Negombo, Situated six kilometres, a mere stones throwaway from the International airport of Sri Lanka, is a characteristic predominantly Christian fishing town with narrow streets and small boutiques and many a historic churches to visit and see, with its routes running back to the arrival of the Portuguese. Negombo is an ideal place to enjoy the traditional fishing methods of Sri Lanka, the out rigger canoe, the swifter.
On the Colombo-Kandy highway you turn right at the small town of Thihariya and reach the rock temple called Warana. Some say it’s the Ravana Temple with the letters misplaced as Warana. They believe that the temple was donated to the clergy by Ravana’s sister Sohili. Located in the Gampaha District it’s a picturesque site that attracts one to the shrine. The temple is on a rock ledge with paddy fields, coconut plantations, spice gardens and pristine villages around. Many caves in the rock complex had been converted in to temples. Recorded history dates it in the 2nd century B.C. The drip ledges carved in to the rock canopies over the caves as well as the stone inscriptions serve as evidence that the place has a very old history. The premises consist of three levels. At the lowest level there area four caves. The living quarters of the residential monks and the sermon hall is located here. A flight of 40 steps and a path flanked by two beautiful lotus filled ponds will take you to the second level which is partly canopied with an over hanging massive rock. This is where the main squire is located. The over hanging rock is colorfully painted with floral motifs and under this is a group of Buddha statues. Here there is a small dagoba and a chamber dedicated to Hindu deities. A steep climb of another 15 steps takes you to the summit level where a renovated dagoba can be seen along with a shrine room. The view from this level is panoramic. In the whole complex there are about 12 caves and it makes visiting them quite interesting. If it is peace, solace and serene tranquility you are looking for Warana is your El Dorado.
If you are in the city of Colombo and not scheduled to go site hopping, it’s quite an adventure to stroll the sidewalks of the city. Trekking the sidewalks can be vastly different from hopping off hurriedly from an air-conditioned coach to take a quick gander around a roadside Batik shop. Adidas, Levis, Polaroid, Arrow, Rado, Dior, Cavali…and yes,
Legend says that this was a large Royal Paddy Field that supplied the king’s palace with a pearl shaped special variety of rice called “Muthu Samba”. Foreign invaders introduced the invasive aquatic plant named Salvinia which eventually destroyed the field. Muthurajawela begins at the lower reaches of Colombo and extends north up to the coastal city of Negombo.
Cruising along waterways and canals is nothing new to most tourists. From the regions surrounding Bavaria of old, the land of white sausages and dark beer, travelers cruise down up to France passing several countries along the rivers Rhine and Rhone. But it’s a little known fact that during the 15th century the king who ruled the kingdom of Kotte,
Located at Dehiwala many people visit the zoo to enjoy a day’s outing especially with their families. All varieties of animals, birds, reptiles and butterflies could be observed here. Though some animal rights activities object to having their lives caged, it’s quite interesting for children to get a
closer look at animals from different parts of the globe. New zoological gardens are coming up in the island with the Born Free concept.
The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, seven miles from Colombo. The Chief Incumbent (Chief Priest) is Venerable Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera.
Buddhists believe the temple to have been hallowed during the third and final visit of the Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining enlightenment. Its history would thus go back to before 500 BCE.
The Mahawansa records that the original Stupa at Kelaniya enshrined a gem-studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached.
The temple flourished during the Kotte era but much of its land was confiscated during the Portuguese empire. Under the Dutch empire, however, there were new gifts of land and under the patronage of King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha the temple was rebuilt. It was refurbished in the first half of the 20th century with the help of Helena Wijewardana.
The temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Gautama Buddha and paintings by the native artist Solias Mendis which depict important events in the life of the Buddha, in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, also incidents from the Jataka tales. It is the venue for the Duruthu Maha Perehera procession each January. An 18-foot stone statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara has been erected at the temple.
Housed in a beautiful Colonial Era building the National museum is located at Albert Crescent. Stored here is an interesting collection of Old Books, Demon Masks, Antique furniture Art Works, Paintings, ancient china and royal regalia. The adjoining Archives are also preserving a large amount of books and documents of immense value connected to the island where one could smell the history of the land.
It’s located next to the popular land mark of the city of Colombo, the sparkling white ‘Town Hall’. The Park was constructed by the British rulers and named after the Queen Victoria. After the island received its independence from the imperial rulers it was named Vihara Maha Devi in rememberance of a queen who gave her life to the ocean to save the island from a tsunami. The park is in full bloom especially in the months of March, April and early May. Across the middle of the park is a broad avenue named Ananda Kumaraswami Mawatha. A beautiful colossus Buddha statue calms your soul at the entrance. Especially during the weekend many people enter this Eldorado to find peace and tranquility. For children there is a fun fair.