Colombo, the capital and the largest city in Sri Lanka is a crowd-puller and has an array of attractions and activities to offer. One side of the city has mansions, luxurious hotels, lush gardens, malls whereas on the other, we find slums and congested roads bustling with people. Call it religious, historic, or cultural, this is the land of diversity and temples, decorated with greenery, studded with flora and fauna. The beautiful Mt.Lavinia beach adds to the scenic beauty of this place. All these and The Royal Colombo Golf club, which has attracted golfers for 129 years, make this city a tourist destination.
A religious symphony can be seen here as it houses the temples of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Gangaramaya Vihara is the most revered Buddhist temple, located beside a Holy Bo tree under which Lord Buddha is believed to have preached. Kelaniya Raha Maha Vihara and Asokaramaya Buddhist temples are equally brilliant. Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam kovil, meaning a Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is the oldest temple of Colombo. Due to the colonial influence, there are many cathedrals of which St. Lucia’s is the most visited one.
The Old Dutch Fort at Galle, a UNESCO heritage site, Beira lake, the Colombo harbour are a must visit places. The light house is supposed to be the only one in the world that tells time. There is no lack of museums, one can travel through time to 4th century BC while glancing at the art, sculptures and paintings in the National Museum. The Colombo Dutch House museum gives a glimpse of the life of the colonialists. Independence Commemoration Hall located on independence square, built in 1948 after the country gained its independence, exemplifies excellent art and architecture.
Take a stroll at Galle Face Green, a long stretch of lawns facing the sea especially on Sunday evenings to grab a bite if the delicious Street food. Viharamahadevi, the largest park in the city, is distinguished for its flowering trees, best visited in March, April and May. Pinnawala elephant orphanage delights you with an unusual experience of relaxing and lunching around elephants. Also, Dehiwala zoological gardens is a worth seeing place.
Touring of the city is by no means complete without an open double decker ride, sponsored by Sri Lanka tourism. Tune in to the buzzing night life of the city by chilling out in lavish bars. Have a bite of kothu rotti, a quintessential snack of this country and dig your teeth into Wattalappam, a Sri Lankan dessert. Go on a shopping spree to Beverly Street, Fun Planet, No Limit and take a tuk-tuk ride to Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct which offers sumptuous food and souvenirs. Last but not the least, enjoy the Trishaw ride, the local transport, which will leave you with an unforgettable experience.