Getaway in Colombo

I am sharing with you my amazing getaway in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. Colombo is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that offers a mix of culture, history, nature and nightlife. While returning from our trip to Maldives in April 2010 we stayed in Colombo for two nights and three days.

Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. It was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815.

100414-Colombo (74)

We stayed at the Taj Samudra Hotel, a luxurious five-star hotel with stunning views of the Indian Ocean and the city skyline. The hotel has a spa, a gym, a pool, and several restaurants and bars to choose from. I especially enjoyed the breakfast buffet, which had a variety of dishes from different cuisines including the seafood. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and made me feel at home.

We went to the Galle Face Green, a large park along the coast that is popular with locals and tourists alike. The park is a great place to enjoy the sea breeze, watch the sunset, and sample some street food. We tried some kottu roti, a spicy dish made with chopped flatbread, vegetables and meat.

An old canon on the Indian ocean in front of the Fort

Galle Face Green is located in the heart of the city along the Indian Ocean coast and is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. We walked by the beach and the Fort.

Galls Green
Galls Sea Face
The beach of Colombo with the harbour can be seen at a distance
Colombo Fort Presidential Secretariat Building in Sri Lanka:
Colombo Fort Presidential Secretariat Building in Sri Lanka: This is the old Ceylon colonial Parliament Building. The British built it to house the Legislative Council of Ceylon during the islands colonial period. It looks older than it really is. The building was opened on 29th January 1930. For 53 years it housed Sri Lanka’s parliament. In 1983 the legislature was moved to the new Sri Lankan parliament building.

On the second day, it was raining so we had to cancel our trip to outside Colombo. When the rain stopped, we went for a short sight-seeing trip in the city. We visited the Gangaramaya Temple, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Colombo.

100416-Colombo (9)
Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo. The temple’s architecture demonstrates an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture.

The temple complex has a museum, a library, a pagoda, and a collection of relics and statues. The temple is also home to a herd of elephants, which are considered sacred in Buddhism. I was lucky enough to see one of them being bathed by the monks in the nearby lake. The temple was very impressive and serene. I also got to see some amazing architecture and art, such as the golden Buddha statue and the carved wooden doors.

The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall is a convention center located in Colombo.

We then visited the Independence Memorial Hall (also known as Independence Commemoration Hall), 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. 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 4 February 1948. Located at the head of the monument is the statue of the first prime minister of the country Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake “The Father of the Nation”.

There are also 60 stone lions symbolizing the Sinhalese around the memorial hall. Each lion represents a king, reflecting the style of Kandy culture.

We returned hotel in the evening and had an excellent sea food dinner.

100414-Colombo (98)

We explored the Pettah Market, a bustling and colorful market that sells everything from clothes and accessories to spices and fruits. The market is a great place to experience the local culture and bargain for some souvenirs.

Colombo was a wonderful destination for a weekend getaway. We enjoyed exploring the city and experiencing its diversity and charm despite the rains spoiling most of the day.

Please add a comment if you enjoyed this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s