What happened to the Kalutara Fort? – the story of one of the oldest forts of Sri Lanka

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Looking back at the colonial times, the westerners who seized Ceylon for a significant period of time saw Kalutara as a useful place and built the Kalutara Fort. Let’s find out what has become of this old fort today!

The Kalutara fort was crucial in controlling the Cinnamon trade | Photo – Koninklijke Bibliotheek [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons – Circa 1672

The birth of the fort


It was in 1622 that the Kalutara Fort was built by the Portuguese on the piece of land on which Gangathilaka temple once stood. This was a few years after the Portuguese arrived on the island and caused havoc trying to forcefully take over the island.


Did you know? On the land where Kalutara Buddhist Temple is located, there had been a colonial fort that was originally built by Portuguese. 🏤

Posted by Travel Kalutara on Monday, March 5, 2018

Re-captured by the Lankan King


Prince Tikiri Or King Rajasinghe
Prince Tikiri Or King Rajasinghe | By Angamharamba [CC BY-SA 3.0] or GFDL , from Wikimedia Commons
The fort was later seized by King Mayadunne, from the Sitawaka Kingdom. The rebelling army of natives was led by the King’s son whose name was Tikiri Rajjuru Bandara who later came to be known as King Rajasingha 1.


The Dutch take over


The Dutch arrived in Kalutara, 33 years after the fort was built. An army of Dutch soldiers managed to infiltrate the fort took control of it in 1655. The Dutch extended the fort by connecting it to an island called Diyambetalawa via a bridge.


Kaluthota today


The fort, in the end, was taken over by the British, after the battle of Kandy, the fort collapsed. The temple that was destroyed to construct the Fort was rebuilt here. Today, this spot is one of the major tourist attractions in Kalutara situated not far from hotels like Anantara Kalutara Resort. Learn more about the Kalutara fort through sites like Travel Kalutara.


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