Forts in Sri Lanka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from List of castles in Sri Lanka)
Jump to: navigation, search

Forts and fortifications in Sri Lanka date back thousands of years with many being built by Sri Lankan Kings, these include several walled cities. With the out set of colonial rule in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka was occupied by several major colonial empires that from time-to-time became the dominant power in the Indian Ocean. The colonists built several western styled forts, mostly in and round the cost of the island. The first to build colonial forts in Sri Lanka were the Portuguese, these forts were captured and later expanded by the Dutch. The British occupied these Dutch forts during the Napoleonic wars.

Most of colonial forts were garrisoned up until the early 20th century. The coastal forts had coastal artillery manned by the Ceylon Garrison Artillery during the two world wars. Most of these were abandoned by the military, but retained civil administrative officers, while others retained military garrisons, which were more administrative than operational. Some were reoccupied by military units with the escalation of the Sri Lankan Civil War, Jaffna fort for example came under siege several times.

Ancient forts[edit]

Image Name Founded Abandoned Location Condition Controlled by Type Notes
Vijithapura 5th Century BC
Anuradhapura Kingdom
Central Province Fortress City [N 1][1]
Sigiriya.jpg Sigiriya 5th Century
by Kashyapa I
495 CE Dambulla, Central Province Ruined Government of Sri Lanka Citadel [N 2]
Mapagala fortress Central Province [N 3]
Balana fort Balana, Central Province
Sitawaka fort Avissawella, Western Province

Colonial forts[edit]

Portuguese forts[edit]

Image Name Founded Abandoned Location Condition Controlled by Type Notes
Colombo fort 1518, 1554 1524, 1870 Colombo fort, Western Province Destroyed - Defence
Fort Fredrick05.jpg Fort Fredrick 1624 - Trincomalee, Eastern Province Good Government of Sri Lanka Defence [N 4]
Batticaloa Portuguese (dutch) fort.jpg Batticaloa fort 1628 Batticaloa, Eastern Province Good Government of Sri Lanka Defence [N 5]
Arandora fort Narangoda, North Western Province Destroyed - Defence [N 6]
Arippu fort Arippu, Northern Province Ruins Government of Sri Lanka Defence [N 7]
Delft Island fort.JPG Delft Island fort Neduntheevu, Northern Province Ruins Government of Sri Lanka Defence [N 8]
Elephant Pass fort 1776 Elephant Pass, Northern Province Destroyed - Defence [N 9]
Galle fort 1588 - Galle, Southern Province Good Government of Sri Lanka Defence
Haldummulla fort Haldummulla, Uva Ruins Government of Sri Lanka Defence
Hammanheil Fort.JPG Fort Hammenheil 1618 Jaffna Peninsula, Northern Province Destroyed Government of Sri Lanka Defence [N 10]
Jaffna Fort - main entrance.JPG Jaffna fort 1618 Jaffna, Northern Province Destroyed Government of Sri Lanka Star fort
Kalutara fort 1655 Kalutara, Western Province Ruins Government of Sri Lanka Deference
Kayts Island Fort.JPG Kayts Island fort 1629 Kayts, Northern Province Ruins Government of Sri Lanka Deference
Mannar fort 1560 Mannar, Northern Province Destroyed Government of Sri Lanka Deference
Matara fort 1550 Matara, Southern Province Destroyed Government of Sri Lanka Deference
Menikkadawara fort 1599 Kegalle, Sabaragamuwa Province Destroyed Government of Sri Lanka Deference
Negombo fort 1672 Negombo, Western Province Destroyed Government of Sri Lanka Deference
Pooneryn fort.JPG Pooneryn fort 16?? Pooneryn, Northern Province Ruins Government of Sri Lanka Deference
Ratnapura fort 1618, 1620 Ratnapura, Sabaragamuwa Province Destroyed Government of Sri Lanka Deference
Ruwanwella fort 1590s Ruwanwella, Sabaragamuwa Province Destroyed Government of Sri Lanka Deference
Hanwella fort 1957 Hanwella, Western Province Destroyed Government of Sri Lanka Deference

Dutch forts[edit]

Image Name Founded Abandoned Location Condition Controlled by Type Notes
Hammanheil Fort.JPG Fort Hammenheil 1618 - Jaffna Peninsula, Northern Province Good Government of Sri Lanka Defence
Koddiyar fort 1622 Muttur, Eastern Province Destroyed Defence
Katuwana Fort 1646 - Katuwana, Southern Province Good Government of Sri Lanka Defence
Kalpitiya fort.JPG Kalpitiya fort 1667–76 - Kalpitiya, North Western Province Good Government of Sri Lanka Defence [N 11]
Mullaitivu Fort in srilanka.jpg Mullaitivu fort 1715 Mullaitivu, Northern Province Ruins Defence [N 12]
Dutch Star Fort, Matara 0689.jpg Star fort 1763–65 - Matara, Southern Province Good Government of Sri Lanka Defence
Fort Ostenburg Trincomalee, Eastern Province Ruins Government of Sri Lanka Defence [N 13]
Point Pedro fort Point Pedro, Northern Province Destroyed Defence [N 14]
Tangalle fort Tangalle, Southern Province Good Government of Sri Lanka Defence [N 15]

British forts[edit]

Image Name Founded Abandoned Location Condition Controlled by Type Notes
Martello tower 1801-03 Hambantota, Southern Province Good Government of Sri Lanka Defence tower
Fort MacDowall 1803 Matale Central Province [N 16]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ It was the site of a major battle between the forces of Elara and Dutthagamani
  2. ^ Royal Palace. Briefly used as an outpost of the Kingdom of Kandy in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  3. ^ Located to the south of Sigiriya is the Mapagala Fortress (‘Rock of the Viceroy’), a fortress with massive stone walls, which was built prior to Sigiriya.
  4. ^ Later controlled by the Dutch and then the British
  5. ^ Captured by the Dutch in 1638
  6. ^ Captured by the Dutch in 1665
  7. ^ Handed over to the Dutch in 1658
  8. ^ Later controlled by the Dutch
  9. ^ Later controlled by the Dutch
  10. ^ Rebuilt by the Dutch in 1680
  11. ^ In 1795 the fort was surrendered to the British
  12. ^ Rebuilt by British during their occupation of the country in 1795
  13. ^ Later surrendered to the British 1795
  14. ^ Later surrendered to the British 1795
  15. ^ The fort is still being used as a prison by the Department of Prisons.
  16. ^ Outpost during the Kandyan Wars

References[edit]

External links[edit]