Galle is a city situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, 119 km from Colombo
Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital of the country, since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo...

. Galle is the capital city of Southern Province
Southern Province, Sri Lanka
The Southern Province of Sri Lanka is a small geographic area consisting of the districts of Galle, Matara and Hambantota. The region is economically backward compared to the Western province, where the capital Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte is situated...

 of Sri Lanka and it lies in Galle District
Galle District
Galle is a district in Southern Province, Sri Lanka.- Geological background :Its area is , in which is water and is land. Galle District bounded on the North by Benthara river, South and West by the Indian Ocean and East by Matara and Ratnapura Districts. Topography of Galle District is very...


Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali) before the arrival of the Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 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 River
The Gin River , is a long river situated in Galle District of Sri Lanka. Its water source arrives from the Gongala Mountains in Deniyaya. The Gin River flows past the villages of Baddegama, Nagoda, Thelikada and Hegoda. The Wakwella Bridge, which is the longest bridge in Sri Lanka, is built over...

 (Gin Ganga) which starts from Gongala Kanda and passing villages such as Neluwa, Nagoda, Baddegama, Thelikada
Thelikada is a rural village situated in Galle District, in the southern part of Sri Lanka.The Gin River flows near the village. Also the Gin Dam is lying inside the village...

, and Wakwella, reaches the sea at Ginthota. In Wakwella over the river there is Wakwella Bridge
Wakwella Bridge
Wakwella Bridge is situated in Galle District near Thelikada. The Bridge is about 500 feet long and it was the longest bridge in Sri Lanka few years ago. It crosses the Gin River. The bridge joins two villages called Kudagoda and Gonapura. The bridge is built on Ginganga Dam. The surrounding...

, which is the longest bridge in Sri Lanka.

Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

ans in south and southeast Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and south Asian traditions. The Galle fort
Galle Fort
Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the south east coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards...

 is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Other prominent landmark
This is a list of landmarks around the world.Landmarks may be split into two categories - natural phenomena and man-made features, like buildings, bridges, statues, public squares and so forth...

s in Galle include the natural harbor, the National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum (Galle)
The National Maritime Museum in Galle, Sri Lanka is located within the Galle fort. On March 2010, it was reopened at the Dutch warehouse of the Galle fort as the National Maritime Archaeology Museum....

, St. Mary's Cathedral
St. Mary's Cathedral, Galle
The Cathedral of St. Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary , is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galle. It is a landmark in the City of Galle, Sri Lanka. The cathedral was built by the Society of Jesus at the end of the 19th century...

 founded by Jesuit priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

s, one of the main Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 temples on the island, and Amangalla the historic luxury hotel.

Galle is the main city in the most southerly part of the island, with a population of around 100 000, and is connected by rail to Colombo and Matara
Matara, Sri Lanka
Matara is a city on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, 160 km from Colombo. It is one of the largest cities in Sri Lanka. It was deeply affected by the Asian tsunami in December 2004.-History:...

On 26 December 2004 the city was devastated by the massive Boxing Day Tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

 that occurred a thousand miles away, off the coast of Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. Thousands were killed in the city alone. Galle is home to a cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 ground, the Galle International Stadium
Galle International Stadium
Galle International Stadium is a cricket stadium in Galle, Sri Lanka, situated near the Galle fort and fringed on two sides by the Indian Ocean. It is considered to be one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world...

, rebuilt after the tsunami. Test
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 matches resumed there on December 18, 2007.

Rumassala in Unawatuna
Unawatuna is a coastal village in Galle district of Sri Lanka.Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction and famous for its beautiful beach and corals.-From Ramayana:The description of the beach paradises in Valmiki's epic Ramayana sounds like Unawatuna....

 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
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...



According to James Emerson Tennent
James Emerson Tennent
Sir James Emerson Tennent, 1st Baronet FRS , born James Emerson, was an Irish politician and traveller. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 5 June 1862....

, Galle was the ancient seaport of Tarshish
Tarshish תַּרְשִׁישׁ occurs in the Hebrew Bible with several uncertain meanings:*One of the sons of Javan .* In the Bible Solomon set up a trade with Tarshish and received ivory, apes, and peacocks from Tarshish which are all native to the jungles in India. India's state bird for example is the...

, from which King Solomon drew ivory
Ivory is a term for dentine, which constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals, when used as a material for art or manufacturing. Ivory has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes, joint tubes, piano keys and...

