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City Of Colombo Back to Attractions

Back to Attractions

Colombo is the main city in the western province of Sri Lanka and the commercial hub of the country. The Colombo city is full of popular tourist attractions, such as the national museum, Galle face green, Beira lake, Cargills & Millers building, Independence Square, Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo Fort, Pettah bazaar, Beach Waadiya, Mount Lavinia beach, the railway museum, churches, mosques and temples.

Colombo Fort
The Colombo Fort and the Colombo harbour are locations with a long history. Greek, Egyptian and Arabian merchants mainly used the Colombo harbour until 1506 as a shipping port. The Portuguese took control of the Colombo harbour and built the Colombo Fort to defend the coast from invaders. The Dutch invaded Colombo Fort in 1658 and the city was developed systematically. The Beira lake was also developed and extended to strengthen the Dutch defence strategy. In 1796, the British took control of the Colombo Fort and invaded the entire country by 1815. They further developed Colombo city and made it the commercial hub of Ceylon. The Governor's quarters were built inside the Fort, which today serves as the official presidential residence in the country.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Colombo Light House
The old Colombo lighthouse was established in 1860 as a clock tower. In 1865 the lantern was added and the clock tower was transformed into a lighthouse. The original clock (made by the same manufacturer as "Big Ben") was replaced in 1913. The tower is located at the junction of Chatham Street and Janadhipathi Mawatha (formally known as Queens Road) in Colombo Fort. The lighthouse is no longer operational, but functions as a clock tower and designated monument. It is said that this cylindrical brick tower with a lantern and gallery is the only lighthouse in the world that also tells the time in the middle of the busy road.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Independence Square
The independence commemoration hall (formally Torrington square) is a national monument that was built long after Sri Lanka gained independence from British rule on the 4th of February 1948. This monument is designed to resemble a Kandyan audience hall, which is clearly signified in the elaborate stone carvings and breath taking paintings. Made of concrete and guarded by a row of stone lions, this great monument is a symbol that glorifies ancient Sri Lankan architecture. This monument is also commonly used for conducting annual National Day celebrations and other significant cultural activities that signify national unity. This remarkable site has become a major tourist attraction due to its historical significance and extraordinary architecture. It is a heritage site that you must visit in Colombo.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Cargills Millers Building
The Cargills Millers building is one of the oldest departments stores in Sri Lanka, which was established in 1844 by William Miller and David Sime. This magnificent, colonial style building is a massive landmark that is located in Fort, which will not be missed.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Colombo National Museum
The National Museum of Colombo is a British colonial mansion, which was built according to Italian architecture. This museum was first opened to public on the 1st of January 1877 and was founded by the British governor of Ceylon at the time, Sir William Henry Gregory. It is the first public museum in Sri Lanka and has a vast collection of antiques and many other ancient artefacts collected from all over the country. Today, there are approximately 100,000 artefacts on display at the museum. The Museum also maintains a library with a vast collection of rare historical books and chronicles. It is actively involved in conducting research in prehistory, ethnology, anthropology, culture and the crafts. It also conducts lectures and seminars periodically.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple
Gangaramaya Buddhist temple is a beautiful temple with a history that dates back over 2,000 years. This temple is said to have been built in the 19th century by a trader and ship owner named Don Bastion, who had played a leading role in reviving Buddhism in Sri Lanka during colonial rule. Located beside a Holy Bo Tree on the waters of Beira Lake, the temple is only accessible by crossing a wooden bridge. According to historical records, Lord Buddha is reputed to have preached under this Bo tree, which is considered to be a sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi and is over 100 years old. This temple is famous for its imposing buildings, and is complete with a chaitya, Bo- tree, shrine house, Simamalakaya, relic chamber containing the relics of lord Buddha and Arahat Seevali, a museum, library, pirivena, and residential, education and alms giving halls. The Nawam Perahera, conducted by the Gangarama temple is a major tourist attraction in the island. The perehara was initiated in 1979 and has been held in the month of February every year since then. This beautiful festival of arts is carried out with the participation of over 1,000 performers and 100 elephants brought from different parts of the island.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Hindu Temples
