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Unawatuna Beach
Unawatuna, less than 5km's southward around the coast of Galle , is a beach resort waiting to happen. This 4km sweep of palm-fringed sand - said by some to rank amongst the twelve best beaches in the world - would no doubt already have gone the way of Beruwala, Bentota and Hikkaduwa. As it is, Unawatuna, even though no longer the well-kept secret of a handful of die-hard backpackers and divers, is still far from being over-developed. Attractions include sheltered waters for swimming, and an accessible, reasonably well-preserved coral reef for snorkeling. For scuba divers, there are several wreck dives only 20-30 minutes away from the beach by boat.
   
 
Hotels in Galle - Hotels in Sri Lanka - Unawatuna Hotels - Hotels in Unawatuna - Thambapanni Retreat Unawatuna - Thaproban Beach House Unawatuna
 
Hotels in Galle - Hotels in Sri Lanka - Unawatuna Hotels - Hotels in Unawatuna - Thambapanni Retreat Unawatuna - Thaproban Beach House Unawatuna
  Galle
A continuous rampart, built by the Dutch from mid 17th century onwards and added to by the British, encircles the city, interrupted by 14 massive bastions. The best way to see the fort is to walk the length of the walls (90 minutes), and the best time to do it is during the evenings. Start at the most impressive section, where the Star, Moon and Sun bastions glower forbiddingly over the neck of the peninsula.

The ramparts south of the harbour are pierced by the Old Gate, above which is a British Coat of Arms (on the inner side, the gate is crowned by the initials of the Dutch East India Company, VOC, and its coat of arms), and south of the harbour the Zwart (Black) Bastion is believed to be the only surviving part of the original Portuguese fortifications.

The circuit of the walls continues via the Akersloot and Aurora bastions to the Point Utrecht bastion, topped by a modern lighthouse, then to Flag Rock, the southernmost point of the walls, before looping back north through the Triton, Neptune, Clippenberg and Aeolus bastions.

The final section between the Aeolus and Star bastions is closed, as it is part of a military base. While some of the bastions retain their original Dutch names, the Triton, Aeolus, Neptune and Aurora bastions were renamed by the British in honour of the Royal Navy ships of the line which took part in the British seizure of Sri Lanka from the Dutch during the Napoleonic Wars.
     
 
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Hotels in Galle - Hotels in Sri Lanka - Unawatuna Hotels - Hotels in Unawatuna - Thambapanni Retreat Unawatuna - Thaproban Beach House Unawatuna
  Rumassala
Rumassala , known to colonialists as Buona Vista, is the subject of many legends. It features in the Ramayana, as the home of the beautiful queen Sita, hidden in the jungle nearby. Hanuman who was sent to fetch a medicinal plant for a wounded soldier, was unable to find it and brought the Himalayan mountains on which it was said to grow. He dropped a chunk at Unawatuna ('here it fell') to form the present mountain, where many medicinal plants still grow.

There is a major magnetic anomaly near Unawatuna, which Arthur C. Clarke attributes to a meteorite strike, and it is said that satellites lose their orbits with unusual frequency overhead.

The Portuguese had a dreadful reputation in Sri Lanka as looters and pirates, and are said to have given false light signals from Rumassala to lure unsuspecting Arab trading ships onto the rocks.
     
 
Hotels in Galle - Hotels in Sri Lanka - Unawatuna Hotels - Hotels in Unawatuna - Thambapanni Retreat Unawatuna - Thaproban Beach House Unawatuna
 
Hotels in Galle - Hotels in Sri Lanka - Unawatuna Hotels - Hotels in Unawatuna - Thambapanni Retreat Unawatuna - Thaproban Beach House Unawatuna
  Hiyare Rain Forest
The Hiyare reservoir is a natural reservoir in the district of Galle, Sri Lanka . This reservoir is a major source of drinking water to the city of Galle . The catchment zone of the reservoir consists of about 600 acres of a rather well preserved lowland rain forest and its conservation is therefore of significance. Further, Mahadola, which is a major stream that enriches the river, originates here.

The floristic composition of the forest consists of important canopy tree species of which 9 endemic species - Hora (Dipterocarpus zeylanicus), Bu - hora ,( Dipterocarpus hispidus), Dorana (Dipterocarpus glandulosus), Pini - baru (Hopea jucunda), Kekuna (Canarium zeylanicum), Godapara (Dillenia retusa), Thiniya ( Doona congestiflora ), Uru - honda (Kurrimia ceylanica), Beraliya - dun (Shorea dyeri) - were identified. Among the other life forms 5 endemic bird species, 6 endemic freshwater fish species and 2 endemic amphibian species have been recorded.

The area is a strict forest reserve with a high diversity and endemism of species in the catchment zone.

     
 

Hotels in Galle - Hotels in Sri Lanka - Unawatuna Hotels - Hotels in Unawatuna - Thambapanni Retreat Unawatuna - Thaproban Beach House UnawatunaGalle Cultural Museum
Within the Fort of Galle in a Dutch Colonial building in Church Street is the Cultural Museum adjoining the New Oriental Hotel. The artifacts reflect the art and culture of the Southern Province.

     
 
 
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  The National Maritime Museum , Galle
Located within the Fort of Galle in a colonial Dutch ware-house with imposing pillars, this museum displays the fauna & flora of the sea. Artifacts consist of preserved material and scaled down models of whales and fishes. Generally, all the resources of the sea are displayed in this Museum.

It also shows in diorama form with life sized models, the traditional methods of fishing. Some artifacts of underwater archaeology are also on display. An interesting experiment is the 'walk-into-the sea' diorama, showing the natural coral beds, sea grass beds and deep sea fishes. Finally, one leaves the museum seeing the causes of sea pollution, coast erosion and methods used to combat these problems.
     
 

Hotels in Galle - Hotels in Sri Lanka - Unawatuna Hotels - Hotels in Unawatuna - Thambapanni Retreat Unawatuna - Thaproban Beach House UnawatunaKoggala Lake
Cruise along the Koggala river and watch birds along the nature trails of the jungle.








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