Physical and historical Position
Galle belongs to the south east wet lands. Greater part of Galle District however is in the planes close to the coastal belt. Galle District usually receives rain through out the year. Average rain fall is about 2,000 mm. Therefore Galle prides itself of having a system of rivers , deep and full of water. The Galle Districts lies within Bentara River and Gin Ganga and to the west is the sea. Since there is a very high rainfall, there is no shortage of water for agricultural purposes. Galle is bounded by District of Kautara to the north and Ratnapura district towards North East. There are 18 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in Galle District .
Up to now, there is no evidence of any early pre historic settlements in the Galle District . Most of the archaeological and historical evidence found are after the 9th century. However according to the legends prevailing in and around Galle, the history of Galle runs back to the times Ravana. Archeologists have not found any remains which belong to an earlier period prior to the 9th century.
Perhaps this is partly due to the climatic conditions – being in the wetlands and partly due to the fact that Galle had to be directly confronted with severe invasions by foreigners. Evidence of such invasions is available in the traditional dramas of Ambalangoda , Balapitiya, Hikkaduwa and Gintota. Roman and Indian Coins belonging to the 4th century have been found in these areas.
According to the records of Chinese and Arabian traders , Galle has been a trading centre during the 3rd and 4th centuries. Information about Galle is found in the travel records of Cosman (545 AD ), Al Masudi (1,000 AD ), Iban Batuta ( 1,344 AD ), Den ( 1,404 AD) Lorenzo de Almeida ( 1,505 AD) and Coaster ( 1,604 AD). The local historical sources like Mahavamsa , Bodhi Wansa and Pujawaliya also have references to Galle.
Galle had to be directly confronted with the invasions of Portuguese, Dutach and the English. Their influence still remain in Sri Lanka’s culture, religions, architecture and town and country planning.
Galle was devastated by the Tsunami of 2004. The buildings which were destroyed or damaged by Tsunami are now being reconstructed afresh or renovated as the case may be.