Sri Lanka’s bustling trade capital, Colombo is a melting pot of culture woven into modern comforts, touched by a sense of festivity. It is hard to keep up with the pace of this city because in and around Colombo there exists a magnitude of experiences just waiting to be explored. From taking a stroll in the sunset to relaxing with some traditional tea, there is plenty to keep visitors to Colombo, occupied. Here are some suggestions on what you can do with 48 hours on your hands and the whole of Colombo’s culture at your feet. Here’s how to reap the best out of it. This post focuses on the cultural aspect of Sri Lanka, and places to visit to understand it better. Witness the many strengths of Sri Lankan culture within Colombo itself, for, according to Stephen R. Covey. “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities”.
National Museum of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka in itself is packed with a fusion of many cultures. The best way to seep yourself in the culture of Sri Lanka, believe it or not, is to walk into the National Museum of Sri Lanka. The museum holds contains a collection of much importance to Sri Lanka such as the regalia of the country, including the throne and crown of the Kandyan monarchs as well as many other exhibits telling the story of ancient Sri Lanka.
Independence Memorial Hall
The Independence Memorial Hall is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the restoration of full governing responsibility to a Ceylonese-elected legislature on February 4, 1948. It is located in Independence Square (formerly Torrington Square) in the Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo. It also houses the Independence Memorial Museum. The monument was built at the location where the formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester occurred at a special podium on February 4, 1948.
The Gangaramaya Temple
The vast majority of Sri Lankans (up to 75%) follow the principles of Buddhism introduced to the world by Lord Buddha previously know as Prince Gautama. The Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence. It is one of the oldest and most important temples in Colombo and it’s very beautiful as well so it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most famous attractions in the city! They have an on-site museum with a large collection of old artifacts and statues of Lord Buddha from all over the world. They even have a vintage Rolls Royce displayed inside the Museum, as well as the first Mercedes that was brought to Sri Lanka
The St. Mary’s Church
The church is over 100 years old and consists of over 50 pictures of catholic saints on stained glass. Also a very large stained glass of Virgin Mary. Church also has a lot of murals depicting various important events in the life of Jesus. The stations of the cross are also very unusual & nice. The altar itself is Marble and consists of statues depicting the last supper. The chiming of the bell is a treat to listen to when it chimes every 15 minutes. Worth a visit although not a popular tourist destination.
The Red Mosque
Also known as Jami-Ul-Alfar Masjid, this mesmerizing architectural wonder will take your breath away with its unusual color patterns. Sri Lanka’s Red Mosque, or Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid, is one of the architectural wonders of the world. Situated in the bustling Pettah district, one of the oldest parts of the city of Colombo, its tall minarets are seen from almost every street, towering over the hustle and bustle of the busy neighborhood streets. It is said that the Red Mosque has been a landmark for sailors approaching the port of Colombo ever since it was built in 1908, and upon looking at it you can easily imagine that being true. The mosque’s distinct red-and-white pattern, whether swirling or spiraling or alternating, is quite mesmerizing.
Sri Kailasanathar Temple
This is the oldest Hindu temple in Colombo, by most accounts and is a pleasant and welcoming Kovil to visit. Though the Kovil is called the oldest in Colombo, a lot of the structures are new. The coat of paint certainly is, and they’re building more off to the side of the main Kovil that is a square around an inner sanctum. The main objects of worship at the temple are Easwaran (Shiva) and Ganesh, but there are altars and images of a range of gods. It’s a local Kovil that people come to worship in, but they are also open to tourists and taking pictures (for a nominal charge).
The cultural scene in Colombo is unique as it is colorful that seems impossible to cover in a day, and this is in no way the entire list of cultural locations in Sri Lanka but following the itinerary in this post will get you to the juiciest morsels right away! While this tour can be enlightening it can also be exhausting it will definitely help to unwind in one of our many properties within greater Colombo and its suburbs.
Have we missed anything? Feel free to write to us at [email protected] or talk to us at 0117344444 we are open to your suggestions.