While you may have heard of the Galle Dutch Fort in Sri Lanka, the Kalutara Fort is not known by many probably because it’s no longer there. Read on to discover its fate!
Where is Kalutara?
This city on the island’s southwest coastline is a popular holiday destination. Travellers can be based at a “Safe & Secure” certified hotel here such as Turyaa Kalutara that offers vibrant accommodation by the beach. There are plenty of things to do in Kalutara too including visiting the temple where the fort used to be.
The Fort’s Origins
The story of the fort begins in 1505 with the arrival of Lourenço de Almeida, a Portuguese explorer, looking to acquire cinnamon; subsequently, the Portuguese conquered the country and started to establish forts to secure the cinnamon trade. As part of their conquest, they destroyed the Gangathilaka Temple in Kalutara in 1622 to establish a fort.
Sri Lankan Kings did not take kindly to this and at one point were able to capture the fort, while later, it was taken over by the Dutch; they, in turn, could not secure their position here and the Portuguese once more took control! However, in 1655, the Dutch laid siege to the fort and eventually retook it and later, reinforced it as well.
Following the Dutch, it was the British who took control of Sri Lanka and the fort was abandoned. It was, however, later transformed to serve as a residence for a government agent. After the nation received its independence, the site of the former fort was subsequently used to build the Kalutara Temple, now a key attraction in the region.