Places

The Streets of Pettah

 

Pettah market is a treasure cove with everything you could imagine from clothes, shoes, electronics, and stationery to glassware; it is a one-stop-shop where everything goes cheap by the bulk price. A trip to Colombo will be incomplete without the Pettah experience but walking down the jam-packed streets in the sweltering heat can take the fun out of this delightful place. So, hop into a tuk tuk with with Suba Gaman and take a ride with a friend you can trust.

The Old Town Hall Museum

 

The Old Town Hall Museum which sits at the end of the Main street in Pettah is home to some rather quirky pieces of heavy machinery and better still, creepily disintegrating wax figures of the old town council members. The museum itself isn't a large one – it. displays a model of the new town hall which is a replica of the White House in Washington DC (for some odd reason), and other curious artefacts of the old city. The building itself with post-Gothic tall arched windows and yellowing walls, too, is impressive and haunting as it sits serenely ancient against Colombo's fast streets.

Wolvendaal Church

 

Wolvendaal Church—the oldest Protestant church in Sri Lanka - is also considered to be among the most important Dutch constructions in Sri Lanka. The church was beyond city limits when originally built and the Dutch, who mistook jackals in the area for wolves, called the street, 'Wolf's dale'. Hence the term Woolvendaal in Dutch. The Church, which lies in the form of a Greek cross, has walls that are 1.5m thick, and still retains all its authentic furnishings, from ebony chairs, a wooden pulpit, a stunning lectern, to a pipe organ in all its gothic glory. The church floors are lined with headstones of those who lay beneath the church grounds, including those of many Dutch governors.

Sri Kailasanthar Swami Devasthanam

 

The Sri Kailasanathar Swami Devasthanam is a Hindu temple commonly referred to as 'Swami Kovil'. This kovil, although just off the main streets, feels like it could be miles away from the city owing to its blatantly archaic appearance. It is beautiful and majestic, and is considered to be Colombo's oldest Hindu Temple. The main building is filled with vibrant images of the gods and goddesses and a constant stream of devotees pleading for health, riches and sometimes even revenge, provide some of the most interesting people-watching in town.

The Prison Cell Of The Last King Of Sri Lanka

 

The prison of the last king— King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, the last king of Sri Lanka - was last held captive by the British in this 10x10 cell, before being sent to India where he lived as a prisoner of war until he took the island's major lineage to the grave. The portraits of the King and his Queen, hanging on the walls of this royal prison, are sad marks of the beginning of Sri Lanka's mostly grim imperial rule that followed.

The Centre Point

 

Central Bank Currency Museum 'The Centre Point', located on Chatham Street, traces the history of coins and notes in Sri Lanka from 3 BC to date and displays a large number of ancient currency. It is a great short stop for a quick obscure delight.

The Colombo Fort Clock Tower

 

The Colombo Fort Clock Tower, built in 1857, functioned as a light house back in the day when the two kilometres between itself and the ocean was a field of clean view. Currently, it has its good days when it actually tells Colombo what time it is, while at other times it remains pitifully stationary.

The Galle Buck Lighthouse

 

The Galle Buck Lighthouse, just beyond Galle Face Green, is 29 meters tall and flanked by 4 lions at its four corners. It was first opened in 1952 and is one of Colombo's most picturesque locations guaranteeing spectacular sunset backgrounds for many selfies.