Colombo is the largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Located on the west coast, it is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern and colonial impressions. Colombo has a widely varying architecture that spans centuries and depicts various styles. Many colonial buildings influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch and British exist alongside structures built in Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Indian and Contemporary architectural styles. No other place is this more evident in the heart of the city in the Fort area. Colombo also boasts many shopping malls and department stores that offer brand name clothing at highly discounted prices. Therefore, it has become an important shopping destination among tourists.
Galle Face Green
Located in the heart of the business capital of the country; Colombo, the Galle Face Green in Sri Lanka is a 5-hectare ocean-side urban park, which stretches for a half kilometer along the coast. It is a magnificent place to witness a marvelous sunset over the western coast of Sri Lanka. The area was initially put to plan and laid out in 1859 by Governor Sir Henry George Ward, although the original Galle Face Green extended over a much larger area than is seen today. The Galle Face Green in Sri Lanka was initially used for many recreational activities. These include activities such as horse racing and golf. It was also used as an area to play cricket, polo, football tennis, and rugby.
The temple’s architecture demonstrates an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture. This Buddhist temple includes several imposing buildings and is situated not far from the placid waters of Beira Lake on a plot of land that was originally a small hermitage on a piece of marshy land.
The Colombo National Museum was established in 1877 and is the largest museum in all of Sri Lanka. The displays in the museum show visitors the natural and cultural heritage of the country. The Museum is housed in two stories of a beautifully photogenic building. The exhibitions are organized chronologically on the ground floor and thematically on the second floor. The National Museum is open seven days a week but closed on public holidays like Full Moon Poya, Sinhala & Tamil New Year, Thai Pongal, Ramazan, and Christmas.
Independence Memorial Hall
Independence Memorial Hall is located in the Independence Square at Colombo 7. This place is known as Torrington Square in the early days. This Hall was built for the commemoration of the independence from the British in 1948. But the construction was started after the Independence. This Hall is based on the architecture of the Audience Hall( Magul Maduwa) located in Kandy. The column and pilers are decorated with traditional Sri Lankan designs and statues of lions are placed around the building.
Viharamahadevi Park or formally known as Victoria Park is the largest, oldest and most colorful park situated in the 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.
This Neo-Baroque-style building was built during the British colonial era to house the Legislative Council of Ceylon. It was built on an idea of Sir Henry McCallum, which led to a proposal made by a committee to construct the new building for the Secretariat, Council Chamber and Government offices on reclaimed land at the northern end of Galle Face’ were accepted by the Government in 1920.
Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque (Red Mosque)
In the heart of Pettah, the decorative 1909 Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque is a show-stopper with its candy-striped red-and-white brickwork. Guards will usually let you in for a look, except during peak prayer times on Friday (women may be denied entrance at other times as well). Afterward, have a coffee at one of the Halal cafes across the way.
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