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Exploring Colombo

Colombo is the largest city and the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte suburb or the parliament capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is also the administrative capital of Western Province, Sri Lanka and the district capital of Colombo District. As a student of the University of Colombo, you will be able to explore the diversity of this city.

Kayman's Gate

Location: 4th Cross streets, Colombo 11, Sri Lanka
Distance from Colombo bus stand: 1.4 km
Time: 9 min away

This is a historic free-standing bell tower. It was used as an eastern entrance to the former Colombo Fort. This solitary grey bell tower was an integral part of old Ceylon. Her joyous sounds acted as a curfew warning and a call to divine prayers. Kayman’s gate derives from the Dutch word Kaaiman, meaning crocodile that was found in large numbers in the Beira Lake during the Portuguese period.

Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid (Red Mosque)

Location: 2nd Cross street, Colombo 11, Sri Lanka
Distance from Colombo bus stand: 1 km
Time: 9 min away

Construction of the red mosque commenced in 1908. The mosque’s designer and builder were Habibu Labbe Saibu Labbe and it was based on Indo-Saracenic architecture. This has a distinctive red and white candy-striped two-story building with a clock tower. This was constructed to fulfill South Indian-Muslim traders’ five-time daily prayers and Jummah on Fridays.

Independence Memorial Hall

Location: 7, Independence Avenue, Colombo
Distance from Colombo bus stand: 5.6 km
Time: 17 min away

Erected in the year 1953. It was built as a tribute to the nation’s independence from British rule. There is also a museum on the premises which stands to commemorate the brave souls who fought for the nation. Moreover, it provides an open space for jogging, cycling, aerobics, gymming, and other fitness activities.

Sri Lanka Planetarium

Location: Prof. Stanley Wijesundaran MW, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka
Distance from Colombo bus stand: 6 km
Time: 21 min away
Open hours: 8.00 AM – 4.00 PM

The Planetarium was established on 1 February 1965 by State Engineering cooperation. It is the first and only Planetarium in the country. This building has a reinforced concrete floor and a free-stressed concrete folded plate roof, which was precast on site. It is a theater built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy, space science and the night sky or for training in celestial navigation. Seating capacity is 500 and placed centrally.

Gangaramaya Temple

Location: 61 Jinarathana Rd, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka
Distance from Colombo bus stand: 3.6 km
Time: 11 min away
Open hours: 6.00 AM – 10.00 PM

Gangaramaya is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Colombo, started by the famous scholar-monk Hikkaduwe Sri-Sumangala Nayaka Thero in the late 19th century. Located on the Beira lake.  It has the main features of a Vihara (temple), the Cetiya (Pagada), the Bodhi tree, the Vihara Mandiraya, the Seema Malaka (assembly hall for monks), and the Relic Chamber. In addition, a museum, a library, a residential hall, a three-storeyed Pirivena, educational halls, and an alms hall are also on the premises.

Colombo National Museum

Location: Sir Marcus Fernando MW, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka
Distance from Colombo bus stand: 4.5 km
Time: 14 min away
Open hours: 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM

Established during 1877, this is the biggest museum in the island. It is based on the Italian style of architecture. The place house houses some of the best and personalized collections of the ancient Kandyan dynasty rulers.  Check out the magnificent throne of the last king of Kandy, along with the royal throne of King Wimaladharmasuriya II and pair of Bodhisattva sandals dating back to the 9th century.

Sambodhi Chaitya

Location: Chaithya Rd, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka
Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2.4 km
Time: 11 min away

It is a stupa, Buddhist shrine, built with reinforced concrete. Designed by renowned Sri Lankan engineer A. N. S. Kulasinghe and construction began in 1956. Built on a platform supported by two interlocking arches, the stupa is placed above the Marine Drive at the entrance of the Colombo Harbour. The walkway has 123 steps.

Arcade - Independence Square

Location: Independence square, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka
Distance from Colombo bus stand: 5.7 km
Time: 17 min away
Open hours: 10.00 AM – 11.00 PM

Also named as Old City Hall. The hall was built nearly 200 years ago. Has brilliant architectural vestiges of which era can still be seen in the exteriors. This is a place for a treasure chest of information and exhibits ancient equipment, machinery, and various other historical items.

One Galle Face

Location: 1A, 02 Centre Rd, Colombo 03
Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2.3 km
Time: 7 min away
Open hours: 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM

One Galle Face is the largest international shopping mall currently existing in Sri Lanka located near the Galle Face Green in Colombo with a multitude of options giving an unparalleled experience to the customers. One Galle Face consists of more than 200 shopping outlets, a cinema theatre specifically designed for kids and high quality themed food court with a spectacular view of the ocean which makes this place a must-visit.