“THE ROAD TO GALLE” – By Des Kelly

Another Suburb in the Ceylon I remember so well. Down South, as they would say, in America, Galle was one of the major Cities, where the ancestors on mum’s side, whose name was Kriekenbeek, a Dutch name, if ever there was one, took over from the Portuguese, built a massive “fort” around the entire place, with ramparts overlooking the Indian Ocean, and began their long rule of the tiny Island. 

The Dutch used a “rooster-mascot” for the fort they built in 1588, using what was, in fact a Portuguese word “Galo”,

but also a Latin word (Gallus), ending up by insinuating that Galle was a Rooster, or Cock of the walk, if one wants to look at it, that way.

     Anyway let us now swop over to Galle, as kindly sent to me by Maxwell Gerreyn, via Victor Melder, another famous Burgher gentleman. Thank you,  Max & Victor.

Desmond Kelly

 Desmond Kelly.

    (Editor-in-Chief) eLanka.  


Historical glance at Galle-by Ruhunu Puthra



Galle is the capital of the Southern Province. The popular derivation of its name is from the Sinhala word Gaala – a cattle pen.

The mighty king Ravana’s cattle pen had extended from the present day Mahapola premises to the Town Hall, according to legend.

Galle is also considered to be the Tarshish in the Bible.

It is reputed for cottage-crafts, lace making, tortoise shell work, gem polishing, ivory carving, jewellery and ornamental ebony elephants.

Area – 6.5 sq. miles

Latitude – 6° 2′ North

Longitude – 80° 13′ East

Altitude – 41 feet above Mean Sea Level

Weather – Longest day – 22nd June, shortest day – 22nd December. On the 7th April and the 5th September the sun is directly overhead Galle.

Emblem – A cock standing on a rock.

In about 2300 B.C. the Galle mechanics are reputed to have invented the king Ravana’s airship, Dandumonaraya named Pushpaka Yanaya

A.D. 545 – Cosmas Indicopleustes, Greek merchant, makes first reference to Galle.

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