Colombo & Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka‘s bustling commercial hub, is located on the country’s west coast and with a population of between 800,000 and one million (estimates vary) is by far the country’s biggest city, as well as the most developed. Its natural harbour at the mouth of the Kelani River was a magnet for successive traders and conquerors – initially the Arab merchants, then Portuguese, Dutch and British imperialists.

 

The city is a jarring mix of old and new, with a central cluster of high-rise office blocks and hotels overshadowing red-tiled colonial-era buildings and sprawling street markets which overflow with high-piled fruit and vegetables, colourful silks and cottons, and deliciously fragrant spices. On its crowded streets stand places of worship, symbolic of Sri Lanka‘s multiethnic heritage: graceful Buddhist viharas (temples), for instance, stand close to extravagant temples encrusted with Hindu statuary, along with Muslim mosques with minarets scattered along Colombo’s streets. Its population is swollen by some 400,000 plus commuting workers during the day and is virtually empty after nightfall. There is a lively nightlife at a number of International standard hotels, clubs, pubs and dining venues while it is limited mainly to the high end customer. During the day, Colombo’s colourful street markets, colonial-era buildings, museums and galleries, churches, mosques and temples, and the lovely Viharamahadevi Park with it beautiful trees, makes it a great place to explore on foot.Colombo Sri Lanka

 

 

 

Geography

 

Colombo’s geography is a mix of land and water. The city has many canals and, in the heart of the city, the 65-hectare (160-acre) Beira Lake. The lake is one of the most distinctive landmarks of Colombo, and was used for centuries by colonists to defend the city. It remains a popular attraction, hosting regattas, and theatrical events on its shores. The Northern and North-Eastern border of the city of Colombo is formed by the Kelani River, which meets the sea in a part of the city known as the Modera (mōdara in Sinhala) which means river delta.

Climate

Colombo features a tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification, falling just short of a tropical rainforest climate. Colombo’s climate is fairly temperate all throughout the year. From March to April the average high temperature is around 31 °C (87.8 °F). The only major change in the Colombo weather occurs during the monsoon seasons from May to August and October to January. This is the time of year where heavy rains can be expected. Colombo sees little relative diurnal range of temperature, although this is more marked in the drier winter months, where minimum temperatures average 22 °C (71.6 °F). Rainfall in the city averages around 2,500 millimetres (98 in) a year.

 Today’s Forcast

 

Port & Commercial City

Colombo Harbour is the largest and one of the busiest ports in Sri Lanka. Colombo was established primarily as a port city during the colonial era, with an artificial harbour that has been expanded over the years. The Sri Lanka Navy maintains a naval base, SLNS Rangalla, within the harbour.

 

 

 

The Port of Colombo handled 3.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2008, 10.6% up on 2007 (which itself was 9.7% up on 2006), bucking the global economic trend. Of those, 817,000 were local shipments with the rest transhipments. Currently with a capacity of 5.7 million TEUs and a dredged depth of over 15 m (49 ft), the Colombo Harbour is one of the busiest ports in the world, and ranks among the top 25 ports.

 

 

 

 

 

City of International Finance

Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) is a special financial zone that is expected to become an offshore financial centre. It is situated in Colombo, Sri Lanka where the former Port City was planned and is to be built on reclaimed land adjacent to the Galle Face Green. The city will use construction resources from the Colombo Harbour Expansion Project, currently under construction near the site of this proposed city.

 

In 2016 the Port City project was again added in the Megapolis plan and the government which planned an International Finance center in Colombo with its own laws decided to sign a new tripartite agreement which resulted in the project becoming the Colombo International Finance City. Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka, together with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the CHEC Port City Colombo signed the new agreement in August 12, 2016 and the city is expected to be governed under a new act named Colombo International Financial Centre Law

 

City of tourism & relaxation

National Museum of Colombo

The National Museum of Colombo was established in 1877 by the British Governor Sir William Gregory which is the largest Museum in Sri Lanka. It has a good collection of historical work. This is an ideal place to understand the island’s richest past. The Museum is open from 09 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.

Galle Face Green

 South of Colombo along with the lined palm trees of Galle road is the Gall face Green. Along with the a greenish seafront you can enjoy the evening breeze and view the sun set. It’s a crowded place on Fridays and Saturday evenings. Adjacent to the Galle face green is the popular colonial styled Galle Face hotel. Cannons which were used during wartime is still lies along the cost line of the Galle Face Green.

