Providing a quiet respite from traffic congested streets, Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo is the only park located in the middle of the city, and provides a natural haven for those who need a break from the chaos of city life. Due to its central location, there are plenty of things to do around the park, at any time of the day. Once a rather dodgy park, fringed by tattered fences and closed off to the public come evening, recent landscaping improvements have seen the removal of the fencing and made the park a more family friendly locations.
The Viharamahadevi Park’s new design includes paved avenues and jogging paths that twist and weave through the greenery, a children’s playground, and comfortable benches and gazebos can be found throughout the park – these are usually occupied by weary families or young lovers. If you are staying at one of the guest houses nearby, like Yoho Park Road, you will be able to watch the park light up come dusk as dozens of lamps light up walkways.
The park is surrounded by several other attractions and interesting places worth visiting, another thing that makes the park so great! On the North side is the imposing Town Hall and its large open lawns; unfortunately, the interior is not open to the public viewing, but you can still walk around the wide lawns. The road between the two areas is generally not too busy, so you don’t have to worry about speeding cars either.
The National Art Gallery is just across the road, east of the park, but you don’t need to go inside to see a lot of art. There’s plenty of colourful paintings and sketches lined up on the pavement for sale during the day. On the south side of the park is the country’ largest public library – entrance is free and they have a large collection of both fiction and non-fiction books.
On the west side of the park, you’ll find several clothing stores like Cotton Collection (Prices range from LKR 1,500 upwards) and Kelly Felder (Prices range from LKR 900 upwards) to high-end boutique stores like Paradise Gallery (Prices range from LKR 1,500 upwards). In addition, there are several top rated cafes and restaurants within walking distance such as Barista, and the Park Street Mews. Travellers can easily spend an entire day in the area – shopping, enjoy a delicious meal and then walking it off around the park, before checking into a hotel nearby like the Yoho Flower Terrace Road, for some rest and relaxation.