June 2013
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The Maritime Archaeology Museum in Galle, Srilanka – Part 1

The National Maritime Museum is located in Galle in Sri Lanka. It is situated within the Galle fort.

Overview of The National Maritime Museum

• It was reopened at the Dutch warehouse of the Galle fort, on March 2010.
• It was then named as the National Maritime Archaeology Museum.
• There are exhibits of marine artifacts displayed at this museum.
• These artifacts were found in underwater explorations.
There are:
– Maps
– Naval craft
– Ropes
– Earthenware
– Beer mugs
– Smoking pipes
– Barrels
– Vast amount of articles
– Artillery guns
– Sailor shoes
• These artifacts that are exhibited were recovered from the ship wrecks in the sea which took off in the Southern coast.
• Some of these artifacts are considered to be about 800 years old.

The state of the museum before the Tsunami
• This museum exhibited in the fauna and flora of the sea prior to the tsunami of December 2004.
• Artifacts included underwater artifacts.
• They also had scaled-down models of sea whales and fish. Other exhibits included:
– Life-size dioramas of the traditional methods of fishing.
– The “walk into the sea” diorama
– Showing the natural coral beds
– Sea grass beds
– Deep sea fish
• The last exhibits of the museum before tsunami was a display of:
– The reasons for sea pollution and coast erosion.
– The methods used to eradicate or minimize these problems.

Tsunami Damage
• The 2004 Asian tsunami flooded the museum.
• There was great amount of damage.
• The Dutch warehouse building present at the fort was constructed in 1717.
• It was renovated for this museum.
• At the end of 2008, it was planned to bring the museum back in here.

The Museum Reopened
• The museum was reopened on March 4, 2010.
• It became the country’s first Maritime Archaeology Museum.
• The Dutch warehouse was of 40,000 square feet.
• A special grant of approximately Rs.177 million was obtained from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to renovate.
• This museum was renovated in Galle Fort.
• This Maritime Museum was established in order to get to know regarding the history and archaeology of Srilanka.
• There are links of Sri Lanka with the people and the cultures of the distant lands of the Indian Ocean and beyond.

Display of the museum comprises of:
– Objects
– Replicas
– Models
– Panels
– Videos
– Reconstructions covering a long period of time.
• These reconstructions spans from 5000 BCE to the late 19th century.
• These are 2200 years old depiction of a ship.
• This ship appears in one of the inscriptions found in North Central province in Sri Lanka.
• The logo of this museum itself symbolizes this continuous tradition.
• As an island, Sri Lanka had been inspired by different cultures.
• The culture comes from diverse directions over the Indian Ocean through ages.
• The museum presents an elegant long story of the maritime archaeology and history of Sri Lanka.
• The display galleries of the Museum have been divided into seven segments.
• This is in accord with a presupposed conceptual flow.
• The exhibits that are displayed in the museum are to emphasize how SriLanka was influenced and inherited with other external traditions.
• It shows how this culture coped up well with the local folklore.
• One finds it interesting to walk along the galleries.
• This is because one passes the reconstruction of the 7000 year old prehistoric open air site.
• This site belongs to one of the groups of coastal inhabitants.
• Reach the colossal image of the Bodhisattva Avalokitheshvara who is believed to be a God and the Protector of sea farers.
• Go through a display of beautiful artifacts which are segregated in three galleries present in the upper floor.
• The Avondster gallery at the down floor leaves one with a curious experience.
• There is a simulated tour that is available.
• It takes one into an underwater excavation experience of a 17th century Dutch ship.
• This ship was wrecked in the Galle harbor.

Best time to visit / climate

• Sri Lanka is known to be a tropical country.
• It’s possible to expect rain anytime of the season that is generally in most regions.
• The two major rainy seasons are:
– North-East monsoon ie. October to January
– South-West monsoon i.e., May to July
• The climate of Sri Lanka changes dramatically from one part of the country to another part of the country, being an island.
• For instance at Nuwara Eliya, from the hills of Central Sri Lanka, features a temperature of around -5-20 C all through the year.
• Whereas Hambanthota, perfectly found on the dry zone, carries a temperature consistently around 30-35 C.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

• From Colombo you can possibly take the train or bus.
• Both travel near the beach coast and also have beautiful views.
• This is why getting into train or bus is among the best things about Galle.
• Bus no. 2 takes you to Galle.
• It costs you around Rs. 230 by using an air-conditioned bus.
• It requires around three hours to travel.
• Traveling from Colombo city is usually anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours.

1. By plane
• Sri Lankan Airlines would be the national flagship carrier in Srilanka.
• These airlines offer services that operate from Colombo-Bandaranayake Airport terminal.
Flights are available from cities:
– Throughout Europe
– Southeast Asia
– China
– Japan
– The Middle East
– India
– Pakistan
• SriLankan Air also flies to the nearby destinations such as:
– Chennai
– Trivandrum
– Mumbai
– Delhi
– Cochin
– Bangalore
– Maldives
• Emirates Airlines links several major European cities to Colombo.
• There are many flights on a daily basis starting from Dubai, Singapore to Colombo.
• Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka’s first low-cost airline started operating in 2007.
• These airlines fly to Dubai in United Arab Emirates.
• They fly to Tiruchirapalli and Buddhagaya that are located in India.
• Mihin Lanka now offers non-stop services which start from Colombo to the cities of Jakarta and Dhaka.
• Qatar Airways also offers three nonstop air flight services on a daily basis.
• They start from Doha to Colombo.
• Jet Airways has many flights in a day to Colombo.
They start from:
– Delhi
– Mumbai
– Chennai
• Spice Jet has one flight a day to Colombo from Madurai.
• Tiger Airways, the Singapore-based LCC, flies four times a week between Colombo and Singapore.
• It is available on Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun.
• The budget airline Air Asia now operates from Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia to Colombo in Sri Lanka.
• Singapore Airlines flies daily between Colombo and Singapore.
• Royal Jordanian has a daily flight from Amman to Colombo.
• Ukrainian International Airlines offers flights which start from Kiev to Colombo via Dubai.

Other airlines offering their services are:
– Singapore Airlines
– Malaysia Airlines
– Thai International Airways
– Cathay Pacific
– Saudi Arabian
– Condor (Germany)
– Spicejet (India)
– Meridiana (Italy)
– JetAirFly (Belgium)

Some Travel Books on Srilanka

Sri Lanka Travel Map Second Edition For 91 Days in Sri Lanka The Rough Guide to Sri Lanka

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at touristlink.com
Hotels at tripadvisor.com

Blogs / Sites about Sri lanka

blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs at tripadvisor.com
blogs at touristlink.com
blogs and reviews at laktours.blogspot.in

Images and photos about Sri lanka

images at google.com
images at wikipedia.org
images at tripadvisor.com
images at touristlink.com

Videos about Sri lanka

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