Kelaniya Temple of Sri Lanka

 

Kelaniya is a famous Buddhist temple located about 8 km away from Colombo which is sited on the Kelani River. It is believe that the Buddha visited Kelaniya in order to quell a quarrel between two Nāga leaders.. The temple has become famous because of the beautiful paintings and sculpture.

 

Dehiwala Zoo

 Dehiwala zoological garden is located in a beautiful landscape covering an area of 11 acres. This was first started by a German business family during the year of 1926. In the year of 1930 this was acquired by the Sri Lankan government and further improved. Dehiwala Zoo is home for many different animals such as many mammal species, birds, reptiles and fish species. Many endangered species can be seen here as well. The most attractive event of this place is the evening elephant show, starting at about 5.15 pm.

Beira Lake

Beira lake was constructed by Portugese to the protect Colombo Fort against inland invasions in 1521. The original lake was much bigger encircling the landscape which became known as  “”Slave Island”. The lake served many purposes during the colonial era of the Portugese and English. It was interconnected with many intricate canal networks providing easy transport of goods within the city and suburban areas.

 

Today, it is a sight to behold with two islands situated on the lake on being a water temple ‘Sima Malakaya’ designed by the renowned Sri Lankan Archictect Geoffrey Bawa. It is a modern wooden pavillion covered by blue tiled roofs surrounded by Buddha statues. The stillness of the lake and tranquility makes this an ideal place for one to reflect and ponder. Next to the water temple is the lovers island which is linked ti the mainland via a suspension bridge. Amidst all this mystic beauty lie the hustle and bustle of colombo business centre.

 

 

Shopping in Colombo

Colombo and its suburbs offer a wide variety of shops, malls, major shopping complexes and open street markets to cater to your every need, It comes as no surprise that both tourists and local shoppers in colombo are exposed to a broad range of products whether it is a  fascinating souvenir  or the unique savoury snacks spices and curries. When walking down the Colombo Pettah you can feast your eyes on the colourful handcrafted fabrics, fine silk clothes , dazzling jewellery, electronics equipments, curries, snacks, koththu, fruits, vegetables and much more, all for very economical prices. Whilst wandering through the colourful bazaar of the pettah floating market set on the backdrop of the captivating red mosque called Rathu Paliya in Sinhalese or Red Masjid which gives it a middle eastern flair. “This Red” Al Jamiul Alfar Mosque has unique colorful design in which every brick is painted either  red, white or black arranged in a chequered and spiral pattern echoing its fusion of  Indo-islamic and British Victorian stylised architecture.  Furthermore, there are large well renowned commercial shopping centres like Majestic City, Crescat Boulevard and Arcade Independence Square all of which house the latest brands, trends and styles of all kinds of goods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beaches

Bentota, Beruwala, Mirissa, Tangalle and Unawatuna are some of the most talked-about southern beaches. Mirissa is an ideal spot in southern Sri Lanka to watch whales. Located at the Dondra point, the southernmost point of the country, it is favoured by the narrowest part of continental shelf on the island. Both Blue Whales and Sperm Whales can be spotted here, specifically between December and April. Another fantastic hotpot for whale and dolphin watching is the peninsula of Kalpitiya in the north-western part of the island. Massive pods of dolphin of several varieties can be seen swimming in these waters, while in the deeper waters you can see five types of whales. You can also enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, kite surfing, canoeing and more activities in Kalpitiya.

 

If you want to catch a super wave, head over to Arugam Bay of the south-east coast, the surf capital of the country. The eastern coast has pristine beaches and crystal clear shallow waters. The reefs around the area provide excellent opportunity for snorkeling and scuba diving.

 

You can also enjoy fishing, jet skiing, water skiing and more. The east coast also offers opportunities for dolphin and whale watching, especially in Trincomalee, where dolphins frolic from May to September and the whales arrive from March through May. Sri Lanka’s impressive beaches are also perfect for a relaxing beach getaway, watching turtles, visiting colonial maritime fortresses or watching fiery sunsets.

