Galle Day Tour
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Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali) before the arrival of the Portuguese 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. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.
National Marine Park
Hikkaduwa National Marine Park - After a morning full of love and wonder for Mother Nature, let us now head down to Hikkaduwa National Marine Park where you can experience another beauty of Mother Nature in the form of corals. Sri Lanka has been thoroughly blessed by the array of natural beauty both on the land and in the sea. Hikkaduwa National Park is one of the two marine parks in Sri Lanka, you will be treated to a wonderful sight of corals by going on a coral reef boat ride which will not only take you through a vista of color in the sea but also explain what the corals do for our planet and how we can play our part to conserve the corals.
Galle Dutch Fort - After learning about the sheer determination of the people through the art displayed at the Tsunami Photo Museum, let us now head down to the Galle Dutch Fort. With a tumultuous history dating back to several centuries, the city’s strategic location made it a hub for trade by sea and subsequently a landing point for the island’s colonial rulers. A fort was built to ensure protection and preservation of the city the Portuguese in early 16th Century and then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Originally the fort was an earthen structure with palisades, a rampart and three bastions and a moat surrounding it. Under the control of the Dutch, they built impregnable fortifications with coral and granite stones and the Fort resembled a small laid out walled town with a rectangular grid pattern of streets full of low houses with gables and verandas.
Turtle Hatchery - Your day trip to Galle starts with a visit to Turtle Hatchery. Sri Lanka is home to many different wildlife creatures including sea- life and of the seven species of marine turtles in the world; five of them make their way to Sri Lanka to nest throughout the year. The five species of marine turtle nesting in Sri Lanka include the Green Turtle, the Leatherback, and the Hawksbill, the Loggerhead and the Olive Ridley.
Established to protect turtles that nest in the Sri Lankan beaches from extinction, the marine turtle hatcheries are operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka and rely on volunteers to help with their conservation project. You can help release the turtles back into the sea and find out how we can help these endangered species live a little while longer..
Tsunami Photo Museum - Your next stop will be at the Tsunami Photo Museum which is located in Talwatte. After the devastating Tsunami of 2004, which struck Sri Lanka along with many other countries, the recovery process has been slow, long as well as arduous. The coastal areas were the worst hit and re-development still continues with physical as well psycho-social rehabilitation being one of the most important areas. To ease the process so that people can talk and articulate about the horrors of the Tsunami as well as to provide a place where beauty and art is still in abundance, the Tsunami Photo Museum was established. It is a completely charitable museum which provides free entrance and has drawings, paintings, photographs – art in all its glory – to tell a story of every individual to lived through the Tsunami of 2004.
Stilt fishermen in weligama
Complete your Galle day tour with a visit to see the amazing Stilt Fishermen in Weligama. The fishermen sit on a cross bar tied to a vertical pole which is planted in the coral reef and the stilt with one hand while seated and carry out rod and line fishing with the other hand. The practice of stilt fishing started about 50 years after the end of the Second World War when fishermen found that fishing off the rocks that protrude over the sea was not enough to catch fish in large numbers, so they started planting discarded metal pipes into the reef and using them to lean against and fish. Over time the fishermen discovered that timber worked just as well as developed the poles into the more modern day versions that we see today. It is a unique sight to behold and one that should not be missed as we watch and marvel at Man's dexterity to overcome any hurdle.