Friday, 4 January 2013

Sri Lanka

Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka. It's the fourth largest city in the country, with a population of around 100,000.

According to James Emerson Tennent, Galle was the ancient seaport of Tarshish, from which King Solomon drew ivory, peacocksand other valuables. Galle was known as Gimhathiththa 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. The major river is Gin River which starts from Gongala Kanda and passing villages such as Neluwa, Nagoda, Baddegama, Thelikada, and Wakwella, reaches the sea at Ginthota. In Wakwella over the river there is Wakwella Bridge, which is the longest bridge in Sri Lanka.

Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in south and southeast Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and south Asian traditions. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Other prominent landmarks in Galle include the natural harbour, the National Maritime Museum,St. Mary's Cathedral and one of the main Shiva temples on the island.

On 26 December 2004 the city was devastated by the massive Boxing Day Tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that occurred a thousand miles away, off the coast of Indonesia. Thousands were killed in the city alone.  Many many thanks to Ravidra for this amazing postcard and 12-12-12 mark. From what I've read, Galle seems like a really interesting place. Maybe I'll be lucky enough and have a chance to visit it myself some day ;) !

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