Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, is distinguished not only by its picturesque beaches, but also by its vibrant architecture that reflects ancient and modern culture. The city is famous for a large number of cathedrals, mosques, temples. Want to see a sample of Sinhala architecture? Be sure to visit the temple of Kelania-Raja-Maha-Vihara. Never seen Hindu temples? Then it is worth visiting Old Katirezan and New Katirezan. Among other attractions that are worthy of the attention of tourists are the Galle Face Green Park, Presidential Palace, St. Lucia Cathedral, the old lighthouse and the clock tower. By the way, if you are just planning your trip to Colombo, choose any dates from April to November. This is the best time to see the capital in all its charms.
The car rental service at Colombo Airport is provided by the companies: Sixt, Europcar, Sri Lanka rent a car, Casons Rent a Car. Car rental desks are located in the arrivals hall. Near the airport, three parking zones are equipped, the tariff schedule is presented on the official website.
After renting a car, go see the popular Hindu temples New and Old Katiresan, dedicated to the god of war. It is from here that during the Hindu festival of Vel, which takes place every year, a ceremonial procession begins. On this day, people carry the trident of God through the streets of the capital and return to the place they came from. The architecture of the temples is made in traditional Hindu motifs. The facade is generously decorated with bright elements, images, sculptures. Indian deities from the first seconds attract attention and seem to captivate with their originality and originality.
854 Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha
The National Museum of the capital of Sri Lanka is located in an old mansion of the XIX century, but, despite this, recently acquired the status of a national by museum standards. The collected exhibits tell the history of the area, starting with the Stone Age, ending with modernity. During the tour, you can see the crown and throne of King Ceylon Kandy, ancient manuscripts and clothes, musical instruments, as well as objects of Hindu and Buddhist art.
2nd Cross str, Bankshall str
The main mosque of the republic is the Jamul-Alfar mosque, built at the beginning of the last century in the best South Indian traditions. It looks massive and pompous against the background of adjacent architectural buildings. The facade of the shrine clearly resembles a red and white chessboard: rectangular and square tiles of several colors play up the imagination. The mosque is considered operational, you can go here at any time if prayers are not being read.
To diversify your excursion program and enjoy the beauty of nature, go for a walk through the gardens of Chinamon Gardens. In a small area, a huge number of unique plants, flowers that invisible threads are connected to each other are collected, forming a magnificent tropical garden. Surprisingly, here you can hear the rustling of waves, and the singing of birds. If you do not want to leave the garden, you can stay in a hotel located directly on the territory of a paradise. It’s more convenient to get to the gardens by renting a car.
Independence Square is a favorite place of citizens for spending evening leisure time. It can be considered modern, because the complete arrangement ended only a few decades ago. Then, in the middle of the last century, the Palace of Independence was built here and a beautiful walkway for locals was laid out. By the way, they often gather here in the evenings, stroll around the surroundings, read books. The main city holidays and celebrations are mainly held here.
10 kilometers from Colombo is the Kelania Raja Maha Vihara Temple, which is considered a vivid example of Sinhala culture. The first mention of it dates back to the III century BC, but it acquired its modern look only a century ago. Since then, the Durutu Perahera festival has been held here. Tourists specially come here to watch a bright show with the participation of fakirs, artists and a procession of elephants. The interior decoration is complemented by relief frescoes telling about the life of the Buddha, so you can just go here to admire the graceful work of the masters and be imbued with some lightness and spirituality.
Hire a car and drive 11 kilometers from Colombo to an amazing place - the Dehivala Zoo. It is considered the oldest in Asia, so if you are traveling with children or with your soulmate, be sure to take time for an excursion. The zoological garden is home to about 3,000 animals. On a vast territory there is also equipped the Butterfly Garden, aquarium, Reptile House. It is interesting that guides accompany tourists, showing amazing individuals and at the same time telling about environmental protection and respect for nature. Having looked at lemurs, albino cobras, crocodiles and monitor lizards, you can ride a pony or elephants, and then look into a souvenir shop for memorable things to relatives and friends.
Perhaps one of the most controversial, but highly revered sights of Colombo is the burial ground located on the way to Dambulla. It consists of a series of stone graves that date back to the 9th century BC. There are no traditional fences or tablets, but there is a person sitting nearby who controls the order. You can walk around and look between the stone slabs; if necessary, the guide will introduce you to interesting facts related to the burial ground. Locals honor the history, traditions, and culture of their ancestors, so the ancient burial places are reliably guarded and kept clean.
Near the capital of Sri Lanka is the fishing village of Udappu. Tourists occasionally get here, so if you want to plunge into a completely authentic atmosphere, you should visit here. The main attractions of the village are the ancient Sri Partha Sarathi Temple, built in honor of the goddess Draupadi and several more shrines located on the outskirts. By the way, local holidays are often arranged on the square in front of the main temple, including the annual festival held in late July. People praise the goddess Draupadi, but the main highlight occurs in the evening, when men walk barefoot on hot coals.
