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Things to Do in Colombo Sri Lanka

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With a population of 5, 6 million people, Colombo is a big cosmopolitan city that has changed a lot in the last couple of years. It is experiencing quite a building boom of high skyscrapers, new roads, several posh hotels, and a gigantic TV tower that will also house a hotel and a big shopping mall, as well as a new harbor port. Colombo is a busy and vibrant city divided into 13 districts, with Colombo 1 or Fort Area being the center of the city. It is also the most ethnically mixed place in Sri Lanka with both Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists. It is a city with a great mixture of modern life and architecture, and old colonial buildings and ruins from the time when it was the capital of the British Ceylon (from 1815 until Sri Lanka got its independence in 1948). Colombo actually served as a seaport town as far back as the 5th century, as it has the perfect location for trade between Asia and Europe. It has since had Arab, Portuguese, and Dutch settlers so it has been quite

National Museum

The beautiful building that houses the National Museum, was built in 1876 and founded by the British governor of Sri Lanka at the time. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. Surrounding this amazing building is a lovely and peaceful green park.

 Gangaramaya Temple

The Buddhist temple Gangaramaya (Vihara) consists of several buildings and is a bustling temple complex filled with an enormous amount of things. Some of which are frankly pretty strange and a little scary. It includes, for instance, a library, a museum and a display hall of gifts received from devotees and well-wishers over the years. The temple apparently has the relics of Buddha’s hair. The temple also has a LOT of Buddha’s, in stone, white plastic and gold.

Beira Lake

Close to the Gangaramaya Temple, in the heart of Colombo, is a huge lake – Beira Lake. The lake has crazy green colored water due to its pollution. In the middle of the lake is a small island containing the Simamalaka Shrine, which was built from donations made of a Muslim sponsor? The lake connects with other lakes through narrow canals and ends up in the Indian sea.

Jami-Ul-Afar Mosque

A beautiful red and white brick building dating back to 1909 that looks like candy. We were heartily welcomed and were given a lecture about Islam and the mosque by one of the imams.

Galle Face Green

Galle Face Green, just south of the Fort Area, is a long stretch of green lawn next to the narrow beach and sea promenade in Colombo. Originally it was cleared by the Dutch to give the canons clear sight, but today it is a nice and peaceful place perfect for walking, running, playing football, kite flying, and cricket. The promenade is packed with couples and families taking a stroll in the afternoons, especially on Sundays. Galle Face Green is the perfect place to watch the sunset.

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