Exploring Galle: From forts to culinary delights in Sri Lanka’s coastal town


The little-known coastal town of Galle is almost a Sri Lankan secret. It takes about a two-hour drive from Colombo to reach this port city that was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century when the likes of Vasco da Gama were exploring the Southern part of the subcontinent which included Ceylon. Colonial architecture, especially martial, is its leitmotif: Portuguese and Dutch forts and British colonial buildings make it a postcard-worthy place, or a selfie taken against the azure waters of the Indian Ocean from the ramparts of the Dutch fort is totally Instagrammable.

Holding Fort: The Galle Fort was star-shaped as the strategy of the times demanded it. A star fort, or trace italienne, is a fortification designed to withstand cannon fire, when gunpowder became the decisive factor in a battle. The Moon Bastion, designed in arrow shapes, ensures comprehensive defence from all angles, equipped with crenelations for large cannons.

Now, in peacetime, the fort’s 14 bastions offer a panoramic vista of the sea from its coastal power position. The 130-acre, 3,490-year-old fort is a mini-town in itself; its ramparts lined with ancient houses, basilicas, boutiques and restaurants protected by the tropical sun by terracotta-tiled roofs. Descending from the ramparts, a leisurely stroll along the fort’s well-organised streets will take you by gabled houses with tiled gambrel roofs which reflect hybrid colonial building style. Venture towards Flag rock Bastion, situated at the fort’s southernmost edge. En route, pass an array of enchanting boutiques, cafes, and gelaterias, where your inner shopaholic comes to life

Read more: https://www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/travel/2024/Jun/08/exploring-galle-from-forts-to-culinary-delights-in-sri-lankas-coastal-town

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