Geographical Location and Population
The City of Galle (pronounce as “gawl” in English) is the administrative capital of the Southern Province of Sri. Lanka located about 119 km from Colombo. Its geographic area is 16.5 sq. km. bordered by the sea from south to southwest. It has a picturesque costal city, seeped history, panoramic views and tranquil ambience of Buona Vista hill, wide expanses of golden beach and the majestic 17th century Dutch Fort highlights the beauty of the city.
Galle has a population of 112, 252 with 16, 924 number of households. It is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious city. The majority of the population comprises of 70% Sinhalese, 25% Muslim and the rest are Tamil and Dutch Burgher communities. There are places of worship belonging to all the main four religions namely, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.
The early history of the city was mainly linked with its natural harbor dating back centuries ago. Traders from Europe, Middle East Asia and Asia came to Galle for trading, Sri Lanka (known as Ceylon) had became famous for its gems, spices such as cinnamon, peppers, nutmeg and cardamom.
About 450 years, the island of Sri Lanka was ruled consecutively by three colonial powers namely Portuguese (1505), Dutch (1640) and British (1796). All these three powers made Galle earned important place due to its harbor along with its establishment as the administrative capital in the Southern Province. This has remained even after its Independence in 1948.
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Galle is a fast developing city to be one of the most popular tourist locations in South Asia. A number of international events such as the Galle Literary Festival, the Galle Film Festival, the Galle Music Festival and the SAARC Cultural Festival have been held in Galle due to its this heritage site. The Galle Fort was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1988. The heritage site comprises the 17th century Dutch built fortification and the old town encircled by its rampart walls. It is believed to be one of the best preserved colonial fortified cities in the whole of Asia. Other prominent landmarks in Galle includes the natural harbor, the National Maritime Museum, St. Mary's Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island, and Amangalla the historic luxury hotel.
Traditional dancing forms and Sinhala music are very popular among the people. Several dances in Sri Lanka particularly called “Pahathrata Dances in Galle.
Galle is a fast de