The development of highways and railways in Sri Lanka is attributed to the British, who were the final foreign rulers to subjugate the nation. The British construction of these transport networks played a pivotal role in fostering the economic growth of the country, serving administrative functions and expediting the transportation of economic goods.
In the initial phase, roads were built to establish connections between key cities like Galle, Colombo, Matara, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Negombo, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Nuwara Eliya, and various others. Strategically positioned mileposts were installed to gauge the distances separating these destinations.
In the present day, the unit of measurement for distance has shifted from miles to kilometres. Furthermore, the conventional mileposts have been substituted with kilometre posts, constructed from uniform concrete, making them indistinguishable from one another.
Among the historical mileposts installed by the British Public Works Department, only a few remain scattered around the country. They are carved in stone and some of them are unique in their own way.
In the main Galle Road, the distance has been measured from the King’s House (the President’s House today). The 1 Mile Post of the Galle Road has been found discarded and has been reinstalled in its present location in 1978.
The post is made of stone in a triangular prism shape positioned upright. There are carvings on 2 sides. It reads “1 Mile from the King’s House” and the other side reads “This road made AD 1814“. This milepost stands right at the centre of the main entrance of Taj Samudra Hotel today.
Map of 1st Mile Post at Galle Face Taj Samudra Hotel
The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites
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