Galle Harbour is a natural harbour, located in Galle, on the south-western coast of Sri Lanka. Currently Galle port serves as one of the most active regional ports in the country. It is also the only Sri Lankan port that provides facilities for pleasure yachts. International yacht societies have recognised Galle Harbour as one of the world's best attractions for yachting.
Galle Harbour was a major harbour in the country, which was in use even during the pre-Christian times, and gained importance after the 12th century. By the 14th century, Galle Harbour was the most important harbour in Sri Lanka, and retained its importance until 1873 when an artificial harbour was built in Colombo.
After the construction of Galle Fort in the 17th century, Galle Port was a major port in the Indian Ocean for more than 200 years, which was an important anchorage for boats and ships traveling between Europe and Asia. When the British colonial government constructed breakwaters in Colombo Harbour in the late 19th century, much international marine traffic shifted to Colombo from Galle. Thereafter, Galle Port became a secondary port of the country, though it still handles some ships and boats.
About Galle District
Galle is a city situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km from Colombo.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. Galle is a sizeable town, bySri Lankan standards, and has a population of 91,000, the majority of whom are of Sinhalese ethnicity. There is also a large Sri Lankan Moor minority, particularly in the fort area, which descend from Arab merchants that settled in the ancient port of Galle.
About Southern Province
The Southern Province of Sri Lanka is a small geographic area consisting of the districts of Galle, Matara and Hambantota. Subsistence farming and fishing is the main source of income for the vast majority of the people of this region.
Important landmarks of the Southern Province include the wildlife sanctuaries of the Yala and Udawalawe National Parks, the holy city of Kataragama, and the ancient cities of Tissamaharama, Kirinda and Galle. (Although Galle is an ancient city, almost nothing survives from before the Portuguese invasion.) During the Portuguese period there were two famous Sinhalese poets called Andare who was from Dickwella and Gajaman Nona who was from Denipitiya in Matara District, composing poems on common man.