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Top things to do in Colombo

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Top things to do in Colombo

Always been a major port city since ages, Colombo has had international dwellers for long. Being the largest city of Sri Lanka, this city is home to sites of national and cultural importance. One can say that Colombo is the most ethnically diverse city in Sri Lanka with Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu population spread across. Through history this city has seen Dutch, Portuguese, and British rulers, leaving a cultural mark on it. The city is built of 13 districts, with fast growth of city scape in form of skyscrapers, hotels, shopping arenas, and modern living spaces. Your Sri Lankan holiday is probably going to start from here, so here are the top things to do in Colombo.

National Museum – Largest museum of Sri Lanka, surrounded by lavish lawns, was built by then British Governor. It has artefacts from Colonial times to Sri Lankan Royal family to historic heritage. It is divided into natural science, cultural galleries and a gift shop. It covers history of 2500 years.

Gangaramaya Temple – It is the most iconic Buddhist temple of Colombo with school of Buddhist learning, Museum, library, a Bodhi Tree and a hall full of gifts from devotees. It is believed to have relics of Buddha’s hair. It has maximum number of Buddha’s in Gold, stone and white plastic.

Beira Lake – It is one of popular landmark and perfect for a laid back day. Spread over 160 acres, it has green spaces, an island with Simamalaka Shrine, narrow canals, more lakes, and paddle boats shapes as swans. Travellers visit here for picnics or privately as couples, or in groups for fun.

Independence Memorial Hall – It was built to commemorate the freedom of Sri Lanka from British Empire. It has statue of Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake, first president and father of nation. It also has a museum, and open green space. It resembles to the Royal Audience Hall in Kandy.

Dutch Hospital – It only sounds like a hospital, but is one of oldest buildings in Colombo dating back to 16th Century Dutch times in Sri Lanka. It is home to Colombo’s finest cafes, restaurants, and shops. Apart from buying a souvenir or a traditional Lankan dress, you can have a decent tasty meal too.

Sri Kailawasanathar Swami DevasthanamKovil – Also known as Captain’s Garden Kovil, it is the largest, oldest Hindu temple of Colombo. The main deities are Lord Shiva and Ganesh, though temple has many idols of all gods. It has highly ornate and colourful, south Indian Architecture.

Pettah Market – It consists of Manning Market, Wholesale market, Central market, and Gold Market Sea Street. This is where small businessmen hustle day in day out. The sound, smell, and sights of here are peculiar. With number of shops and their best deals there also are Mosques, Churches.

Dutch Museum – This beautiful piece of Dutch Architecture has been a former residence of Dutch Governor, college, military hospital, police station, seminary and post office. Now it is home to Dutch artefacts, colonial furniture, nice garden courtyard, and showcases the life during Dutch rule.

Galle Face Green – It is a long stretch of green lawn along the sea and its promenade. It is a popular rendezvous spot with families on walk, people trying street food, kids flying kites, couples finding solace, and locals playing beach volleyball. On evenings it is perfect combo of sea, stars, and sand.

Royal Colombo Golf Club – It is oldest Golf Club of Sri Lanka, with 18 holes spread in 40 acres. It’s perfect for sports lover for leisurely time in this breezy, green spot. It has railroad tracks running through, cow grass, few water bodies, and animal spotting of kingfisher, monitor lizards, etc.

Viharamahadevi Park – It is one of the oldest and largest parks of Sri Lanka. It is home to a large Buddha statue surrounded by fountains, a mini zoo, and children’s play area. It also has an open stadium that hosts concerts. It has lines of food stall. This spot is family picnic perfect.

Dehiwala Zoo – Believed to be the oldest zoo in Asia, it is home to more than 300 species spread on 30 acres of land. It houses a beautiful butterfly garden, fountains, varieties of flowers, elephant pony boat rides, and restaurants around. Top thing to see here is famous Sri Lankan Elephant show.

Mount Lavinia Beach – Colombo is blessed with sights of some of the best sunsets, and this beach offers one that view. Plus this beach is also popular for its gastronomic scene. It has Colombo’s best seafood to offer in its bars and restaurants. People flock here due to the serenity of this place.

Watch cricket match – Cricket in Sri Lanka is a serious sport, and watching them play is a fabulous thing to do. You can head over to the Cricket Club Café or something bigger as in R Premadasa Int. stadium, to catch up with biggies in action. You’ll find young cheering company in the stadium.

Kelaniya Raj MahaVihara – This Buddhist temple is believed to be set at place where Lord Buddha personally visited and preached. Its four sections are Golden Buddha, King’s, The New Temple and The Reclined Buddha, Image House. It has paintings and sculptures depicting Jataka tales.

We have nothing to lose, and world to see!

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