Colombo

Colombo/Fort/Clock tower cum lighthouse/Galle Face/National Museum/Zoological Gardens

Colombo
Colombo is the largest city and the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of Sri Lank. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte suburb or the parliament capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is also the administrative capital of Western Province, Sri Lanka and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins with a population of about 752,993 in the city limits. It was the political capital of Sri Lanka, before Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte.

Fort
Fort gets its name from the former military barracks which was located here under the Dutch and British, it is still the location of Janadhipathi Mandiraya, the President House. On its border is the beautiful sandstone building which houses the Presidential Secretariat and the Government Secretariat, formally the Parliament, almost a replica of Whitehall in England.

Clock tower cum lighthouse
It is a very rare vision indeed- a lighthouse in the middle of the city center! A landmark in the Colombo Fort is the lighthouse with clock tower, a heritage of the British invaders. For nearly 100 years it performed the dual task of being a beacon to ships in the Indian Ocean whilst keeping time. Designed by Lady Ward, wife of the Governor Sir Henry Ward, it was built in 1857 but installed in 1915 after being stored in a warehouse for 42 years due to lack of funds to install it.

Galle Face
Galle Face Green, the mile long walkway which margins the Fort on the South, is the largest open air stretch in the city offering a beautiful view of the sunset. Around it are the main city hotels, from the Galle Face Hotel which was established in 1864.

Bauddhaloka Buddha
Facing the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall stands a beautifully implemented statue of the Buddha in the standing posture. The statue is 36 feet tall and is the largest Buddha statue in the city of Colombo. It is a model of the Avukana Statue on the banks of the Kalawawe Anuradhapura.

National Museum
Built in 1877, is a treasure trove of articles portraying Sri Lanka’s historical and cultural past and present including regalia of the last king.

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, (a very important Buddhist temple in the North East of the city, and one of the three places in Sri Lanka where Lord Buddha visited, has very attracting wall and ceiling paintings by famous artist Solius Mendis.

Zoological Gardens
South of the city, at Dehiwala is the National Zoological Gardens, which is one of the largest zoological gardens in South East Asia, which has a very large collection of animals, birds and reptile species from the world over.