Negombo is the fourth largest city in Sri Lanka and has the only International airport of the country. It can be termed as little Rome of Sri Lanka as umpteen canals pass through this city attracting hordes. The Dutch canal, that connects Kelani river of Colombo to Puttalan lagoon, was started by Portuguese and completed by Dutch. It is one of the important sightseeing places of Negombo. In the 18th century, Dutch started building a number of canals and the Dutch canal was built in order to drain out the salt waters of rice fields and it was a major transportation in their times. Later, after the seizure of Negombo by British, Hamilton canal was built which ran parallel to the Dutch canal for 14.5 kilometres and both are linked with parallel water ways to deplete the waters of Muturajawela. Today, the Dutch canal is also known as Hamilton canal and serves as a major tourist spot entertaining travellers offering boat rides.
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