There are several Hindu temples (Kovils) in Colombo. On Sea Street in Pettah, is the Kathiseran Temple dedicated to the war god named 'Skanda'. Built of South Indian granite is the, In Koch-chikade (three kms north of Fort) you will find the Sri Ponnambalam-Vaneswaram temple, which is built from South Indian granite. In Colombo 10, the Sri BalaSelvaVinayagarMoorthy temple is devoted to the gods 'Shiva' and 'Ganesh'. Other important temples are the Shiva Subramania Swami temple on Slave Island and the Sri Muthumariamman temple in Colombo 13.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
The Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya
The Kelaniya Raja MahaViharaya is one of the most significant Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. The temple had been built more than 2000 years ago and contains astonishing images of reclining and preaching Buddha, along with frescoes depicting incidents from his life. The Kelaniya Vihara received its hallowed status and became a place of Buddhist worship after Arhath (supremely enlightened) Mahinda brought the Dhamma to the island. The other major attraction of this temple is the annually held "Duruthu Perahera". This great pageant (Perahera) was inaugurated in 1927 and has been held annually since then. "The Duruthu Perahera'' (Kelani Procession) is held on the pre-full moon day of the month of January every year and is celebrated in three colourful stages.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Dehiwala Zoological Gardens
Dehiwala Zoological Gardens is one of the oldest zoological gardens in Asia founded in 1936. The entire zoo covers an area of 10.1 ha / 0.10 km2, with well landscaped gardens and foliage to provide a more natural habitats to its animals. It's a home to a wide variety of animals and birds that can be found around the world. All the animals are spread out in a number of houses. The Reptile House - The Reptile House of Colombo Dehiwala Zoo has a collection of crocodiles, tortoises, snakes and oth- er reptiles. The Mini Medura - The Mini Medura has a display of more than 500 varieties of fish and is considered as one of a kind in Asia. The Nocturnal House - This house contains the nocturnal birds and animals like owls, bats, rodents, and lemurs.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Viharamahadevi Park
Viharamahadevi Park or formally known as the Victoria park is the largest, oldest and most colorful park situated in the heart of Colombo (Cinnamon Gardens), just opposite the colonial style Town Hall building. The park was built during the British rule of Sri Lanka as Victoria Park and remained as Vihara Maha Devi Park, in honor of a famous historical Sinhalese queen, mother of the hero of the nation, King Dutugamunu. This is the largest & most attractive greenery in Colombo and best visited from March to May before the monsoon when most of the flowers are in full bloom.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Galle Face Green
Galle face green is the largest open space and the most elegant promenade located in Colombo city. This elegant seaside promenade is a ribbon strip of land between Galle Road and Indian Ocean, stretching out to one-and-a-half kilometers. Originally the Gall face green extended over a much larger area than seen today. It was mainly used as a horse racing course and partly as a golf course over 100 years ago during the time of Sir Henry Ward, the British Governor of Ceylon in 1859. Today, the Gall Face Green is a perfect place for all those who want to indulge in their favorite pastimes next to the sea under the open sky. The green brightens up in the evenings, with children, families, vendors, teenagers, lovers, kite flyers and merrymakers and it is at its busiest on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Bellanwila Attidiya Wet Land
Attidiya is a beautiful marshland located around 9km towards the south west of the city. The wet land is rich with natural biodiversity and is a resting place for many types of birds. The vegetation of this wetland is dominated by sedge and grasses including Rhyuchospora rubra and Panicum repens. Around 43 species of waterfowls live in the area. Most common among them are Indian Shag (Phalaerocorox fuscicollis), the Blue breasted Banded Rail ( Rallus striatus) etc. If you are an enthusiastic bird watcher or an eco friend, then it is worthwhile to spend sometimes in the Attidiya bird sanctuary during one of your leisurely evenings during your stay in Colombo.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Shopping in Colombo
There are wide varieties of shopping complexes within the Colombo city all of them are with all the facilities. Most of the shopping malls are fully wi-fi enabled. If you are looking goods for less prices Pettah bazaar is the ideal location. You can buy almost anything you want but this is always busy and crowded. If you move along the Gall road you can find shopping malls like Majestic City, Liberty Plaza and Crescat which are very popular among locals as well. You can buy garments, handicrafts, books, leather goods and many more. Prices are very competitive. ODEL and Arina are another shopping malls which are very popular among tourists. The shops in Main Street of Pettah mostly sell readymade garments.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka

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