Galle District

Last updated
Galle District
Galle district.svg
Map of Sri Lanka with Galle District highlighted
Country Sri Lanka
Province Southern Province
Largest City Galle
Divisions
Government
   District Secretary Somarathna Vidanapathirana
  Local
Area
  Total1,652 km2 (638 sq mi)
  Land1,617 km2 (624 sq mi)
  Water35 km2 (14 sq mi)
Population
 (2012) [1]
  Total1,058,771
  Density640/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+05:30 (Sri Lanka)
ISO 3166 code LK-31
Website galle.dist.gov.lk/

Galle (Sinhala : ගාල්ල දිස්ත්‍රික්කයgālla distrikkaya; Tamil : காலி மாவட்டம்Kāli māvattam) is a district in Southern Province, Sri Lanka. It is one of 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary (previously known as a Government Agent) appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka.

Contents

Geological background

Its area is 1,652 km2 (638 sq mi): 35 km2 (14 sq mi) is water and 1,617 km2 (624 sq mi) is land. Galle District bounded on the north by Benthara river, south and west by the Indian Ocean and east by Matara and Ratnapura districts. The topography of Galle District is very much dissent. The climatic condition of Hiniduma Patthuwa is very similar to the central hill country of Sri Lanka. This area consists of rainforests, which is the water catchment area for most of the rivers and lakes flows across Galle District. Sinharaja Forest Reserve is one of them. Galle district lies in a temperate climatic zone.

Annual rainfall is between 2000–2500mm. The river Gin River ("Gin Ganga") starts from Gongala Hill of Hiniduma Patthuwa and in its long journey of 113 km (70 mi). It passes Neluwa, Thawalama, Nagoda Baddegama and Thelikada areas. The river nourishes the land in extent of 922 km2 (356 sq mi). It flows to the Indian Ocean in Ginthota area of Galle District. The river Madu Ganga starts from Polathu Kanda and flows to the sea from Balapitiya and helps to maintain ecological balance in the Galle district.

Historical background

In the ancient Sri Lanka, Galle District secured an important place in the battles against enemies as the capital city of Southern Province. Ancient legends reveal that in 1072 A.C. king Vijayabahu I started his battle against "Soli" in Thambalagamuwa of Hinidum Pattu. According to legends, during the reign of king Dambhadeniya Parakramabahu carried out his battle agents Queen Sugala in the Galle District. Galle was a very important area during the reign of King Maha Parakramabahu and it very much helped the Dutch, Portuguese and English establish their kingdoms.

Galle was called "Gimhathitha." The Sinhalese pronunciation "Gaala" derived from the word "gala" (stone). Gala implies meeting place of bullock carts. Later it was pronounced as "Gaala" as there were large rock and hills in the district.

Cultural background

A number of individuals from the Galle district have made significant contributions to Sinhala literature. Thotagamuwa Vijayaba pirivena, which was a famous educational institute in Kotte era, [2] produced a number of notable scholars. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera, Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera, Martin Wickramasinghe, Nandadasa Kodagoda, Edwin Ariyadasa, M. B. Ariyapala, Gunadasa Amarasekera, D. J. Wimalasurendra, Senarath Paranavithana, A. T. Ariyaratne and Ariyapala Gurunnanse are a number of notable residents of Galle.

The Galle Literary Festival is run each January.

Demographics

Religion

Religions in Galle District (2011) [1]

   Buddhism (94%)
   Islam (3.7%)
   Hinduism (1.5%)
   Christianity (0.9%)

93% of the population are Buddhists, 4.7% Muslim, 1.5% Hindu and 0.9% Christian. [1]

Major cities

Galle, the main city in Galle district Galle 2.jpg
Galle, the main city in Galle district

Suburb of Galle

Urban Councils

Main Towns

World Heritage Sites

Forest reserves

Maps

Related Research Articles

Galle City in Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip, 119 km from Colombo. Galle is the provincial capital and largest city of Southern Province, Sri Lanka and is the capital of Galle District.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a forest reserve and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Madu Ganga

Madu Ganga is a minor watercourse which originates near Uragasmanhandiya in the Galle District of Sri Lanka, before widening into the Madu Ganga Lake at Balapitiya. The river then flows for a further a 4.4 km (2.7 mi) before draining into the Indian Ocean. It is located 88 km (55 mi) south of Colombo and 35 km (22 mi) north of Galle.

