthouse Hotel - Has a luxurious environment and excellent service.

  • Tamarind Hotel, No: 288,Galle Road, Dadella, Galle, Sri Lanka, +94 91 2226569, [4]. This sprawling manor, built in the 1800s by a prominent family in the Galle district, was first occupied by a British Admiral and later by a High Court judge of the colonial era. Tamarind Hill was refurbished preserving the intricate details and style of a by-gone era - all the extensions and alterations to the property have been beautifully blended with the original main house, in keeping with the architecture and restoring it to its grand origins. Situated on a three acre hill with huge courtyards, sun-dappled verandahs and tropical gardens, Tamarind Hill has 10 rooms and two suites offering the ultimate in comfort, stylish design and modern amenities, juxtaposed with the charm of a bygone era.  edit
  • Unawatuna [5 km to the south, on Route A2] A beautiful beach - take a swim; enjoy the best eating places
  • If you're staying in the fort get a bit of brisk exercise by walking around the ramparts first thing in the morning, as a lot of the locals do. (and take the advice above in the evenings.)
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

GALLE, or Point De Galle, a town and port of Ceylon on the south-west coast. It was made a municipality in 1865, and divided into the five districts of the Fort, Callowelle, Galopiadde, Hirimbure and Cumbalwalla. The fort, which is more than a mile in circumference, overlooks the whole harbour, but is commanded by a range of hills. Within its enclosure are not only several government buildings, but an old church erected by the Dutch East India Company, a mosque, a Wesleyan chapel, a hospital, and a considerable number of houses occupied by Europeans. The old Dutch building known as the queen's house, or governor's residence, which dated from 1687, was in such a dilapidated state that it was sold by the governor, Sir William Gregory, in 1873. Elsewhere there are few buildings of individual note, but the general style of domestic architecture is pleasant and comfortable, though not pretentious. One of the most delightful features of the place is the profusion of trees, even within the town, and along the edge of the shore - suriyas, palms, coco-nut trees and bread-fruit trees. The ramparts towards the sea furnish fine promenades. In the harbour deep water is found close to the shore, and the outer roads are spacious; but the south-west monsoon renders entrance difficult, and not unfrequently drives vessels from their moorings.

The opening of the Suez Canal in 186 9, and the construction of a breakwater at Colombo, leading to the transfer of the mail and most of the commercial steamers to the capital of the island, seriously diminished the prosperity of Galle. Although a few steamers still call to coal and take in some cargo, yet the loss of the Peninsular and Oriental and other steamer agencies reduced the port to a subordinate position; nor has the extension of the railway from Colombo, and beyond Galle to Matara, very much improved matters. The tea-planting industry has, however, spread to the neighbourhood, and a great deal is done in digging plumbago and in growing grass for the distillation of citronella oil. The export trade is chiefly represented by coco-nut oil, plumbago, coir yarn, fibre, rope and tea. In the import trade cotton goods are the chief item. Both the export and import trade for the district, however, now chiefly passes through Colombo. Pop. (1901) 37,165.

Galle is mentioned by none of the Greek or Latin geographers, unless the identification with Ptolemy's Avium Promontorium or Cape of Birds be a correct one. It is hardly noticed in the native chronicles before 1267, and Ibn Batuta, in the middle of the 14th century, distinctly states that Kali - that is, Galle - was a small town. It was not till the period of Portuguese occupation that it rose to importance. When the Dutch succeeded the Portuguese they strengthened the fortifications, which had been vigorously defended against their admiral, Kosten; and under their rule the place had the rank of a commandancy. In the marriage treaty of the infanta of Portugal with Charles II. of England it was agreed that if the Portuguese recovered Ceylon they were to hand over Galle to the English; but as the Portuguese did not recover Ceylon the town was left to fall into English hands at the conquest of the island from the Dutch in 1796. The name Galle is derived from the Sinhalese galla, equivalent to "rock"; but the Portuguese and Dutch settlers, being better fighters than philologists, connected it with the Latin gallus, a cock, and the image of a cock was carved as a symbol of the town in the front of the old government house.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Old High German galla


Galle f

  1. gall
  2. bile


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