galle fort, What to See in Galle Sri Lanka

Things to see in Galle

A large number of well-preserved mansions and houses are among the main things to see in Galle, dating back to 15s and 16s are converted to hotels, bars, restaurants, galleries, shops, and museums. Several well preserved and partly restored churches are still serving the devotees.

Where should I visit in Galle Sri Lanka? What are the things to See in Galle in 24 Hours?

“Why anyone should spend time in southern Sri Lanka and Galle?” someone might ask you, well what would be the answer for it? You might be wondering. I justify the visit to Galle in this manner, “Well it’s a rare opportunity to witness a 16th-century European city in Asia, which is still in its best condition”.

Galle Fort is the best place to see one of the best-preserved Dutch forts in the world, which was originally built by Portuguese in 1505, later occupied by Dutch and English. Even though the foundation stone for the fort was laid by Portugues in 1505, the fort was expanded to the size that we see today under the Dutch East Indian company (1656-1796).

Galle, it is the birthplace of Buddhist resurgent after the harsh British colonial rule, the home town of Galle district, has the amazing collection of galleries, museum, shops, eateries, the vibrant and colourful city”.

What to See in Galle Sri Lanka in 24 Hours, Galle fort, Galle Sri Lanka
The aerial view of Galle fortress, Galle fort is walled city occupied by Dutch administration from 1656 to 1796

On reflection, most tourists that visit Galle are not really surprised at the banter. Galle and many attractions in the region are still under the cosh of its popularity as being run-down and a little unpopular. Yet Galle, especially the Galle Fort, has spent the last several decades going through a resurgent process where forlorn mansions and iconic buildings have been and are still being restored. The Galle city was given a facelift in the recent past to make it one of the most attractive cities on the island.

What do you see in the Galle Fort?

The busiest part and among most popular tourist place of Galle is the fort, which also a family-friendly trip places in Sri Lanka and offers many interesting activities for kids as well as adults. in fact, Galle fort is part of most Sri Lanak trips such as 5 days Sri Lanka southern trip. Galle is among the most popular tourist places to visit in Sri Lanka, which is the among the most important things to See in Galle, where the largest concentration of hotels, bars, museums and many other tourist attractions are concentrated to.

A large number of well-preserved mansions (most of them are converted to holiday bungalows) and houses, dating back to 15s and 16s are converted to hotels, bars, restaurants, galleries, shops, and museums. Several well preserved and partly restored churches are still serving the devotees.

Diving, snorkelling and swimming in Galle

In any case, Galle, part of the southern province of Sri Lanka, is known for many amazing tourist places, most of them are very important for the island’s economy.

One important tourist attraction of Galle is the pristine beaches with torque water, an amazing collection of natural attractions such as lagoons, diving sites, patches of forests and cultural attractions along with colonial heritage are the other key tourist attractions in Galle.

The musical instruments and traditional clothing of Sri Lanka people

Must tour the Martin Wickramasinghe folk museum

Martin Wickramasinghe museum is not included in Sri Lanka day trip to Galle. Most Galle tour packages from Colombo and elsewhere includes important places such as Fort, palm-fringed beaches, mask museum, gem museum etc, but not Martin Wickramasinghe museum.

Galle has a long history connected to the veteran writer Martin Wickramasinghe. Martin Wickramasinghe is widely known as the father of modern Sinhalese literature. Most of his literal works were carried out in search of the lifestyle and cultural aspects of Sri Lankan people. He was very keen to explore and apply modern knowledge in social and natural science, linguistics, literature, education, the arts, philosophy, religion and comparative religion.

A visit to the Martin Wickramasinghe museum is a must if you are enthusiast about foreign culture, history and lifestyle of the people. The museum is a large snapshot of Sri Lankan life depicted through a massive collection of items such arts and crafts, kitchen utensils, household items, farming items, fishing gears, hunting equipment, furniture and even bullock carts.

At the martin Wickramasinghe museum, you will get to see the well-preserved village house of Martin Wickramasinghe along with his household items, such as beds, writing table, chairs etc. The museum exhibits a large collection of items dating back to many generations. The folk museum is visited by many hundreds of people and school children every day.

Maritim Museum of Galle

Things to see in Galle – The Maritime Museum of Galle

You can also visit the maritime museum of Galle, which is located within the borders of Galle Fort, near the Wolvendaal church. The maritime museum showcases a large collection of artefacts discovered in the sea off southern Sri Lanka. Most of these artefacts were rescued from the merchant ships that perished in the sea. The museum itself housed within one of the oldest buildings of the fort. It had been the storage complex of the Dutch East India Company, where the large stock of export products such as spices, ivory, and gems was stored before the shipment.

