Popular for its rich cultural, historical and natural heritage, marked by lush landscapes and pristine beaches, Sri Lanka’s bustling capital Colombo lures hordes of globetrotters from far and wide. Add to it an amazing shopping and dining experience; the city becomes irresistible for modern tourists. If you are visiting Colombo anytime soon, here are top five places you must cover:
The National Museum
The largest museum in the city, the National Museum boasts a great collection of artefacts reflective of Sri Lanka’s intriguing past. Look for a large selection of sword, guns and other war-equipment belonging to the colonial era in the country. The splendid royal throne made for King Wimaladharmasuriya II in 1693, the 9th-century bronze Bodhisattva Sandals, 19th-century reproductions of English paintings of Sri Lanka as well as a collection of antique demon masks have a special lure for visitors. The museum remains open from 9am-5pm.
Galle Face Green
Marked by expansive spaces and a promenade that overlooks the sea, the historical Galle Face Green is one of the best places in Colombo for spending a romantic evening as well as a day of family picnic. One can spot street food vendors, skaters, kite flyers and hordes of locals scattered along this beautiful stretch spawning 12 acres. It doesn’t take a lot of hard work to reach the beach, just about 500 metres from the park.
Beddagana Wetland Park
Located within the Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte Bird Sanctuary, the Beddagana Wetland Park is one of the best places in Sri Lanka for a tryst with nature. Established with the intention of protecting the land from floods, the park boasts an astonishing collection of lush grasslands, impressive vegetation, and diverse wildlife of the country. If you are bird-watcher, you might want to travel here between August-April when a staggering diversity of migrant birds populates the park.
Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple
Featuring intricate elements of Chinese, Thai and Indian architecture, Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple is one of the most sacred sites in the Colombo. It is operated by the famous monk Galboda Gnanissara Thera and has a very faithful group of devotees, some of whom also gift gold jewellery amongst a string of expensive gifts to the temple. The temple is one of the few in the world to host a library and a museum on its premises. Vesak celebrations marking birth, enlightenment and departure of Buddha from the world are the greatest at this temple in the whole city.
Located in the heart of Colombo’s city centre, the Beira Lake is a stretch of about 160 acres of natural beauty; marked by tall, green trees and well-kept vegetation. Surrounded by towering buildings, the lake is an oasis of relief from the sweltering sun within the city limits. The lake is a great place to spend time with family, making use of bird watching and boating opportunities. Seekers of romance can look forward to some of the most glorious sunrises and sunsets in Colombo, hiding under the shade of the park’s greens.