The Galle City

According to records, Galle was a popular port of call and a safe harbor for navigators of the middle ages who were engaged in trading and exploration. Therefore, during this period Galle had acquired fame among foreign sea farers not as a city but as a safe harbor and an international trading post.

According to legend, the history of Galle dates back to the period of Rama and Ravana. There is a belief that the Rumassala hill was formed by a part of the Himalayan mountains which was dropped by the monkey general Hanumantha. In historical texts the city of Galle is mentioned in connection with the period of the reign of King Devanampiyatissa as well as the period of the reign of King Dutugemunu, dating back to over 2,000 years.

However, the oldest writing on Galle presently in existence is the trilingual inscription on a stone plaque which was discovered in 1911 fixed to a culvert on Cripps Road in Galle.

The history of the name Galle

Ibn Batuta who visited Sri Lanka in the 14 th century has mentioned Galle as "Qali". In the Sinhala epics (Sandesha Kavya) written towards the end of the 14 th century and afterwards the name of this city is mentioned in Sinhala as Galle.

The Portuguese and other Europeans who visited Sri Lanka later have used various different names such as Point de Galle, Puncto de Galle, Pinto Gale and Pontogal. Some historians believe that these names have been used to describe the area around Galle Fort. Subsequently, after the advent of the Portuguese and the Dutch different interpretations have been given as to how Galle got its name.

According to historian Rev. Father N.G. Perera the name Galle evolved from the word gala (rock).

Another belief is that Galle has got its name because of the rocky terrain. The names Magalle, Pettigala, Thuwakkugalaand Galwadugdugodaare all based on gala, the Sinhala word for rock or stone.

The Portuguese word for cock is "Galo" derived from the Latin "Gallus". One belief is that because the first thing they heard as their ship entered the Galle harbor was the crowing of a cock, the Portuguese named this city Galle.

References to Galle in the Sinhala Epics - There are many references to Galle in the Sinhala Epics Moiola Wansa, Mayura Sandeshaya, Thisara Sandeshaya, Paravi Sandeshayaand Kokila Sandeshaya.

Thus, Galle can boast of a history not second to any other city in the country. It is undoubtedly Galle's natural harbor that has helped most in Galle earning its niche in history. More recently a large fishery harbor has been built to cater to the needs of the fishing community which constitutes a substantial portion of the population. As one moves inland from the city of Galle, the roads are lined with lush greenery containing all the main agricultural crops of the island, viz., tea, rubber, rice and coconut. The District of Galle has thus been making a valuable contribution to the agro economy of the country. Galle is also the home to some excellent schools turning out intellectuals and professionals who have shone in all walks of life

Total square area of the Galle District : 1625 Square km.

  • Akmeemana
  • Ambalangoda
  • Baddegama
  • Balapitiya
  • Bentota
  • Bope-Poddala
  • Elpitiya
  • Galle Four Gravets
  • Habaraduwa
  • Imaduwa
  • Karandeniya
  • Nagoda
  • Neluwa
  • Niyagama
  • Tawalama
  • Welivitiya-Divithura
  • Yakkalamulla
  • Gonapinuwala

According to Race
980, 716
Sri Lankan Tamil 11, 624
Indian Tamil
9, 731
Sri Lankan Moor 36, 394
Burgher 218
Malay 187
Others 321
According to Religion
Buddhist 978, 175
Hindu 15, 668
Islam 36, 826
Roman Catholic 4, 793
Christian (Other denominations) 3, 544
Others 185
According to Sex
Female 533, 647
Male 505, 544

Officer in Charge,
Four Gravets Cultural Center
Fort, Galle .

Officer in Charge,
Cultural Center

Tel:- 060-2931814

Officer in Charge,
Cultural Center
Ganegoda Elpitiya.

Tel:- 077-9192854

Officer in Charge,
Cultural Center
Ahangama Road

Officer in Charge,
Mapalagama Vipulasara Cultural Center

Officer in Charge,
Benthara Cultural Center

Tel:- 060-2342336

Officer in Charge,
Cultural Center

Tel:- 091-5623426

Officer in Charge,
Baddegama Cultural Center

Tel:- 060-2908416

Officer in Charge,
Bope - Poddala Cultural Center
Galle .

Tel:- 091-5728074

Officer in Charge,
Niyagama Cultural Center
Marthupitiya, Mattaka.

Tel:- 060-2906584


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Last Update: 12-06-2018.