Sunday, May 20, 2012

Trip to Balana Fort

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Forts Of Sri Lanka

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 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 twentieth 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.


  1. Pre-colonial forts
    1. Mapagala Fortress
    2. Sigiriya  
  2. Colonial Forts
    1. Arandora Fort
    2. Arippu Fort
    3. Balana Fort
    4. Batticaloa fort - Batticaloa  
    5. Colombo fort - Colombo
    6. Delft Island Fort - Jaffna  
    7. Elephant Pass Fort  
    8. Fort Beschutter - Jaffna Peninsula
    9. Fort Fredrick - Trincomalee  
    10. Fort Hammenhiel   
    11. Fort Macdowall
    12. Fort Ostenburg - Trincomalee 
    13. Fort Pyl - Jaffna Peninsula
    14. Galle fort - Galle  
    15. Hanwella / Gurubewila Fort
    16. Jaffna fort - Jaffna  
    17. Kalpitiya fort 
    18. Kalutara Fort
    19. Katuwana Fort 
    20. Kayts Island Fort
    21. Koddiyar Fort
    22. Malwana Fort
    23. Mannar fort  
    24. Martello tower of Hambantota
    25. Matara fort - Matara   
    26. Menikkadawara Fort
    27. Mullattivu Fort
    28. Negombo fort  
    29. Pooneryn fort
    30. Ratnapura (Sabaragamuwa) Fort
    31. Ruwanwella Fort
    32. Sitawaka fort - Avissavella
    33. Star fort - Matara   
    34. Tangalle fort

Balana Fort

This was a strategic fort and an outpost built by King Rajasinhe II and lies on the way to Kandy. It was briefly taken by a 6000 strong Portuguese in 1638 during their last attempt to capture the Kingdom of Kandy. The the final battle at Gannoruwa resulted in over 4000 of their soldiers killed and the rest captured.