Hosted Walking Tour of Galle Fort with a Resident
Built by the Portuguese in 1588 and then fortified by the Dutch in the 17th Century, the UNESCO World Heritage site of GalleFort is a melting pot of cultures and communities. Home to the Moor (Muslim), Sinhalese, Burgher and Tamil ethnic groups, this architectural and archaeological fortress has a colourful history and is one of the best preserved forts in South Asia. Once a busy port that served as a meeting point for Greek, Arab and Roman traders, the Galle Fort now attracts people from all corners of the world for its reputation as one of the oldest living forts. Walk through the cobbled streets with one of our two guides, who reveal the history, hidden tales, and daily life behind these walls. Atheeq is a fifth-generation member of a prominent gem trading family from Galle who has spent much of his early life inside the Fort. While he captivates you with interesting stories about the past, his walk is primarily focused on present-day life in the Fort, describing the culture and local lifestyle of the various communities that live together in harmony inside its walls. It helps that as a young boy he got up to plenty of mischief within the Fort’s immediate environs allowing him to form family-like bonds with many of the locals. Atheeq has a charismatic personality with an eye for photography and is a keen advocate for travellers to connect with the island.
Tharanga is also a resident of Galle and is currently employed at the Galle Heritage Foundation. He is an expert on the Fort’s incredible history and offers insightful information on the age-old bastions,
public administration buildings and other archaeological sites that have given Galle Fort its UNESCO World Heritage status. Tharanga’s walk is historical, and he intrigues you with fascinating tales of the
evolution of these ramparts and the battles that took place during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule.