Top Monuments to visit in Colombo

Gangaramaya Temple - Top Monuments to visit in Colombo

A vacation in Colombo is not complete unless you have seen some monuments which are truly exquisite and one of a kind. The bustling capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a city that beautifully blends its colonial history with modern development. Its rich heritage is reflected in its monuments and landmarks that stand as a testament to the city’s diverse cultural influences. From ancient temples to colonial-era buildings, Colombo offers a fascinating journey through time. The connoisseur in you should certainly not miss these top monuments to visit in Colombo.

 National Museum

This is Sri Lanka’s premier institution. Dating back to 1877, you will see all kinds of art, carvings and statues from Sri Lanka’s ancient past, as well as swords, guns and other paraphernalia from the colonial period. There are also fascinating 19th-century reproductions of English paintings of Sri Lanka, and an excellent collection of antique demon masks. A large 9th-century stone Buddha greets you with an enigmatic smile as you enter. There is a magnificent royal throne made for King Wimaladharma in 1693, as well as a 9th-century bronze Bodhisattva Sandals.

Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple is a mesmerizing blend of spirituality, art, and history. This Buddhist temple, founded in the late 19th century, showcases an array of architectural styles, including Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese influences. As you explore the temple complex, you’ll discover a fascinating collection of statues, relics, and artifacts. The Seema Malaka, a floating temple connected by a wooden bridge, is a serene spot for meditation and offers panoramic views of Beira Lake.

Old City Hall

Dating to 1865, this is a municipal building from the British era and houses some old trucks and municipal equipment in the ground-floor galleries. If you walk up the vintage mahogany stairs, you’ll discover something of a waxworks in the old council chambers. There, covered in dust, are replicas of the town’s first councillors in 1906.

The Dutch Period Museum

This museum was once the 17th-century residence of the Dutch governor and has since been used as a Catholic seminary, a military hospital, a police station as well as a post office. This beautiful mansion contains a lovely garden courtyard and has a nice faded feel since a 1977 restoration. This mansion is famous for it is here in 1638 that King Rajasinghe II of the Kingdom of Kandy signed the treaty that opened up Ceylon to the Dutch.

Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque (Red Mosque)

The Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, also known as the Red Mosque, is an iconic religious monument in Colombo. Its striking red and white candy-striped design is instantly recognizable and makes it one of the city’s most photographed landmarks. The mosque, built in 1908, represents the vibrant Islamic heritage of Sri Lanka and welcomes visitors to admire its stunning architecture. While non-Muslims are not permitted inside during prayer times, the exterior alone is worth a visit.

Colombo’s monuments offer a captivating journey through time, showcasing the city’s rich cultural and historical heritage. From symbols of national pride like the Independence Memorial Hall to architectural marvels like the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, these monuments are essential stops on any visit to Colombo. Each site provides a unique perspective on the city’s past and present, making it an enriching experience for travelers seeking to explore Sri Lanka’s capital. So, when you find yourself in Colombo, don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in its history and culture by visiting these top 5 monuments.

And while in Colombo, stay at Ramada Katunayake, located only 10 mins from the Colombo International Airport.

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