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
    3. Vijithapura Fort at Kaduruwela
  2. Colonial Forts
    1. Arandora Fort
    2. Arippu Fort
    3. Balana Fort
    4. Batticaloa Fort – Batticaloa
    5. Black Fort – Inside Galle Fort
    6. Colombo Fort – Colombo
    7. Delft Island Fort – Jaffna
    8. Elephant Pass Fort – Jaffna Peninsula
    9. Fort Beschutter – Jaffna Peninsula
    10. Fort Fredrick – Trincomalee
    11. Fort Hammenhiel – Jaffna Peninsula
    12. Fort Macdowall
    13. Fort Ostenburg – Trincomalee
    14. Fort Pyl – Jaffna Peninsula
    15. Galle Fort – Galle
    16. Haldumulla Portuguese Fort – Haldummulla
    17. Hanwella / Gurubewila Fort
    18. Jaffna fort – Jaffna Peninsula
    19. Kalpitiya fort
    20. Kalutara Fort
    21. Kotugodella Fort – Etampitiya
    22. Katuwana Fort
    23. Kayts Island Fort
    24. Koddiyar Fort
    25. Malwana Fort
    26. Mannar Fort
    27. Martello tower of Hambantota
    28. Matara Fort – Matara
    29. Menikkadawara Fort
    30. Mullattivu Fort
    31. Negombo Fort
    32. Pooneryn Fort
    33. Ratnapura Dutch Fort
    34. Ratnapura Portuguese Fort
    35. Ruwanwella Fort
    36. Sitawaka Fort – Avissavella
    37. Star Fort – Matara
    38. Tangalle Fort