Discovering Sri Lanka: Ancient Galle Port
This is the 1st part of a multi-part chronicle of my adventures in Sri Lanka, an ancient and exotic land located near the Maldives and South India. As there are many highlights in Sri Lanka, I decided not to number the series, and insofar possible, summarize all I saw there in as few posts as possible.
Welcome to Galle, a tropical ancient port well-known to the ancient seafarers such as the Arabs, Chinese, Romans, Greeks and in more modern times, the Portuguese and Dutch.
In this tranquil old town, is the confluence of many cultures and religions. Here, Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics, and Muslims live in relative harmony. The places where they worship are equally ancient, especially the Dutch Reformed Church said to be built in 1755
You will adore the pretty postcard-worthy Galle Lighthouse, which was built by the British in the 1930’s. Nearby, you will find peddlers selling coconut and woodcraft by the road-side, and also, brave cliff divers who will take a plunge down a cliff into the blue-blue water, for a couple of Rupees, for you to take a picture. Don’t worry, Sri Lankans have their pride, and you will hardly find any begging for money, as they prefer to work for it.
Next, you would pass Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built circa 1649. Feel the ocean breeze as you explore the meandering walls of this fort, overlooking the Indian Ocean. You will discover a pretty clock tower here built in 1883. While standing on the walls of the fort, look inland, I implore you, and you will see one of the most scenic Cricket Fields flanked by the fort walls, with a commanding view of the India Ocean.
When you leave Galle, you will feel sad, because you will leave behind a beautiful picturesque coastal town, that you only hope you could retire in, one day.
In my next post I will be covering the Sri Lankan cultural triangle, dotted with many important historical/archaeological sites.