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.
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.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.
Apart from taking the regular stroll in the park and clicking pictures, you can enjoy the following activities in the neighborhood.
You can try and catch the live shows and performances held at the Viharamahadevi open air stadium.
1. A tour of the city of Colombo in the airplane: This is a 20 minute ride in the airplane, which offers you a tour of the city of Colombo from above the ground without any hustle or bustle.
2. Tea and Herb Tour in Colombo: Take a tour of the pristine tea and herb gardens of Colombo. Witness the Lushful tea plantations and get refreshed and mesmerized by the scenic beauty of tea plantation slopes of Colombo.
3. International Memorial Hall: Built in the 1953, this Hall is a memory of those killed during the struggle of Independence of Sri Lanka. This is a must-visit destination for the tourists who come to Colombo. The premises includes of a museum.
4. Gangaramaya Temple: You can visit one of the most beautiful and picturesque temples of Sri Lanka, The Gangaramaya Temple. Built almost a century ago, this temple remains a must-visit spot in Sri Lanka.