Generally the colonial forts in Sri Lanka were built on coastal areas
to protect the entry points such as harbours from invading forces. But
there are some forts which were built inside the country. They were meant
to defend the low land from the Kandyan Kingdom in the hills. Until
the Kandy fell to British in 1815, it was a independent kingdom
refusing to bow the head to the colonial powers which held the coastal
belt. Therefore the the Dutch and the Portuguese built several forts
on the foothills which boarders the Kandyan Kingdom and their areas.
Katuwana is such a fort located in the Katuwana divisional secretary
of Hambantota District. It was built in 1645 A.D by the Dutch.
According to the historical reports there had been buildings such as two
bastions which accommodate 12 cannons, quarters, stores, surgical theatres,
staircases etc. The rampart is about
150’ * 150’ in dimensions which is made of huge boulders is about
20’ high from externally and 8’ 12’ high from internally.
This fort was captured and partly destroyed by the Kandyan forces in
1761 during the Matara Rebellion. The main door of the Fort can be now
found on the
today. It is said that at one time the
British at one time issued a arrest warrant for the Maduwanwala Disawe,
polularly known as the Black Prince of Sabaragamuwa and when the soldiers
came to arrest him, he trapped them and demanded that the British give
him a beautiful timber doorway from the old Dutch Fort at Katuwana in
exchange for the soldiers' lives.
With the subjugation of the Kandyan kingdom by the British in 1815, fortress
lost its strategic significance and was abandoned forever. Fortunately,
This fort is now restored to its ancient glory with aid from the Dutch
Government. It can
easily be reached from Middeniya which in turn can be reached from either
Panamure or directly from Embilipitiya.
Driving Directions to Katuwana Fort
Route from Colombo
Though : Panadura - Matugama - Morawaka
distance :170 km
Travel time : 3.5 hours
Driving directions :
see on google map
May 12, 2013
Created : January 9, 2010