This southern port city in Sri Lanka has an indelible historical significance just like the other major cities on the Island. Just about 72 miles along the coast downwards from Colombo, Galle evokes an interest on the colonial occupation of yore especially the Dutch period. Whether architecture, culture or religion the foreign reign though not to be relished in today’s mind-set, it did leave behind traits and legacies that bear a mutual respect and pride both by the foreigners as well as the locals.
One of the prime features in this port city is the Dutch Fort overlooking the Ocean and perched on a higher ground. Within this as the name implies are the buildings for many purposes of the Hollanders’ architecture and structural patterns even after almost 375 years. Some of them are of the English style houses and verandas to remind us about the colonial import. They are preserved not as antique remnants but utilized for many purposes even now. The lighthouse in its enclosure has been the beacon for many a ship that pass through this tip as there were no other guiding lights for the vessels in the open sea. Well-fortified, the ramification served as a safe and secure protective area during wars.
Beside this, the Galle harbour is a strategic berthing port for ships that sail across from east to west and vice versa, generally the cargo vessels. Fishery activities also thrive alongside. However, there are many such fisherman’s hyperactivity are to be found along the coastline from Galle in both directions towards other southern cities as well as up towards Colombo. And all these are now popular spots for the tourists.
Beach resorts are plenty and they cater to various activities. During the last decade or so much focus has been on the Dolphin and Whale watching form Mirissa (a few km form Galle). There are certain months where you can view in close proximity, these sea creatures of delight. Launches and specially designed and equipped boats will transport the visitors to make the visit enriching. Similarly, for aqua sports such as scuba diving snorkelling or windsurfing Hikkaduwa beach (up towards Colombo) will satiate any such who are inclined to indulge.
Apart, Galle also preserves many religious and culturally important sites. Temples and museums would take a traveller through the timeline of history and its significant landmarks. Many eminent scholars and statesmen of Sri Lanka were born here. History also elicits how the colonial races and the local inhabitants lived and ruled in harmony without eradicating any of the cherished values. Tours to wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves can be organized form this town as an extension segment.
Galle also came to limelight due to the Cricked Stadium built for International matches. The stadium was affected somewhat by the devastating Tsunami 12 years ago but since then, has regained its prominence. There is no dearth for tourists’ lodges and star hotels in the region as the demand is such and is expected to soar higher in the imminent future. Do be passionate about the local dishes along with the other International cuisine while touring to this beautiful southern port city.