Places To Visit In Colombo

Colombo is the capital of the island of Sri Lanka located off of India in the Indian Ocean, famously dubbed as the "golden pearl of the Indian Ocean". The local people of Sri Lanka are known for their extremely warm and hospitable nature, and the places to visit in Colombo back this up with their wonderful charm and allure.

Colombo is the busy city of Sri Lanka with a bustling life amidst the skyscrapers and modernistic feel that the city provides, with the extensive depth of the local culture, cuisine and traditions that float around the places to visit in Colombo. As the host of settlers from both Arab and European nations in the past, the culture of Colombo is very diverse.

Whether you wish to play golf on a lush green golf course, witness handweaving process of garments first-hand, have an astronomical time at the planetarium, get lost in the authentic local cuisine or buy souvenirs and apparel at the famous street markets, you will find intricately beautiful architecture at the places to visit in Colombo. Notable examples include Wolvendaal Church and Colombo Lotus Tower, a number of renowned Hindu temples such as Sri Ponnambala Konesvaram Kovil, and stupas and mosques as well.

Your experience in Colombo is going to be very immersive, and will take you deeper than the surface of Colombo in order to fully explore the beauty and glamor of the tourist attractions in Colombo. A trip to Colombo will surely take you farther into the depths than just the capital city of a bustling island country.

Ravana Falls is a waterfall attraction situated in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka and one of the widest waterfalls in the country.

 

History

The waterfall is named after a Demon in the Hindu Mythology, Ravana. Ravana was the ruler of Lanka and it is said that he kidnapped the wife of Hindu God Rama, and had hidden her in caves behind this waterfall, the caves are known as the Ravana Ella Caves. According to the Indian epic Ramayana, it was said that Ravana took this step to avenge his sister, who was humiliated by Rama and Laxmana. It is also believed that Rama’s wife bathed in a pool that accumulated the water falling from this waterfall.

 

 

Best Time to Visit

The Best time to visit is during the wet season of October as the waterfall is at its peak during that season. To beat crowds you can go early morning to enjoy the beauty of the waterfall for yourself.

 

 

Places To Eat

  • Lanka Restaurant
  • Noname Cafe
  • Cafe Eden
  • Matey Hut
  • Ceylon Tea Factory Restaurant
  • La Mensa
  • AK Ristoro
  • The Kitchen Garden

Gangaramaya Temple is one among the foremost well-known Buddhist temples in Colombo. It’s exceptionally beautiful with the Beira Lake on one side and statues & carvings paving the way inside. The main sanctuary features a huge and exquisite Buddha statue while the ceilings portray his stories. The temple also has training centers, a museum and far more to admire.

 

History

Don Bastian (de Silva Jayasuriya Goonewardane, Mudaliyar), a famous 19th century shipping merchant who was trying to find an appropriate land to create a temple for the Matara Sri Dharmarama thero, bought a gorgeous piece of land belonging to 3 Moors, and filled and prepared the land at a great expense. The land bordered on two sides by the Moragoda Ela and the Pettigala Ela was used to build the temple, which was subsequently named the Padawthota Gangaramaya Viharaya. The Mudaliyar, with the help of the people built an excellent 'Chaitya' (Dagaba) of 30 Riyans, and built a great decorative arch (thorana) and a 'Sandakada pahana' modeled on the ones found at Anuradhapura, at the entrance to the temple. A 'Bo' sapling brought from Sri Maha Bhodiya in Anuradhapura, was also planted by his own hands and looked after. He also built a three-storied preaching hall and the walls, railings and therefore the moat around the temple.

Once widely referred to as Victoria Park, Viharamahadevi Park is Colombo’s oldest and largest public park. Situated within an older section of the city it lies close to historical monuments such as the colonial-era Town Hall building, the National Museum, and the Colombo Public Library. Having received extensive renovations recently, it is now an essential location where the city’s residents relax and enjoy themselves.
The park features include a huge Buddha statue and a series of water fountains. It also includes a mini zoo, a children's play area and a BAC Jet Provost.

 

History

The park was built, by Charles Henry de Soysa during the British rule of Sri Lanka, on land donated to the Colombo city; and was named "Victoria Park" after Queen Victoria.
It was occupied by the British Army during World War II, and was where the Australian 17th Brigade was based. After the war the park was restored and open to the public in 1951, and at the time it was named Viharamahdevi Park after the ancient Queen Viharamahadevi. This queen was the mother of King Dutugamunu who was an important figurehead of Sri Lanka’s history.
Another face of the park’s history was the cricket ground that used to be within the park. It was used for international level cricket games between 1927 and 1995. Ceylon played against a touring English team there in 1927 and against an Australian team in 1935. However with time the ground fell into disuse and was later removed.