, peacocks and other valuables.
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

 was exported from Sri Lanka as early as 1400 BC and the root of the word itself is Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, so Galle may have been a main entrepot
An entrepôt is a trading post where merchandise can be imported and exported without paying import duties, often at a profit. This profit is possible because of trade conditions, for example, the reluctance of ships to travel the entire length of a long trading route, and selling to the entrepôt...

 for the spice.

Galle had been a prominent seaport long before western rule in the country. Persians
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

, Arabs, Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

, Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, Malays, India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

ns, and Chinese
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 were doing business through Galle port. In 1411, the Galle Trilingual Inscription
Galle Trilingual Inscription
The Galle Trilingual Inscription was a stone tablet inscription in three languages, Chinese, Tamil and Persian, that was erected in 1411 in Galle, Sri Lanka to commemorate the second visit to the island by the Chinese admiral Zheng He...

, a stone
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

A stele , also stela , is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected for funerals or commemorative purposes, most usually decorated with the names and titles of the deceased or living — inscribed, carved in relief , or painted onto the slab...

 inscription in three languages, Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 and Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, was erected in Galle to commemorate the second visit to Sri Lanka by the Chinese admiral Zheng He
Zheng He
Zheng He , also known as Ma Sanbao and Hajji Mahmud Shamsuddin was a Hui-Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral, who commanded voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa, collectively referred to as the Voyages of Zheng He or Voyages of Cheng Ho from...


The "modern" history of Galle starts in 1505, when the first Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 ship, under Lourenço de Almeida
Lourenço de Almeida
Lourenço de Almeida , son of Francisco de Almeida, acting under him, distinguished himself in the Indian Ocean, and made Ceylon tributary to Portugal...

 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
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

. 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
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 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.


The Galle Municipal Council governs the City of Galle. It was established under the Municipalities Ordinance of 1865. The first mayor of Galle was Wijeyananda Dahanayake
Wijeyananda Dahanayake
Wijeyananda Dahanayake was a Sri Lankan political figure. He was the Prime Minister of Ceylon from 1959 to 1960.-Early Life:...

, who was appointed in 1939. He later became the Prime Minister of Ceylon. The current Mayor of Galle is Methsiri de Silva, who was appointed on December 4, 2008. The main vision of Galle City is "Building of moderate city through the supply of relatively increased utility services to the citizens who pay taxes to the Municipal council
The other vision is to brand Galle as "GreenCity-Greengalle" to create and promote Galle as Sri Lanka's cool and healthy coastal city with clean green canopy.
This is a historical place in Sri Lanka.


Galle features a tropical rainforest climate
Tropical rainforest climate
A tropical rainforest climate, also known as an equatorial climate, is a tropical climate usually found along the equator...

. The city has no true dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

, though it is noticeably drier in the months of January and February. As is commonplace with many cities with this type of climate, temperatures show little variation throughout the course of the year. Average temperatures hovers at around 26 degrees Celsius throughout the year.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg Temp °C
Precipitation centimeters

source: Weatherbase


Galle is a sizeable city, by Sri Lankan standards, and has a population of 91 000, the majority of whom are of Sinhalese
Sinhalese people
The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group,forming the majority of Sri Lanka,constituting 74% of the Sri Lankan population.They number approximately 15 million worldwide.The Sinhalese identity is based on language, heritage and religion. The Sinhalese speak Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language and the...

 ethnicity. There is also a large Sri Lankan Moor minority, particularly in the fort area, who descend from Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 merchants that settled in the ancient port of Galle. Galle is also notable for its foreign population, both residents and owners of holiday homes.
EthnicityPopulation% Of Total
Sinhalese people
The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group,forming the majority of Sri Lanka,constituting 74% of the Sri Lankan population.They number approximately 15 million worldwide.The Sinhalese identity is based on language, heritage and religion. The Sinhalese speak Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language and the...

66,114 72.70
Sri Lankan Moors
Sri Lankan Moors
The Sri Lankan Moors are the third largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka comprising 8% of the country's total population . They are predominantly followers of Islam. The Moors trace their ancestry to Arab traders who settled in Sri Lanka some time between the 8th and 15th centuries...

23,234 25.55
Sri Lankan Tamils 989 1.09
Indian Tamils
Indian Tamils
Indian Tamils may refer to:* Tamil people from or living in India* Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka...

255 0.28
Other (including Burgher
Burgher people
The Burghers are a Eurasian ethnic group, historically from Sri Lanka, consisting for the most part of male-line descendants of European colonists from the 16th to 20th centuries and local women, with some minorities of Swedish, Norwegian, French and Irish.Today the mother tongue of the Burghers...

