ARRIVE COLOMBO – BENTOTA
BENTOTA - NUWARA ELIYA
NUWARA ELIYA – KANDY
KANDY – COLOMBO
Sri Lanka, an island in the Indian Ocean is located to the South of the Indian subcontinent. A length of 445 km and breadth of 225 km encompasses beautiful tropical beaches, verdant vegetation, ancient monuments and a thousand delights to please all tastes. The relief features of the island consist of a mountainous mass somewhat south of the center, with height exceeding 2,500 meters, surrounded by broad plains. There is evidence of a natural land bridge connecting Sri Lanka with India at this point, and indeed this vanished causeway, only a few meters below sea level, is still known as Adam’s Bridge. This close proximity to the subcontinent has meant that Sri Lanka’s history and ecology have always been exposed to strong influences from its larger neighbour.
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The sprawling capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a potpourri of different races, cultures and religions. The city still holds an ancient colonial charm, for its history was varied and vibrant. You can find this rich, time-honored heritage in its architecture. If you wish your holiday to be a blend of history and modernity, Colombo is your place, girls. So, book a Getaway Goddess tour to Colombo now.
Info and History
Colombo is the political, economic and cultural center of Sri Lanka, so if you need to extend your visa, or perhaps buy a plane tickets, you’ll find yourself here. The city was the scene a cease-fire was declared and peace talks began.
Best Time to Travel December to April.
Best season to visit December to April is the best time to visit Colombo.
Colombo’s climate is fairly temperate throughout the year, without extreme variations, so it doesn’t really matter when you go.
Area Code 0-11
Local Language Sinhala and Tamil are the local language spoken by many people in Colombo.
Colombo being virtually next door to Sri Lanka’s only international airport Kattunayake, it is literally the gateway to Sri Lanka, and almost everybody who comes to the country comes to Colombo. From the airport, regular buses go to Colombo (every 15 to 30 minutes, barring about 6 hours at night). The bus ride takes around 45 minutes, and takes you right up to one of Colombo’s main bus stations. If you can afford greater luxury, you could go by taxi instead of bus, in which case you should go to the ‘fixed-price’ ticket system taxi counter at the airport. This helps you avoid the bargaining that is the normal routine of a trip by taxi.
- Liberty Plaza
Sri Lanka’s first shopping complex, Liberty Plaza was inaugurated in the late 1980s. It houses some of the fanciest shops in the city of Colombo. You can crack good deals on electronic goods here.
- Majestic City
A true shopper’s paradise, Majestic City, is a seven-story commercial and shopping complex, located in Bambalapitiya, Colombo. It has 96 shops; yes you heard that right! Girls, come here and get some amazing retail therapy done; you deserve it!
For sheer retail bliss, explore the Odel shopping store that has everything from simple tees to exquisite designer clothes to amazing perfume collections. Don’t think twice before visiting this extravagant store!
- Buddhist Temples
Most of the Colombo’s Buddhist temples date from the late 19th-century Buddhist Revival is a place hallowed by the visit of the Buddha.The most important Buddhist centre is the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is only seven miles to the north east of the Colombo and It is famous for its unique wall paintings reproduced in many tourist brochures. Vajiraramaya, in Bambalapitiya is an important and popular Buddhist temple. Gangaramaya near the Beira Lake is another beautiful temple in the City. Gothami Viharaya at Borella is famous for its wall paintings by the late George Keyt one of the foremost artists of Sri Lanka. Paramanada Purana Viharaya in Kotahena was founded in 1806 and Dipaduttamaramaya in Kotahena is the oldest Buddhist temple in the city.
- Old Churches
The Garrison Church of St. Peter consecrated in 1821 is on the Church Street near Grand Oriental Hotel. The Wolfendhal Church built by the Dutch in 1757 is one of the few authentic Dutch buildings in the city. St. Lucia’s Cathedral in Kotahena is the only cathedral in Colombo and is the centre of Roman Catholicism in the country.
- Hindu Temples
Known as kovils in Sri Lanka, Hindu temples are numerous. On Sea Sr, the goldsmiths’ street inPettah , the New Kathiresan Kovil and the ols Kathiresan Kovil, both dedicated to the war god Skanda, are the starting point for the annual hindu Vel Festival Events, when the huge vel(trident) chariot is dragged to kovils on galle Rd in Bambalapitiya. These is also a temple to Ganesh on Sea St.
The Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam, reportly the oldest Hindu temple in Colombo, has shrines to Shiva and Ganesh and is at Captain’s Garden. Several other Hindu temples (Kovils) are seen in the City.
The Grand Mosque is the most important of Colombo’s many mosques. In Pettah you’ll also find the decorative 1909 Jami-UI-Alfar Mosque with its candy-striped red-and white brickwork. There are many in Slave island, dating from the British days when it was the site for a Malay regiment.
- Bally’s Casino
A popular spot you shouldn’t miss in Colombo is Bally’s Casino. Here you can start the gamble from INR 100 and go up to lacs! Lose or win, one thing is for sure, it’s going to be a lot of fun! Also, you will be served with delicious snacks and complimentary drinks.
- Rhythm & Blues Nightclub
In the mood to dance the night away? Then this place is meant for you and your girl pals! Sway to the amazing beats and indulge in great drinks and yummy food.