 

 

 

Hikkaduwa Beach

 

Sri Lanka is blessed with over thousand kilometers of palm fringed Coastline. The long stretched deserted golden beaches of East, West and South are the most popular among visitors and the glistening clear waters will guarantees year around water sports, Swimming and Sunbathing.

 

When the northeast monsoon winds blow from November to March you can enjoy the sunny, calm beaches of West and southern coastline. During the southwest monsoon season from April to October you can visit the east cost. The beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka with not be short of activities like warm sea baths to beautiful coral reefs and shipwrecks exploration, large lagoons and bays with fascinating habitat of marine life, bird life and range of water sports.

 

The costal resorts of Sri Lanka offers wide range of water sport activities like snorkeling, scuba diving operated by professionally qualified diving schools, wind surfing, fishing, canoeing and water skiing. Not only the activities you can select range of accommodation options such as simple home stay, exclusive boutique hotels, range of

 

Ayurveda spa facilities and ultra luxury 5* hotels as well. Plan your next holiday in Sri Lanka, for further information please contact Golden Lanka Travels (Pvt) Ltd today.

Beruwala

Beruwala is located in the south west cost of Sri Lanka about 60 km from Colombo. It will take an hour’s drive to take you to Beruwala and it is treated as the starting point of the southern cost beach resorts.

Benthota Beach

 

Benthota is 62 km away from Colombo in Galle district. The beaches of Benthots offer plenty of water sports activities such as water-skiing and windsurfing. The best time for visiting Bentota is during October and April.

 

Ambalangoda Beach

Ambalangoda is 86 km from Colombo. It is very famous for white sandy beach and for mask making using soft woods with bright colors.

Unawatuna Beach

With palm-lined beaches, turquoise waters, double layer of coral reef and amazing hotels along the coast line has made Unawatuna one of the top ten beach holidays in the world.

Waligama Beach

About 143 km from Colombo Waligama is a costal town with various attractions. The most famous of all is the still fishing and rose-red ironstone cliffs. Still fishing is a scenic view from a distance when fisherman’s are supported by wooden poles standing in the shallow water catching small fish.

Negambo Beach

 

To the north of Colombo about 37 km lies Negombo. The wide golden sandy beaches are the most tourist attractions of Negombo. Lagoon of Negombo is famous harvesting of lobster harvesting. Negombo is the deal place to those who want a quick access to KBIA (Katuayake Bandaranayake International Airport ) which is 6 km away.

Arugam Bay

Arugam bay is a small fishing village located 314 km away east of Colombo in Ampara District. This newest hotspot offers you best surfing , swimming and underwater photography.

 

Mirissa Beach

 

Mirissa is situated about 4 kilometers south east of Weligama. Mirissa beah is one of the most beautiful beaches I the world, quitter calm deserted and hot.

 

The colourful underwater world of reefs and wrecks of Trincomalee of the east coast, Arugam Bay of the southeast coast and Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Tangalle, Unawatuna and Mirissa on south coast provide excellent diving sites for scuba diving and snorkeling. Arugam Bay is a surfer’s paradise with a number of quality surf breaks attracting many surfers from all over the world. It is also one of world’s 10 best surfing spots. Peak season for surfing here runs from July to August. Mirissa, Unawatuna, Ahangama and Hikkaduwa are famous south coast spots for riding the waves. Kayaking on the sea along the coast is another splendid activity to soak up the warmth of the sun and sights of the land and freshness of the sea. Arugam Bay, Kalpitiya and Hikkaduwa create perfect conditions for windsurfing. The northwest coast, especially Kalpitiya is favourable for kite-surfing, water skiing and snorkeling.

 

Lagoons, inland rivers and streams found in abundance across the country mean more opportunities for canoeing, boating, rafting and kayaking. Arugam Bay, Bentota and Kalpitiya top the list of places where both coastal and fresh water activities are available. You can also embark on a deep sea fishing adventure when staying on the southern and north western coasts of the island. The inland lakes and rivers in the north central and western provinces are tranquil havens for boating.

 

COLOMBO

CAPITAL | SHOPPING | BEACH

 

 

Colombo is the largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture

   

KANDY

ANCIENT | HISTORICAL | CULTURAL

 

This historical, sacred city is world famous for  the Sacred Temple of Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) and the exotically colourful, culturally rich annual pageant hosted by this temple.  Visitors will feel the wonders of  delicate hill-country breezes, the gentle mists which disclose,  and colourful houses amidst Kandy’s improbable forested halo.

