Forts and Fortifications 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 of Sri Lanka 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.

Forts of Sri Lanka

Full list of Forts of Sri Lanka

  1. Pre-colonial forts
    1. Mapagala Fortress – Near Sigiriya
    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 – Jaffna Peninsula
    8. Fort Beschutter – Jaffna Peninsula
    9. Fort Fredrick – Trincomalee
    10. Fort Hammenhiel – Jaffna Peninsula
    11. Fort Macdowall
    12. Fort Ostenburg – Trincomalee
    13. Fort Pyl – Jaffna Peninsula
    14. Galle fort – Galle
    15. Haldumulla Portuguese Fort – Haldummulla
    16. Hanwella / Gurubewila Fort
    17. Jaffna fort – Jaffna Peninsula
    18. Kalpitiya fort
    19. Kalutara Fort
    20. Kotugodella Fort – Etampitiya
    21. Katuwana Fort
    22. Kayts Island Fort
    23. Koddiyar Fort
    24. Malwana Fort
    25. Mannar fort
    26. Martello tower of Hambantota
    27. Matara fort – Matara
    28. Menikkadawara Fort
    29. Mullattivu Fort
    30. Negombo fort
    31. Pooneryn fort
    32. Ratnapura Dutch Fort
    33. Ratnapura Portuguese Fort
    34. Ruwanwella Fort
    35. Sitawaka fort – Avissavella
    36. Star fort – Matara
    37. Tangalle fort