, Malay
Sri Lankan Malays
The Malays of Sri Lanka originated in Southeast Asia and today consist of about 50,000 people...

342 0.38
Total 90,934 100

Source: 2001 Census


Galle is home to some of the oldest and leading schools in Sri Lanka.
29 government schools and 5 international schools are situated in Galle. All the government schools provide free education to the children. Some of the schools situated in Galle city are listed below.
  • Richmond College
  • Mahinda College
    Mahinda College
    Mahinda College is a Buddhist boys' school in Galle, Sri Lanka. It is a national school, which provides primary and secondary education. The school was established on March 1, 1892 by the Buddhist Theosophical Society led by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott...

  • St. Aloysius' College
  • Vidyaloka College
    Vidyaloka College
    Vidyaloka College is a boys' school in Galle, Sri Lanka. The school was established on January 14, 1941 by philanthropist Henry Woodward Amarasuriya under the patronage of Venerable Weliwitiye Punyasara Thera. Presently, the school accommodates over 2500 students and provides primary and secondary...

  • All Saints College
    All Saints College, Galle
    All Saints College, founded in 1867 in Galle, Sri Lanka, is located in a Dutch fortress. The fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are All Saints College is one of the premiere educational institution in Sri Lanka...

  • Malharus Sulhiya College

  • Southlands College
  • Sanghamitta Girls College
    Sanghamitta Girls College
    Sanghamitta Girls College is a Buddhist girls school in Galle, Sri Lanka. It is a national school, which provides primary and secondary education. The school was established in 1919, as the first Buddhist Girls School in Southern province of Sri Lanka. Hon...

  • Sacred Heart Convent
  • Rippon Girls' College
  • Anula Devi Balika Vidyalaya
  • Muslim Ladies College

  • Siridhamma College
    Siridhamma College
    Siridhamma College is a school in Labuduwa, Galle, Sri Lanka. It was founded on 6 February 1995 by Honorable Minister .During those past years Siridhamma College became one of leading school in Sri Lanka.-External links:*...

  • Olcott Vidyalaya
  • Sudharma Vidyalaya

  • Leeds International School
  • Ceylinco Sussex College
  • Kingston International School
  • Thomas Gall International School


Two main faculties of University of Ruhuna
University of Ruhuna
The University of Ruhuna is a university in Matara, Sri Lanka. It was founded in 1978 and is organized in seven faculties. The faculties of Engineering and Medicine are in Galle.-History:...

 are located in Galle. The Faculty of Engineering
Faculty Of Engineering Ruhuna
Faculty of Engineering Ruhuna, is one of seven faculties of University of Ruhuna. It is located in a relaxed & quite environment at Hapugala, Galle, away from the city, thereby offering a comfortable atmosphere for studies as well as creative and innovative work.The faculty consistes of four...

 is located at Hapugala about 5 km from the city center. The faculty of Medicine is located at Karapitiya near the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. The Medical faculty is also located at about 5 km from the city center. A study centre of the Open University of Sri Lanka is also located in Galle at Labuduwa junction.
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Study Centre of the Open University of Sri Lanka
    Open University of Sri Lanka
    The Open University of Sri Lanka is a national university in Sri Lanka. It is unique within the Sri Lankan national university system for being the only university to offer programmes of study leading to certificate, diploma, degree, postgraduate diploma and postgraduate degree through the...

Higher Education Institutes

Advanced Technological Institute in Labuduwa, Galle was started in year 2000 and it was planned to offer Higher National Diploma in Information Technology - HNDIT and Higher National Diploma in Agriculture Technology - HNDT (Agri). Since then Labuduwa ATI has been a pioneer in technological education in Sri Lanka. National Institute of Business Management in Galle was established in 2010 to provide higher education opportunities in the fields of Information Technology and Business Management.
  • Advanced Technological Institute (ATI)
  • National Institute of Business Management (NIBM)

Twin cities

The City of Galle is twinned with:
Country ity tate / Region ince
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

Velsen is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It is located on both sides of the North Sea Canal.On the north side of the North Sea Canal, in IJmuiden, there is a major steel plant, Corus Strip Products IJmuiden, formerly known as Koninklijke Hoogovens...

North Holland
North Holland
North Holland |West Frisian]]: Noard-Holland) is a province situated on the North Sea in the northwest part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is Haarlem and its largest city is Amsterdam.-Geography:...


Although not an official twin city,   Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 'adopted' Galle after the 2004 tsunami disaster
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

, funding the reconstruction of its cricket ground and providing financial and other support.

External links

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