 

TRINCOMALEE

 

 

BEACH | HISTORICAL | NATURE

 

Trincomalee is a natural deep-water harbor that attracted great sea farers like Marco Polo…

 

 

NILAVELI

 

BEACH | WATER SPORTS | NATURE

 

The natural harbour and beach is one of finest in the world. Nilaveli is an ideal place for water sports like scuba diving.

 

 

 

ELLA

 

WATERFALLS | NATURE | MOUNTAIN VIEW

 

Ella is pure natural beauty, with its waterfalls, greenery, and hills it is just jaw-dropping.

 

 

TANGALLE

 

BEACH | NATURE | RELAX

 

One of the main reasons of its hype and popularity is its alluring beaches which never fail to capture ones attention.

 

 

LITTLE ADAM’S PEAK

NATURE | WATERFALLS | MOUNTAIN VIEW

The eye catching, jaw dropping and conspicuous peak is the one not to miss, Situated in Ella, Sri Lanka,

 

  

DAMBULLA

RELIGIOUS | HISTORICAL | ANCIENT

 

The Rock Temple of Dambulla, called Jumbukola Vihara (Dambulla Cave Temple) in the (Mahavamsa)-the principal Pali Chronicle of Sri Lanka, is situated about forty seven miles north west of Kandy.These golden cave  temples with its golden Buddha statues, carvings of buddhist scripture on the lvast cavern in the west side of the rock, at the height of about three hundred and fifty feet above gives one a surreal experience of its ancient history and culture. Therefore, these ancient temples are recongnised as part of the  world heritage sites.

 

 

GALLE

ANCIENT | HISTORICAL | BEACH

 

This historic city is now a Unesco World Heritage Site and is a delight to explore on foot,  with an endlessly exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums.

 

  

KALPITIYA

BEACH | SURFING | DOLPHIN WATCHING

 

Kalpitya is also famous for its oceanic beauty. It is definitely showing its true potential under great refinement and development.

 

 

 

KUMANA

WILDLIFE | NATURE | SAFARI

 

Kumana National Park is home to some famous mammals the likes of elephants, leopards and deers etc. It’s said that some rare birds.

 

MINNERIYA

WILDLIFE | NATURE | SAFARI

 

The Minneriya National Park is an 8890 hectares of eco tourism location in Sri Lanka . The park consists of mixed evergreen forest, scrub areas and home to Sri Lanka ‘s favourites such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The wonderful flora and fauna of this national park has been recognised as one of the top ten wildlife spectacles by the internationally acclaimed travel guide Lonely Planet.

 

 ADAM’S PEAK

 RELIGIOUS | HISTORY | HIKING

 

The tranquil southern hill country houses this lofty peak  which has sparked the imagination for centuries and been a focus for pilgrimage for more than 1000 years.

 

 

 

KITULGALA

WATER SPORTS | NATURE | RAFTING

 

Sri Lanka’s most popular place for whitewater rafting located on the banks of River Kelani Ganga, at a distance of 80km from Colombo, lining the A7 main road that winds and ascends  spectacularly to reach Central highlands of Nuwara Eliya via Ginigathehena and Hatton. Furthermore, Kitulgala forest reserves is the perfect getaway for those seeking the peace and tranquil mother nature has to offer. You can also indulge yourself to Kitulgala’s rich  kitul palm honey, treacle and jaggery that truly tantalise your taste buds with an all natural exotic flavour.

 

  

KOGGALA

BEACH | NATURE | RELAX

 

Koggala has one of the longest shorelines in Sri Lanka, Koggala is limited on one side by a reef..

 

PASIKUDAH

BEACH | NATURE | CORAL

 

Pasikuda coastal resort town located at a distance of 35 kilometers northwest of Batticaloa district in Sri Lanka. It is a long stretch of an untouched golden sandy beach moistened by crystal clear sea water embedded with coral reefs.You can enjoy the fresh breeze and savour the breathtaking sunset  whilst relaxing comfortably in one of the luxurious hotels located on the coast line.

 

 UDAWALAWE

 WILDLIFE | NATURE | SAFARI

 

Udawalawe is filled with huge parks that were built to provide an alternate experience of wildlife..

