Colombo: A City of Contrasts

Explore the diverse and dynamic attractions of Sri Lanka’s capital, from its colonial heritage to its modern skyline.

Rifath Farook

July 25, 2023

Colombo, as the largest city and the commercial and financial capital of Sri Lanka, it is a bustling and vibrant metropolis that pulsates with energy and life. But it is also a city that has many different sides to it, reflecting its rich history and culture. Colombo is a city of contrasts, where you can find colonial and modern architecture, diverse and dynamic culture, and chaotic and calm nature. In this blog post, we will explore some of the attractions that showcase Colombo’s contrasts, and why you should visit this fascinating city.

Gangaramaya Temple: This is one of the most iconic and revered Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, with a rich history and a stunning architecture. The temple complex includes a museum, a library, a relic chamber, and an elephant sanctuary.

Gangaramaya Temple
Galle Face Green: This is a popular seaside promenade that stretches for half a kilometer along the Indian Ocean. It is a great place to enjoy the breeze, watch the sunset, fly kites, and sample street food.

Galle Face Green
Viharamahadevi Park: This is the largest and oldest park in Colombo, named after a legendary queen. It features beautiful gardens, fountains, statues, playgrounds, and a mini zoo.

Viharamahadevi Park
National Museum of Colombo: This is the largest museum in Sri Lanka, housed in a grand colonial building. It showcases the cultural and natural heritage of the country, with exhibits ranging from ancient artifacts and manuscripts to paintings and costumes.

National Museum of Colombo
Independence Memorial Hall: This is a monument that commemorates the independence of Sri Lanka from British rule in 1948. It is designed in the style of a traditional audience hall, with stone pillars and carvings. It also houses a museum that displays photos and documents related to the independence movement.

Independence Memorial Hall
Beira Lake: This is a scenic lake in the heart of Colombo, surrounded by greenery and buildings. It has a small island that hosts the Seema Malakaya Temple, a Buddhist meditation center. You can also enjoy boating and birdwatching on the lake.

Beira Lake
Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque: This is a striking mosque that stands out for its red and white candy-striped facade. It is one of the oldest and largest mosques in Colombo, and can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers. It is also known as the Red Mosque or the Samman Kottu Palli.

Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque
Dutch Period Museum: This is a museum that showcases the history and culture of the Dutch colonial era in Sri Lanka. It is located in a former governor’s mansion that dates back to the 17th century. It displays furniture, weapons, coins, ceramics, and paintings from that period.

Dutch Period Museum
Old Parliament Building: This is a majestic building that served as the seat of the Sri Lankan parliament until 1983. It is built in the neo-baroque style, with Corinthian columns and pediments. It overlooks the Galle Face Green and the Indian Ocean.

Old Parliament Building
World Trade Center: This is a modern skyscraper complex that consists of two identical towers that rise 152 meters above the ground. It is the tallest building in Sri Lanka, and houses offices, shops, restaurants, and conference facilities. It offers panoramic views of the city and the sea from its observation deck.

World Trade Center
Paradise Road: This is a chic boutique that sells a variety of products, such as clothing, accessories, home decor, art, books, and souvenirs. It is housed in a renovated colonial mansion that has an elegant and eclectic style.

Paradise Road
Pettah Floating Market: This is a unique market that floats on wooden platforms on the Beira Lake. It sells fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and snacks. It also has cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy the view of the lake and the city skyline.

Pettah Floating Market
Colombo is a city that offers a lot of variety and excitement for visitors. Whether you are interested in history, culture, nature, or shopping, you will find something to suit your taste and mood. Colombo is a city that reveals its contrasts and charms at every turn, and invites you to discover its secrets. Colombo is a city that will surprise you.

Image Courtesy:

Vihara Mahadevi Park | National Museum of Colombo | Independence Memorial Hall | Dutch Period Museum | Old Parliament Building | Paradise Road

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