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Galle

Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle (Sinhala: ගාල්ල, romanized: Gālla; Tamil: காலி, romanized: Kāli) (formerly Point de Galle) is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip, 119 km from Colombo. Galle is the administrative capital of Southern Province, Sri Lanka and is the district capital of Galle District. Galle was known as Gimhathiththa[1](although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali[2]) before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Other prominent landmarks in Galle include the city's natural harbour, the National Maritime Museum, St. Mary's Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island, and Amangalla, the historic luxury hotel. On 26 December 2004, the city was devastated by the massive tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which occurred off the coast of Indonesia a thousand miles away. Thousands were killed in the city alone. Galle is home to the Galle International Stadium, which is considered to be one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.[3] The ground, which was severely damaged by the tsunami, was rebuilt and test matches resumed there on 18 December 2007. Important natural geographical features in Galle include Rumassala in Unawatuna, a large mound-like hill that forms the eastern protective barrier to Galle Harbour. Local tradition associates this hill with some events of Ramayana, one of the great Hindu epics. The major river in the area is the Gin River (Gin Ganga), which begins from Gongala Kanda, passes villages such as Neluwa, Nagoda, Baddegama, Thelikada and Wakwella, and reaches the sea at Ginthota. The river is bridged at Wakwella by the Wakwella Bridge.

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Matara

Matara, Sri Lanka

Consist of two elements, the term Matara gives its meaning as the Great Ferry, that may be derived from the Tamil Matturai meaning "great seaport" or "great fortress" It is also thought as being derived from the mispronunciation of the word 'Matora' by the Portuguese who called it 'Mature' or Maturai in 1672. The native word 'Matora' might also derived from 'Maha Tera' meaning the place where the Great River was crossed. It was also called 'Maha Tota' (Malo Tota) or Maha- pattana, the great ferry. The word Mahathota might be derived from the Tamil Maha Ethara meaning "great ford". Today, the Nilwala River runs through Matara and it is said that there was a wide area where ferries used to cross. In 1673, the Dutch minister Philippus Baldaeus had called it 'Mature', in 1681, Robert Knox named it as 'Matura' and in 1744, Heydt called it 'Maderon'.

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Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya is a city in the tea country hills of central Sri Lanka. The naturally landscaped Hakgala Botanical Gardens displays roses and tree ferns, and shelters monkeys and blue magpies. Nearby Seetha Amman Temple, a colorful Hindu shrine, is decorated with religious figures. Densely forested Galway's Land National Park is a sanctuary for endemic and migratory bird species, including bulbuls and flycatchers.

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Ampara

Ampara, Sri Lanka

Ampara is the main town of Ampara District, governed by an Urban Council. It is located in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka, about 360 km from the capital city of Colombo.

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Colombo

Colombo, Sri Lanka

national capital, Sri Lanka Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, has a long history as a port on ancient east-west trade routes, ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. That heritage is reflected in its its architecture, mixing colonial buildings with high-rises and shopping malls. The imposing Colombo National Museum, dedicated to Sri Lankan history, borders sprawling Viharamahadevi Park and its giant Buddha.

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Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Anuradhapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of North Central Province, Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sinhala civilization.

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Kandy

Kandy, Sri Lanka

Elevation: 500 m Province: Central Province Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka located in the Central Province. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.

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Hikkaduwa

Galle, Sri Lanka

Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka located in the Southern Province, about 17 km (11 mi) north-west of Galle and 98 km (61 mi) south of Colombo.

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