image Sri Lanka – The Pearl of Indian Ocean (3/4)

Coastal Road (Bentota to Galle and Back)

On third day of our trip, we started from Bentota early in the morning. We took the coastal road instead of the convenient expressway. We wanted to enjoy the ocean view all through our way to Galle. Our route is through Kosgoda, Madhu River, Ambalangoda and then finally to Galle. Total distance is less than 60 kms and it takes less than 90 mins if you do not take any halts in between. The road is so close to the ocean that waves touching vehicles is seen very frequently.

Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery

Sea turtles or marine turtles whose habitat is completely in marine waters. These turtles come to land only when they lay eggs. Many of the sea turtles come under the category of critically endangered species. Hence many countries have come forward to conserve sea turtles. Kosgoda is one such place on the western coast of Sri Lanka.

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Turtle hatchery is a place where the eggs laid by the mother turtle are moved to a protected environment, something like an incubation center. These eggs are preserved under the soil. They wait till the eggs are hatched to give birth to baby turtles. Once the turtles are born, hatchery takes care of every turtle for couple of days and then move them to the ocean where they live rest of their lives.

Madhu river boat ride

Madhu river, one of the largest rivers in Sri Lanka, is fondly called Madhu Ganga which shows that derivation is taken from Indian Ocean. This river just before merging into Indian Ocean forms a huge lake which consists of few islands as well. The boat ride starts from a place called Balapitiya.

Overall it’s a one hour boat ride. The ride takes you through a quite lake with lush mangroves all around. This place is home for many water animals and birds. Most funny thing we have seen in this place is small shops stationed in the middle of the lake. This lake consists of around 21 islands. The largest island is home for 300 families self sufficient in itself. This island is connected by a tiny bridge where only a 2-wheeler can taken. One more interesting island is called Cinnamon island. This island is home for Cinnamon trees all around this place. Only one family stays in this island and their job is to extract Cinnamon from these trees which is further processed into Cinnamon bark, oil etc. The family had even demonstrated us on how bark is extracted from a Cinnamon tree. They also served us Cinnamon tea to mark their hospitality.

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Galle fort and it’s interiors

After visiting all these places above, we had reached Galle fort by early evening. Galle is the largest city in southern Sri Lanka. This is at the southern tip of the island. Galle is famous for its 17-century Dutch fort built on shores of Indian Ocean.

This is built to protect the inner city from enemies across the sea. As the purpose serves, outer walls are built with thick stones. Clock tower built inside the fort stands tall and seen as a symbol of Galle city.

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Galle bus stop and railway station is very close to the fort. Galle International cricket stadium is adjacent to the fort and it’s view from the fort is amazing. This makes one of the best cricket stadiums I have ever seen. This fort was so extensively fortified in 17th century that it withstood the famous tsunami in 2004. All the buildings surrounding this fort is shattered due to tsunami, but the structures inside this fort walls remained intact.

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Sunset from Galle Fort is a sight worth watching. However we missed it owing to the cloudy day.

Food at Galle fort

The buildings inside the fort represent european architecture with colourful walls and tiny streets. Cafes and restaurants serve local Srilankan and continental food. We preferred local Srilankan cuisine.

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