cultures from the Islamic mosques the catholic Dutch colonial Style of architecture is very much in evidence, as are the special quarters for separate trades in the Colombo fort and pettah area.
Colombo comes alive at night through to the wee hours with its many pool parlours , karaoke bars, casinos, pubs, and clubs, other than the cinema Colombo boasts an active theatre, scene, with performances of symphony orchestras, musicals as well as experimental theatre, likewise, rock events and jazz afternoons are also popular during the week ends.
While the fort gets its name from the farmer military garrison which was located here under the Dutch and British, it is still the location of president’s house. On it is still the location of president’s house. On its fringe is the beautiful sandstone building which houses the presidential secretariat and the government secretariat, formally the parliament, almost a replica of Whitehall in England.
The Pettah, which was earlier on the outer fringe of the fort, is still the busiest shopping bazaar in the city. Its many criss- crossing roads mark out sections which specializes in various trades from textiles and Sarees, spices and condiments, goldsmiths and jewelers, wholesale dealers in rice, sugar, lentils and chillies.
Clock tower cumlight house
It is very rare sight indeed-a lighthouse in the middle of the city centre! A land mark in the Colombo fort is the light house with clock tower, a legacy of the British Colonisers for nearly 100 years it perfomed the dual task of being a beacon to ships in the Indian ocean whilst keeping time designed by lady ward, wife of governor sir Henry ward, it was built in 1857 But install it in 1950 a second light house was constructed by the sea.
Galle face green, the mile long promenade which borders the fort on the south, is the largest open air stretch in the city affording a beautiful view of the sunset around it are the main city hotels.
Build in 1877, is a treasure trove of articles depicting Srilanka’s historical and cultural past and present including regalia of the last king. Town hall (built with architectural similarity to many state capital buildings in America) independence memorial hall (in the style of Medierval Kandyan Audience Hall
BMICH (1971) octagonal shaped conference hall with modern facilities-main hall could accommodate 1500 persons. Viharamahadevi Park (for lush green and large flowering trees)
Gangarama Temple Complex
The Gangarama temple complex and Bikkhu Training centre is spread around the Beira lake ad also across the main road. Its imposing buildings with Buddhist artifacts from all over the world is a “must see” site in the tourist itinerary.
There are many Buddhist temples in the city and the Buddhist Cultural Centre (Srilanka’s largest Buddhist books and information centre), Vajiraramaya at Bambalapitiya and Rajamaha Viharaya at Bellanvila, Dehivela (are famous as centres of Buddhist learning) Gotami viharaya, Borella (modern mmural paintings by internationally famed artist Georage Keyt Dipaduttaramaya, Colombo13. (oldest Buddhist temple in the city, build 1806 ) and paramananda purana viharaya,asokaramaya and Issipatanaramaya at Thimbirigasyaya (with beautiful mural paintings), Buddhist cultural centre at Nedimala,Dehiwala ( famous for the rare collection of books published on Buddhism nationally and internationally) Karagampitiya Temple at Dehiwala (with Buddha Statues with sapphires for eyes and Frescoes) are few of the many Buddhist institutions in the city.
Bauddhaloka Buddha Image.
Facing the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall stands a beautifully executed statue of the Budhdha in the standing posture. The statue is 36 feet tall and is the largest Buddha statue in the city of Colombo. It is a replica of the Avukana statue on the banks of Kalawewa Anuradhapura.
In addition to the above other places to visit in a typical tour of Colombo would include all, or some of these locations the Wolvendhal church(Build by Dutch in 1757) St.Anthony’s church and St.Lucia’s cathedral, new Kathireson Kovil (Largest hindhu Kovil in the city).
An open air-art gallery.
In the heart of Colombo, at green path with the green foliage of the Vihara Mahadevi Park as a back- drop you may view an array of exhibits of local artists of exceptional talent. Most of the artists are from the University of Aesthetic Studies. All artists from the University of Aesthetic Studies. All artists show their excellence in portraiture, figure drawing and sense drawn from life to arrest the attention of the visitors. The display is on only on Saturdays and Sundays.
In the immediate suburbs of the city are two very important visitors attractions one is the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya .(A very important Buddhist temple in the North east of the city ,and one of three places in Sri Lanka where lord Buddha visited has very fascinating wall and ceiling paintings by famous artist Solius Mendis. Its site dates to the very early days of the Sinhalese Buddhist civilization in SriLanka.
South of the city, at Dehiwala is the National Zoological Gardens which is one of the largest Zoological Gardens in south east Asia, which has a very large collection of animals, birds and reptile species from world over.
Every evening the elephants at the zoo give a very entertaining performance of light-footed dancing and many other endearing tricks.