- Loft Lounge Bar
If you wish to just unwind over some drinks, then visit The Loft. It is a chic bar with quirky interiors that are adorned with recycled materials. For a proper clubbing experience, this place should top your list.
- The Fort
Originally a fort during the Portuguese and Dutch periods but now simply the commercial center of the country and the site of most major offices, big hotels, some of the better shops, airline offices, banks, main post office, immigration office, travel agents and restaurants. Within Fort are several places of tourist interest which can be conveniently seen on foot. The colonial buildings include the Presidential Secretariat, previously the parliament house, the Grand Oriental Hotel, built in the mid 19th century as barracks for soldiers, the Lighthouse Clock Tower which along with being.
- National Museum
National Museum of Sri Lanka was established in 1877 during the time of the British Governor Sir William Gregory. It has a good collection of ancient royal regalia, Sinhalse artwork (sculpturs, carvings and so on), anitque furniture and china,ola manuscripts. There are fascinating 19th-century reproductions of English paintings of Sri Lanka, and an excellent collection of antique demon masks.
- Cinnamon Gardens
Cinnamon Gardens, about 5 km south of Fort and 2km inland, is Colombo’s ritziest address, full of overgrown residences and embassies. A century ago it was covered in cinnamon plantations. Today, as well as elegant tree-lined streets and the posh mansions of the wealthy and powerful, it contains the city’s biggest park, several sports grounds and a cluster of museums and galleries.
- Entertainment There are many places in Colombo that hold various live shows, karaoke nights and other events. You can visit Lionel Wendt Art Centre to get an authentic taste of Colombia, for music enthusiasts, there’s Hot Rock Lounge. To try your luck at pool, explore Potluck.
- Shopping / clothing Colombo has a wide range of handicrafts and other items on sale. One of the best, but also pretty expensive, places, to buy handicrafts (such as batik, lacquerware, handloom cloth, painted wooden masks, etc) is the government-run ‘Laksala’ emporium. Other than this, there are the Handloom Emporium, the Sri Lanka Handloom Emporium and the Sri Lanka Gem & Jewelry Exchange. Items of everyday use -including some excellent spices, teas and fruit flavoured teas, spices, ceramics and clothing are available at Liberty Plaza, Colombo’s main shopping district. Colombo is a free trade zone, so a lot of imported goods flow in from the outside world.
- Annual Feast of St. Anthony’s Shrine The annual feast of St. Anthony’s Shrine is celebrated by Catholics as well as people from other faiths. Festivities involve flag hoisting, prayers and novenas, and it is held in the month of June.
- Poson Full Moon Poya Day With a great legend behind this festival, Poson is the most significant Full Moon Poya Day for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated in June with pilgrims flocking to Mihintale from all over the country.
- New Year’s Day This festival is celebrated by Tamil Hindus and Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka with much fervour and grandeur. During the fiesta, people go to each others’ homes to greet and devour delicious cuisine. The New Year is celebrated sometime in April, depending on the constellation of the planets.
- Nightlife Entertainment Colombo’s night life centres around the discos, casinos and nightclubs in hotels and also stand-alone establishments. Some of the larger hotels have regular cultural shows featuring traditional artistes, and sometimes there are events such as concerts by well-known groups or other entertainers. The option of theatre (Sinhala language) or movies (Sinhala, English or Indian) is always there.
- National Museum It is the largest museum in the country established by Sir William Henry in the year 1877. If you are a history buff, a visit to this place is a must! You will find artifacts, pieces of literature and regalia of Sri Lanka housed here.
- Viharamahadevi Park Built during the British era, Viharamahadev Park was once called Victoria Park. It is a beautiful garden where you can soak in the beauty and find some quiet time with your girl gang!
- Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque Located in the heart of the city, this mosque is a brilliant piece of architecture. It is a big tourist attraction, making its presence felt throughout the country. Reignite your spiritual side with a visit to this place.
- Travel arrangements should be made well in advance, especially when travelling during the high-tourist season .
- Do not wear footwear or shorts, sleeveless tops or revealing clothes inside places of worship. Both men and women need to keep their shoulders and legs covered, especially in temples and it is handy for women to carry a scarf they can use to cover their heads if necessary. Certain areas of temples are not open to Non-Hindus.
- Visitors should be wary of strangers. Do not walk in isolated spots on your own especially after dark.
- Wherever possible, use a pre-paid taxi when on streets to get a legal fare. Taxi or auto rickshaws fares keep changing; therefore they do not always conform to reading on meters. To avoid confusion, insist on seeing the latest fare chart available with the driver and pay accordingly.
- Smoking in public places including restaurants, hotels, pubs, discotheques etc. has been prohibited in India.
- Do not purchase air, rail or bus tickets through strangers or unauthorized travel agents and tour operators.
- Things to Carry
- Carry comfortable pair of shoes
- Cotton clothes and sunglasses
- Take a small bag with you for shorter excursions
- Prescribed medicines.
It is customary to tip waiters, porters and guides. Most hotels include a service charge on their bills. Where this is not done, a tip of 10 % is customary. Tipping of taxi drivers is not customary.
The city has a fairly wide range of places to eat, stretching all the way from roadside stalls to sleek specialty restaurants. Most of the large five star hotels in Colombo have good value-for-money buffets and coffee shops, besides specialty restaurants that offer cuisine ranging all the way from classic French to Indian