 

 

UNAWATUNA

JUNGLE BEACH | NATURE | RELAX

 

 

Unawatuna beach is a beautifully stretched area of land covered with sand that can raise..

 

WELIGAMA

BEACH | NATURE | SURFING

 

Weligama is famous and best place for learn surfing and surfing schools. A little away from the beaches.

 

WILPATTU

WILDLIFE | NATURE | SAFARI

   

Wilpattu National park is especially known for its population of Leopards who are the main source of entertainment.

 

 

KATARAGAMA

RELIGIOUS | HISTORICAL | ANNUAL PAGEANT

 

Regionally popular place of pilgrimage of Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and indigenous Vedda communities of Sri Lanka

 

NUWARA ELIYA

WATERFALLS | COOL CLIMATE | NATURE

 

 

The town’s attractions include the golf course, trout streams, Victoria Park, and boating or fishing on Lake Gregory

    

SIGIRIYA

ANCIENT | HISTORICAL | NATURE

 

The spectacular ‘Lion rock’ fortress, stands majestically overlooking the luscious green jungle surroundings

 

ANURADHAPURA

ANCIENT | RELIGIOUS | HISTORICAL

 

The ancient city Anuradhapura which is the first kingdom of Sri Lanka contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders: enormous dagebas (brick stupas), ancient pools and crumbling temples.

 

 

POLONNARUWA

ANCIENT | RELIGIOUS | HISTORICAL

 

Polonnaruwa is the second kingdom of Sri Lanka and bears witness for the country’s commercial and religious glory. The archaeological sites are a delight to explore, with hundreds of ancient structures – tombs and temples, statues and stupas – in a compact core.

 

YAPAHUWA

ANCIENT | RELIGIOUS | HISTORICAL

 

The palace and fortress were built by King Buvanekabahu (1273). Many traces of ancient battle defences can still be seen.

 

  

WASGAMUWA

WILDLIFE | NATURE | SAFARI

 

Wasgamuwa National Park is home to 23 species of mammals. The park is inhabited by over a herd of 150  marsh elephants roaming the Mahaweli river area. Also purple-faced Langur and Toque Macaque are monkeys are present in the park and are endemic to Sri Lanka. While Water Buffalo and Sri Lankan Axis Deer are common to observe, Sri Lanka Leopard and Sloth Bear are rare. Small Golden Palm Civet is another rare endemic mammal. It also houses over 143 bird species ranging from chestnut-winged cuckoos to aquatic birds.

 

KAUDULLA

WILDLIFE | NATURE | SAFARI

With fantastic opportunities to see many elephants at close range, the park has become a popular destina tion for wildlife safaris

 

 

YALA

 WILDLIFE | NATURE | SAFARI

 

The island nation’s most famous national park consists of light forest, grassy plains and brackish lagoons.  It is  stupendously rich in wildlife gurants a visitor an encounter  with elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes and monkeys.

 

JAFFNA

RELIGIOUS | BEACH | ANCIENT

 

Also known as Yaalpanam. Located on the northern-most part of Sri Lanka. One of the oldest places of inhabition in South-east Asia

 

NAGADEEPA

RELIGIOUS | BEACH | ANCIENT

 

Nagadeepa or Nainativu is one of the smallest island in the Gulf of mannar. It is both a place of religious significance..

 

INDURUWA

BEACH | NATURE | RELAXING

 

A small fishing village stretching along a small creek. The sandy beaches are ideal for long walks, sun bathing and swimming.

 

HAPUTALE

TEA PLANTATIONS | NATURE | COOL CLIMATE

 

 

It is one of the places with a very rich biodiversity and allows a very beautiful view of the Southern Plains.

 

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Sri Lanka Airport (CMB)

Bandaranaike International Airport (airport code CMB) at Katunayake is the largest and main airport in Sri Lanka, located 30 kilometers north of the island nation’s capital of Colombo.

For more details Please visit – Bandaranaike International Airport

 

 

Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is the second international airport in Sri Lanka. This is placed in the deep south of the country close to the fast developing coastal town of Hambantota.

For more details Please visit – Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport

 

 

 Directions from from Bandaranayake International Airport to UHKDU, Rathmalana, Colombo