Independence Memorial Hall in Sri Lanka is usually popular as a recreational venue for joggers, strolling couples, students from the nearby university and families trying to find a refreshing reprieve from the urban environment of Colombo.

Independence Memorial Hall is found within the Independence Square at Colombo 7. This place is known as Torrington Square in early days. This Hall was built for the commemoration of the independence from British in 1948. The hall was built at the location where the formal ceremony marking the beginning of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament by the HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester occurring at a special podium February 4, 1948.

This Hall is predicated on the architecture of the Audience Hall( Magul Maduwa) located in Kandy. The column and pillers are decorated with traditional Sri Lankan designs and statues of lions are placed around the building.
Most of the visitors had missed the museum located within the basement of the Independence Memorial Hall. This was recently renovated and displays many statues of the national heroes, who contributed to the fight for freedom from British government.

Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya is a well-known Buddhist temple built in the 5th century. It is commonly believed to have been visited by the Buddha on his third visit to the country along with 500 monks after the enlightenment of 8 years, back in 500 BCE. The temple holds the heritage designation of an Archaeological Protected Monument in Sri Lanka ever since 2007 and therefore holds great historical importance not only to Buddhists but also for all Sri Lankans. It covers an area of almost 10 acres and is visited by millions of people every year, especially during the Duruthu Maha Perehera which is held at the temple’s hollow Dagoba every year in January. A large number of people also pilgrimage on Poya day, that is, full moon day of the month and conduct several religious programs here. The temple, as you would expect, is grand and magnificent. Its stupa is believed to have enshrined a throne studded with gems, on which Buddha sat and preached. It houses many paintings and sculptures, depicting various events from the life of Lord Buddha and also the Jataka tales.

The temple has four significant sections the Golden Buddha Image House, King’s Image House, The New Temple House and The Reclined Buddha Image House. There are gold studded chairs and carpets inside the stupa which gives an essence of its grandeur. The main attraction is the astounding 90 feet stupa.

The famous image of the reclining Gautama Buddha, the vast shrine room and the dagoba are the items which cannot be missed. There are several beautiful wall paintings in the image house by a native artist Solias Mendis about Buddha and his life events. Red, yellow and black colours are prominently used for the arts. The upper sacred terrace contains the stupa, image shrine, Bodhi tree, bell tower and few other buildings. 

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FAQs

Galle Face Green urban park, beautiful Buddhist temples like Kalutara Bodhiya and Gangaramaya Vihara, Pettah market area, Mount Lavinia beach, Colombo National Museum and Colombo Lotus Tower are some of the famous places to visit in Colombo on your trip.
You do a number of activities in the rich and diverse city of Colombo, from seeking holy blessings at the temples and getting an enriching experience at the museums to shopping around the streets of Pettah and sightseeing at Colombo Lotus Tower and Beira Lake. Your overall experience in Colombo will be a very complete one.
The Kollupitiya area of Colombo is a suitable central place to get a hotel in Colombo, as everything ranging from marketplace, restaurants and street stalls is going to be located in close proximity to your hotel in Kollupitiya. Thankfully, the area houses a number of hotels across different budgets.
Buddhist temples like Gangaramaya Vihara, Seema Malakaya Temple and Kalutara Bodhiya, cathedrals like St. Mary’s Church, St. Anthony’s Shrine, Wolvendaal Church and St. Lucia’s Cathedral are some of the historical tourist attractions in Colombo. Other historical sites in Colombo include National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka, Colombo Lighthouse and Richmond Castle.
Mount Lavinia Beach, Beira Lake and gardens like Viharamahadevi Park, Galle Face Green and National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka are some beautiful and scenic tourist locations in Sri Lanka for couples to visit.
The majestic and colorful Colombo Lotus Tower is one of the iconic landmarks of Colombo and a popular sightseeing spot. The urban park of Galle Face Green and the beautiful Buddhist temples in Colombo are amongst other popular sightseeing places in Sri Lanka.
Rice and curry made from meat, fish or dal makes up the staple dish in Sri Lanka. This is usually accompanied by pickles and chutneys. At the restaurants in Colombo city, you will be ankle to grab a wide variety of international cuisines.
Negombo beach, Muthurajawela marsh, Dutch Canal, Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara and the popular Beira Lake are tourist attractions in Colombo near Bandaranaike International Airport. To visit the other tourist spots in Colombo you can board a bus or catch a taxi right from the airport.