Galle is a port city in Sri Lanka, located on the island's southwestern tip, and approx 119 km (74 ml) from Colombo (country's capital and largest city). Galle City has total area approx 17 km2 (6 mi2) and population around 100,000.
The city is the administrative capital of Sri Lanka's Southern Province, and the district's capital. By Sri Lankan standards, the city is large. The majority of its population are of Sinhalese. The Moor minority is found in the fort area. It descended from Arab merchants who settled in the Galle port. Galle also has large foreign population, both residents and holiday homes' owners.
Major natural geographical features include Rumassala in Unawatuna, mound-like hill, that forms the eastern protective barrier to Galle harbour. Local traditions associate the hill with some Ramayana events (Ramayana is among the greatest Hindu epics).
Gin River (Gin Ganga) is the major river in the region. It begins out of Gongala Kanda and then passes villages including Baddegama, Nagoda, Neluwa, Wakwella and Thelikada, reaching the sea at Ginthota. Gin River is bridged at Wakwella by Wakwella Bridge.
On December 26, 2004, the city of Galle was devastated by a massive Tsunami caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake which occurred a thousand miles away, off Indonesia's coast. Thousands were killed only in the city.
Galle is home to a famous cricket ground, Galle International Stadium, considered to be one of the world's most picturesque cricket grounds. The ground was severely damaged by the tsunami and later rebuilt. Test matches resumed on December 18, 2007.
The ancient Muslim port Galle, reputedly biblical Tarshish, has been occupied by British, Portuguese and Dutch troops, alternately since 16th century. The European influences are visible in Galle's faded colonial architecture. The Old Town, now a World Heritage site, features Dutch style and is enclosed behind imposing Fort walls. The Dutch Museum boasts its period rooms which depict life as a colony of Dutch. Martin Wickramsinghe Folk Art Museum features a remarkable collection of carriages and masks.
Sri Lanka has had a huge importance for world's traders since 18th century, culminating in 19th and 20th century obsession with tea plant so a visit to Talgaswella Tea Estate is worthwhile. Nearby Unawatuna beaches are splendid.
Port Galle cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Galle, Sri Lanka. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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