There is an impressive collection of artefacts numbering more than 200 in the museum that are recovered from the seabed during the exploration and some of the items are nearly 800 years old. Some of the important artefacts recovered from the seabed represent a ship anchor of a ship that sank in the 1800’S, the soda bottles dating back to 1600s and the remnants of the ship that was transporting them, fossils of sea creatures and miniature skeleton of a whale.

One of the most important exhibits of the museum is a diorama of historical inhabitants in Hambantota district. They believed to be lived about 7000 years earlier. Another valuable artefact is a tri-lingual stone inscription that is written in Chinese, Tamil and Persian languages. It believed to be written 600 years earlier in China and later brought to the island.

It also shows the methods of traditional fishing, fishing gears and fishing vessels of the country. Some of the articles among the exhibits are ropes used in vessels, old canons, porcelain items, smoking pipes, maps, and shipwrecks. A valuable artefact of the museum is the model of ship Avondster (evening star) that sank in the port of Galle. The model of the ship and the artefacts recovered from the ship can be witnessed in the museum. The ship perished in 1659 AD.

Galle maritime museum was established by the Central Cultural Fund of Sri Lanka under the conservation program of the Galle world heritage site. The museum showcases the cultural and religious aspects of the people of southern Sri Lanka. It gives an idea of the convergence of Sri Lankan culture, trade, language and tradition with the other foreign nations.

One of the important functions of the museum is educating the people on the fragile maritime ecosystem of the sea. It shows a specimen of a large number of sea creatures such as fish, corals, seagrass and algae. One can see the causes of sea pollution and coastal erosion and precautions that one need to observe to stop the destruction.

One can visit the laboratory of the archaeological museum and witnessed the process of conservation of items with historical value. It provides a rare opportunity of acquiring hands-on experience of conserving items in a laboratory. The historical value of the artefacts represents the period from 8000 B.C to the present millennium.

There are many other interesting artefacts to see in the museum such as models of ancient ships that submerged in the sea off Galle, locally used fishing nets and fishing methods, ancient coins, and clay pots, a model of mangrove forests, boats and canoe.

Snorkelling In Sri Lanka

Must see some underwater living beings

Unawatuna Bay located about 10 km from Galle city, is the most loved beach holiday destination in the region and it is the home to a cluster of small hotels, guest houses and rest houses with occasional star class accommodation providers.

Unawatuna beach just south of Galle is one of the all year round sea bath places in Sri Lanka. Unlike many other sea bathing areas of the southern and west coast of Sri Lanka, where sea bath can be dangerous during the south-west monsoons, Unawatuna enables you to dip into the ocean and have a sea bath at any time of the year.

The coral reef off the sea of Unawatuna provides protection against the underwater current while downgrading the force of waves. These coral reefs also harbour a large collection of exotic fish species, sea turtles, sea plants and many other sea creatures.

Things to explore in Galle Koggala lagoon

Koggala lagoon covers a surface of about 7.27 km2 (2.81 sq mi), the length of the lagoon is 4.8 kilometres and the width of the lagoon is 2 kilometres. The lagoon has a shallow water surface area, which measures to be around 1 meter of depth and deeper part of the lagoon measured 1 meter to 3.7 meters. The main water source of the lagoon is the monsoon rain while few streams such as Mudiyansege-Ela stream, Thithagalla-Ela stream, Heen-Ela also feed the lagoon.

Koggala lagoon is one of the main tourist attractions in the area and has rich biodiversities and ecosystems. Drifting through the mangrove forests during the boat trip will be a fantastic experience for nature lovers. You will be able to see a large collection of mangrove trees and plants as well as aqua Fauna species and many animal species such as water monitors, land monitors, monkeys, crocodiles etc.

The visitors are also able to drop into one of the 8 small islands in the wetland. The most popular island is “Madol Duwa”, which featured as a place for fun-filled activities in one of the novels (Madol Duwa) written by Martin Wickramasinghe. These islands are formed by the lush mangrove swamps. The tour will last about 2 hours giving you the pleasure to live with untamed wilderness. Madol Duwa boat tour is popular in Sri Lanka, especially among the local people, that gives you perfect opportunity to see many mangrove species including 10 mangrove species endemic to Sri Lanka.

Keep your antenna up and have your attention on mangrove roots that are shoot-up from the muddy surface, these roots are coated with a variety of creatures such as barnacle, oyster and crab. Mangrove forests with dense and intertwining roots are well stocked with many fish species, shrimps and crabs and very valuable fish feeding ground.

buddha statue

Things to see in Galle: Kathaluwa Buddhist Temple

In addition to the natural attractions and scenery, Kataluwa Purana Raja Maha Vihara (Kathaluwa Buddhist Temple) is one of the important cultural attractions as well as a religious and historical site in the lagoon.