Founded at the beginning of the 11th century, the Munneswaram Temple is considered the oldest in Sri Lanka. It was destroyed and rebuilt more than once by persistent locals. Today, the shrine is a whole complex. On the sides are shrines for Ganesha and Ainayake, and in the center is an altar for Shiva. In general, the temple looks massive and spectacular. Large bas-reliefs of Hindu deities and chariots for festivals and religious ceremonies stand out. A bodhi tree is planted right at the entrance, and a little further on you see a sacred pond. It will be more convenient to get to the shrine by a rental car.
Crescat Boulevard, Lobby -L1 www.facebook.com/Sugar-Bistro-Wine-Bar
Looking for a delicious breakfast spot in Colombo? Sugar Bistro & Wine Bar is the best fit. The chef of the restaurant prepares absolutely incredible dishes. If you want to switch from the usual dishes, try watermelon soup, Javanese rice, a dessert in the original design and freshly squeezed juice with an interesting combination of fruits. Dishes are served in large portions, and the increased attention of the staff to the guests causes only the most pleasant experience.
77 Galle Road www.cinnamonhotels.com/chutneys
Fans of Indian and Asian cuisine should visit the Chutneys At Cinnamon Grand Colombo. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are a separate section of the menu. The staff is extremely kind and courteous, trying to quickly fulfill orders and take care to ensure that each guest is satisfied. The portions are large and the prices are average. In addition to the main dishes, amazing sauces and spices are served. The restaurant is suitable for holding a business meeting or for a family dinner.
100 Hotel Rd | Mt Lavinia www.yamu.lk/place/seafood-cove
For the freshest and finest cooked seafood on a rental car, head to Seafood Cove. A visit to a restaurant begins with the fact that you come in, a huge assortment of fish and seafood lying on ice opens in front of you. You choose, negotiate with the chefs as you want it to be cooked (deep fat, grill, frying pan, with the addition of any spices or without them) and expect your order. Whatever you choose will be amazing, but it is especially worth trying Indian crab and shrimp.
145, Thimbirigasyaya Pl www.facebook.com/giovannispresto
If you want to diversify your gastronomic tour of Colombo, for example, Italian dishes, go to Giovanni's Presto Pizza. On the ground floor there are literally several tables; in fine weather, you can sit on the street. If you want to hide from the sun, you can sit on the second floor. The menu of the institution is written in chalk on the wall. On the left is the standard menu, on the right is the vegetarian menu. The pizza is really amazing in taste. It is cooked in a traditional oven, so the crust comes out crispy, and the ingredients retain their original taste.
2 Alfred House Rd www.paradiseroad.lk/gallery_cafe
For an evening meal in a cozy atmosphere, Paradise Road the Gallery Cafe is perfect. This is an extremely colorful establishment with an original design, a small souvenir shop and an art gallery. You should try gazpacho with baked tomatoes, carrot cake, freshly baked bread and a meat dish with spices to your taste. The restaurant plays pleasant modern music, and the staff does not lose a minute to please every visitor.
If you plan to rent a car and want to stay at a reasonable price, Ceylon City Hotel is the best choice. The rooms are spacious and bright, equipped with everything necessary. The staff is attentive and hospitable, maximum attention is paid to each guest. Cleanliness is maintained daily and thoroughly, which is very important for Sri Lanka. Shops and restaurants are located nearby, where you can spend your evening time.
If you value comfort and coziness in every detail, opt for Colombo Courtyard. The first thing that impresses is a stylish and unusual design. It has a small patio with a swimming pool, where it becomes especially romantic with twilight. The staff is friendly and helpful. All electronic devices in the rooms are very convenient to use - at the entrance, control panels are issued to guests.
Paradise Road Tintagel Colombo is a stylish boutique hotel located in the former residence of the first prime minister. There are all conditions for an amazing vacation: spacious apartments with a large bathroom, a nanny for the child, dry cleaning, a swimming pool in the courtyard, a garden. The interior is complemented by antiques, which creates an intriguing atmosphere. In the morning, a hearty and tasty breakfast is served on the terrace.
For a romantic stay in Colombo, Richmond House Colombo is a stylish boutique hotel. The hotel has a restaurant that serves hearty breakfasts. For dinner, light snacks are offered here, so if you are pretty hungry, you can head out to one of the restaurants located nearby. Special rooms are equipped for couples with children, and a babysitting service is also provided. For tourists, rental cars are equipped with free parking.
Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo is one of the best value for money hotels. The staff is very polite and attentive, any request or wish can be safely addressed. The rooms are exceptionally clean and stylishly designed. In the morning, delicious breakfasts are offered with yoghurts, smoothies, meat dishes, cheeses, fresh juices. For those who adhere to a healthy lifestyle, a fitness center and swimming pool are equipped.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2017