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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular tourist attractions in Colombo?

Vineet Sharma DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka is also the largest city and main port of Sri Lanka. It is a commercial hub and a major financial centre of the country. This bustling metropolis that traces its history to the mythical times is today an enigmatic place that awaits exploration. The lazy charm of the bygone era combined with the verve and vivaciousness of a modern city. Colombo is an ideal location to start the Sri Lanka sojourn. Let’s look at the various tourist spots that you can visit in this chronicled city:  

  • The Fort

    The Fort in Colombo is located between the Colombo Harbour to the north and Beira Lake to the south. It was originally a fort during the Portuguese and Dutch periods but is now a major commercial centre of the country and housing major offices, big hotels. Within Fort, there are several tourist attractions, that are conveniently seen on foot.
    A mid-19th-century Clock Tower is sheltered here at the corner of
    Janadhipathi Mawatha and Chatham Street. It was originally a lighthouse and is now a major landmark for the city centre area. Other places of tourist interest here include the Presidential Gardens and President's House, a palatial neo-classical building which was originally the home of the British Governors and is now the residence of Sri Lanka's president; however, it is sadly off limits to visitors.

  • Pettah

    Pettah will have it all when it comes to shopping! All kinds of things starting from fruits to clothes to electronics that you can buy at wholesale prices. Here, use your bargaining skills to the fullest to get the best deals. It is a huge commercial place and the famous Jami Ul Alfar Mosque is also located here. Pettah, or Colombo 11 is an experience in itself being a very loud, typical and crowded oriental market place full of all sorts of odds, ends and junk. For example, household goods are found on Keyzer Street. The Prince Street is famous for mirrors, glass and electrical items. Malwatte Avenue sells English, Tamil and Sinhala music cassettes.

  • Galle Face Green

    A relic of the British era, this gorgeous promenade is very famous among tourists. The entire promenade is a sea facing stretch of one and a half kilometres. It was laid out in 1859 and was initially used for horse racing. Today it is the largest open space in Colombo and a famous picnic spot.

  • Slave Island

    Slave Island is located on the south of Fort in Colombo. It is a long, narrow island-where the slaves had their night quarters, hence called Slave Island. Today the spot is surrounded by the remains of the former Beira Lake and is home to many office buildings, hotels and stores.

  • Mount Lavinia

    Located 12 km away from Colombo, Mount Lavinia is a beach which is a famous tourist spot of the city. It used to be a famous beach even during the colonial times. The Governor's House built in 1805 by Sir Thomas Maitland is sheltered in here, which now forms part of the famous Mount Lavinia Hotel.

  • Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

    Situated about 6 miles from Colombo, within a sacred area of around 10 acres, the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara nestles on the river basin of the Kelani River as a proof of the prevalent Buddhist tradition in this country. It is said to be the spot where the Buddha preached 2000 years ago. The brilliantly carved reclining Buddha can be seen here and the spot is the site for an annual perahera; a religious procession of the Buddhists, in January.  

  • Dehiwala Zoo

    The Dehiwala Zoo, also known as the Colombo Zoo, is one of the oldest zoological parks in Asia. The zoo spreads over an area of 11 acres and has a rare collection of fauna from all across the world. The highlight of this zoo is the elephant show, which is held every evening. Along with this the sea lion performance is another wonderful experience.

You will not be short of places to visit in Colombo. Other than the above listing you can also go to The Viharamahadevi Park, Wolvendaal Church and the various Hindu temples known as Kovils in here.

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