The temple features very valuable Buddhist paintings dating back to more than a century. Some paintings are depicting scenery from the colonial era and in one of the painting, Queen Victoria commemorates her support for local Buddhism while the British government supports the British missionary Christianity in the backdrop.

Things to see in Galle – The best-preserved Dutch Fort in Asia

The trip to Galle Fort is best described as a Sri Lanka heritage tours, as it unfolds the rich colonial heritage of southern Sri Lanka before your eyes. For an unforgettable eyeful of splendour take a tour of Galle Fort, hundreds of thousands of architectural masterpieces ornate the Galle Fort, which is one of the most popular landmarks in southern Sri Lanka. Galle Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site and the fort is surrounded by a gigantic wall.

Its historical value is great that’s the main reason that it is coming under important things to see in Galle. The fort served as the administrative capital of southern Sri Lanka during the Dutch colonial era. Today it serves as the single most important tourist attractions in Southern Sri Lanka, where tourist can see many hundreds of well preserved Dutch architectural building dating back to 15s.

The Portuguese arrived in Galle in the 1505 AD and built Galle Fort, on the south-west corner of the island, bordering the Indian Ocean. Galle is the major city between Deep South Sri Lanka and commercial capital of Sri Lanka known as Colombo. Later, Dutch and British left their mark. The old town (Galle Dutch fort) occupies the western corner of Galle city and lies well above the Galle city.

Without a doubt, Galle fort is very easy on the eye. Picture a scene of tightly packed stone dwellings scattered on a flat surface, houses and building are so tightly compact that most of the time there is no distance between 2 buildings. All building is in Old Dutch style with a steep roof, big verandah, big windows and large doors. Rows of picturesque houses, shops and mansions line-up along the narrow cobbled streets painted in various distinctive pastel shades and the view from the southern part of the rampart are dominated by the Wolvendaal Church, originally built by the Dutch as a church.

Bungee jump without an elasticized rope in Galle

This spectacular and adventurous performance is undertaken voluntarily by a group of youth to entertain the spectators.  Jumpers have started their brave act in 2009 and today they are popular throughout the island of Sri Lanka due to their bungee jump without an elasticized rope.

They are being sponsored by popular trademarks due to the popularity and large numbers of articles are written on their dangerous act. They have done thousands of jumps so far and every jump is thoroughly enjoyed by the spectators. Flat rock bastion in Galle Fort, Sri Lanka, is the venue to see this acrobatic spectacle. They are rewarded with some money by the people for their performance, who enjoy seeing their jump.

But the jump can be very dangerous because they can be landed on the rocks with a very slight mistake. The rampart is about ten meters high from the water surface at the Flat rock bastion and the gap between the rocks and the stone wall of the fort is not more than one meter. It is very important to keep the adequate distance between the rocks and the wall of the fort, during the jump. This near-death act is performed by five lads namely Chamara, Lasantha, Chinthaka, Rawan, and Ranga.

The jumpers take the lift after three meters run and instantly jump into the sea targeting the patches of water between the rocks. They have mastered their own techniques and they are very accurate even on very windy days. It is definitely a dangerous act to jump into the sea, where the surface is full of rocks. These young lads are very accurate in finding the landing spot between the rocks. Many people have tried to imitate their act but none of them was lucky to beat these lads.

One Japanese tourist broke his legs while another Italian national landed on the rocks, shattering his face and the head.  If you happened to be there, when they perform the acrobatic jump, just enjoy the act of these brave lads and pay them something. Don’t ever try to do the jump. It may seem very danger three brave young boys make a fearless jump into the sea from the rampart of the Galle Fort. The jump is similar to bungee jump but without an elasticized rope.

Must take a walk on walking path

The maritime walking path which stretches along the high-rise wall of the fort is quite something special on every evening on warm sunny days, when the diminishing sun reflects in the sea. It is a safe haven for many couples to enjoy the romance of nightfall. Many families are also occurring here as the day’s windup to chill-out by the sea breeze.

Where to sleep in Galle

There is plenty of B&Bs, dormitories, boutique hotels and luxurious hotels suitable for short trips and long term holidays. A large number of tourist anchoring in Galle for 2-3 weeks to many months. A large number of boutique hotels are scattered within the borders of the Galle fort, most of them provide a comfortable stay at an affordable rate.

Exploring the city on Galle one day tour trip Colombo

Sri Lanka one day outing tour to Galle is a very popular activity among travellers, especially among foreign travellers. This tour organized by Seerendipity and can be booked throughout the year.

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