Galge Ruins – ගල්ගේ නටබුන්

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Galge Caves

Galge Caves
photo courtesy of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Galge is an area between Sella Kataragama and Buttala along the road connecting the two. At the turn towards the Lunugamvehera National Park at Galge which is approximately 17 km from Kataragama and 27 kilometres from Buttala lies a rocky outcrop consisting of ancient drip ledge caves which probably had been part of a larger Buddhist monastery.

On the top of this rock lies an monument built in cement which reads

“In Memory of J.P. Ireson, Born 3rd April 1877 – Died 12th November 1923, Founder of the Galge Country, and a true British Sportsman, Erected by his friends – RIP”

J.P. Ireson was not in fact a sportsman by any civilised definition other than of the British who used the term to glorify the trophy hunters who would shoot and kill most majestic animals just to own its head.

J.P. Ireson was a British superintendent of some plantations in Monaragala District. Harry Storey who writes his hunting experiences with Ireson states “….. Ireson’s trophies filled me with envy, for he had fine series of heads from 30 inches up to 33 ½ inches – such as I had rarely seen in my North Central Province Country, through common enough in the Southern Province……….”

As fate demands Ireson has died by an elephant attack and this monument had been built by his friends on this rock. This monument had been about 40 feet high initially but had been damaged by lightning every time it had been rebuilt by the British High Commission in Sri Lanka. Finally they had reduced the height to about 20 feet which you see today.

Also See

Map of Galge Ruins

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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.

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.


Travel Directions to Galge Ruins

Route from Kataragama to Galge Ruins

Route from Buttala to Galge Ruins

Through : Kataragama – Buttala Road
Distance : 17 km
Travel time : 25 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Kataragama – Buttala Road
Distance : 28 kilometers
Travel time : 30 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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