Salagama A Sinhala caste involved in cinnamon cultivation found in Sri Lanka

Salagama is a Sinhalese caste found mostly in the southern coastal areas of Sri Lanka. The community was traditionally associated with the cultivation and management of cinnamon and were formerly also involved as weavers and soldiers.

Panadura City in Western Province, Sri Lanka

Panadura is a city in Kalutara District, Western Province in Sri Lanka. It is located approximately 27 km south of the capital Colombo and is surrounded on all sides by water; the Indian Ocean, the Bolgoda Lake and river. Panadura is famed as the location of important events in the Buddhist revival movement of Sri Lanka.

Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya

Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya or KDN is a forest complex in southern Sri Lanka. The forest complex designated as a biosphere reserve in 2004 by UNESCO. The KDN complex is the last large remaining rainforest in Sri Lanka other than Sinharaja. This forest area has been identified as one of the floristically richest areas in South Asia. The forest complex is situated 35 km northwest of city of Galle. The rain forest is a major catchment area for two of the most important rivers in southern Sri Lanka, the Gin and Nilwala Rivers. This biosphere reserve harbors many plants and animal species endemic to Sri Lanka.

Matugama Town in Sri Lanka

Mathugama is a semi urban town surrounded by mountains. It is an electorate of the Kalutara district, in Western Province, Sri Lanka. The town is located 64 km to the south of Colombo. Matugama is also spelled as Mathugama.

Gin Ganga

The Gin Ganga, is a 115.9 km (72 mi) long river situated in Galle District of Sri Lanka.

Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera Sri Lankan Buddhist orator

Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera or Mohottiwatte Gunananda Thera was a Sri Lankan (Sinhala) Buddhist orator. He is known for leading the Buddhist side in debates between Buddhists and Christians in Baddegama, Udanwita, Waragoda, Liyanagemulla, Gampola, and Panadura, where the most famous of the debates took place. As a result of the debates, Buddhism in Sri Lanka saw a revival.

Kalu Ganga

Kalu Ganga is a river in Sri Lanka. Measuring 129 km (80 mi) in length, the river originates from Sri Padhaya and reach the sea at Kalutara. The Black River flows through the Ratnapura and the Kalutara District and pass the city Ratnapura. The mountainous forests in the Central Province and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve are the main sources of water for the river.

Ruhunu Kumari is a daytime passenger train that runs between Colombo and Matara in Sri Lanka.

Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera

Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera was a Buddhist monk and an eminent scholar, who lived in the 15th century in Sri Lanka. He was a polyglot who was given the title "Shad Bhasha Parameshwara" due to his mastery in six oriental languages which prevailed in the Indian subcontinent. Sangharaja Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera was also a distinguished author, veteran astrologer and a proficient ayurvedic physician.

Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera

Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera was a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, who was one of the pioneers of Sri Lankan Buddhist revivalist movement in the 19th century. He did a great service to improve the Buddhist Education in the country and was the founder of Vidyodaya Pirivena, Maligakanda in 1873 which was granted the university status later in 1959 by the Government of Sri Lanka. A veteran author and a fiery orator, he was a major figure in the Panadurawadaya, a religious debate held between Christian missionaries and Buddhist monks in 1873 at Panadura, Sri Lanka. He was well versed in Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit, English, Buddhism, History, Arithmetic, and Archaeology and was one of the primary sources of information on Buddhism for the success of the Panadura debate.

Kalawana Town in Sabaragamuwa, Sri Lanka

Kalawana is a town in the Ratnapura District of Sabaragamuwa Province in Sri Lanka.

Rajarata Rejini is a daytime passenger train that runs between Vavuniya and Matara via Colombo Fort in Sri Lanka.

The 2019 floods and landslides in Sri Lanka were the floods which were caused from heavy torrential rainfalls during September 2019. As of 26 September 2019; the monsoon floods affected in about 13 districts, killing at least 2 persons, injuring 6 people and about 116, 000 people are affected. One casualty was reported in the Galle District and the other one was reported in Kolonnawa, where a teenager drowned in the flood water. About 282 houses were reported to have been damaged mainly in Galle and Matara while 22 houses out of 150 houses were completely destroyed in the two districts.

Ginimellagaha Village in Southern Province

Ginimellagaha is a village in Galle District, Sri Lanka, 16 Km from Galle located within Baddegama divisional secretary area

References