Top 10 Attractions in Colombo

Gangaramaya Temple

The Gangaramaya Temple is a Buddhist place of worship and one of Colombo’s most popular attractions. Gangaramaya is a complex featuring an on-site temple, assembly hall, art gallery,and outdoor garden. Important Buddhist traditions, teachings, and offerings take place at Gangaramaya. Built in the 19th century, Gangaramaya Temple boasts striking architecture that includes Thai, Indian, and Chinese elements. Gangaramaya’s gallery features a small museum and library. Here visitors can view ancient relics of the Buddha, a collection of arts and scripts from Buddhist temples throughout Sri Lanka, and other rare artifacts such as sapphires, oil lamps, and ivory carvings. Other decorative elements at Gangaramaya include statues of Buddha, rows of dwarfs in yoga-style
positions, stone carvings, murals, gold and red pillars. Gangaramaya is about a 15-minute’s drive from the Cinnamon Lakeside 12 Hotel and sits on the edge of Beira Lake. It is open daily from 8am to 8pm.

Independence Memorial Hall

Independence Memorial Hall is a national monument built to commemorate Sri Lanka’s official independence from the British on February 4, 1948. The building’s style is uniquely Sri Lankan.It features massive pillars and rows of large, guardian stone lions. A statue of Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake presides over one of the outdoor concrete pavilions. He was the first prime minister of Sri Lanka and considered by many to be the “father” to the nation.
Independence Memorial Hall and plaza are open to the public and mostly used for celebrating national holidays and religious events. There is a museum at Independence Memorial Hall focusing on the site’s historical significance.

Dutch Church

The Wolvendaal Church is the oldest Protestant church in Sri Lanka and is the most significant example of Dutch architecture in the country. With the help of local laborers, construction began in 1749 and lasted eight years. The church was designed in the form of a cross and has a capacity of 1,000 people. It is in good condition due to ongoing renovations by the Dutch Embassy in Colombo. The church still contains an original 18th century pulpit, ebony handcarved chairs, murals, and is paved with tombstones of Dutch governors

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