Colourful Colombo – Sri Lanka


Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka, with a population of 4,575,000 metropolitan area, and 555,031 in the city limits. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (which is the official capital of Sri Lanka) 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. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. It was the political capital of Sri Lanka, before Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.
Galle Face Green is a ribbon of green space located in the heart of the city along the Indian Ocean coast, and is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. The Galle Face Hotel is a historic landmark on the southern edge of this promenade.
Above is the Slave Island railway station. Slave Island is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka located directly south of the Fort area of Colombo. The name Slave Island was given during the period of British occupation and administration, and refers to the situation under Portuguese and Dutch administration when slaves were held there, most of them from Africa. Most of the slaves later returned to Africa. However, a very small group of African descendants are scattered throughout Sri Lanka and are collectively known as Sri Lankan Kaffirs. The suburb contains Beira Lake, a large lake and its esplanade is visited by many for recreation. Slave Island is mostly a commercial area with hotels and shopping centres.
The Castle Hotel at Slave Island in Colombo, Sri Lanka may have been a prime place to stay many years ago but is now run down and dilapidated. The yellow colours of the building however still stands out proud and made a great photo particularly with the man in the doorway. Apparently its just a cheap bar now selling beer and arrak.


This buddha statue is situated at the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihara temple in the centre of Colombo.

Buddhism in Sri Lanka is primarily of the Theravada school, and constitutes the religious faith of about 70% of the population. According to traditional Sri Lankan chronicles (such as the Dipavamsa), Buddhism was introduced into Sri Lanka in the 2nd century BCE by Venerable Mahinda, the son of the Emperor Ashoka, during the reign of Sri Lanka’s King Devanampiya Tissa. During this time, a sapling of the Bodhi Tree was brought to Sri Lanka and the first monasteries were established under the sponsorship of the Sri Lankan king. The Pali Canon, having previously been preserved as an oral tradition, was first committed to writing in Sri Lanka around 30 BCE.

Sri Lanka has the longest continuous history of Buddhism of any Buddhist nation, with the Sangha having existed in a largely unbroken lineage since its introduction in the 2nd century. During periods of decline, the Sri Lankan monastic lineage was revived through contact with Myanmar and Thailand. Periods of Mahayana influence, as well as official neglect under colonial rule, created great challenges for Theravada Buddhist institutions in Sri Lanka, but repeated revivals and resurgences – most recently in the 19th century CE – have kept the Theravada tradition alive for over 2,000 years.


IMG_0120_HDRIMG_0122_PEIMG_0123IMG_0153_HDRIMG_0157IMG_0163IMG_0165_HDRIMG_0173Stitched Panorama

This wonderful old building in the centre of Colombo, Sri Lanka exhibits some classic architecture although now run down and dilapidated. Colombo has wildly varying architecture that span centuries and depict various styles. Many colonial buildings influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch and British exist alongside structures built in Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Indian and Contemporary architectural styles. No other place is this more evident in the heart of the city the Fort area. Here one may find new towering skyscrapers as well as historic buildings dating far back as the 1700s.
What goes on at the Ricky Cinema House of Pleasure in Colombo can only be left to your fertile imagination but my guess is that the Adults Only subtitle gives it away. It would have been tempting to drop in just to check out the Sri Lankan adult film industry but luckily for you (and me) I passed up the opportunity. I’m sure a white guy with a Canon camera would have not been that welcome anyway!
Gambling seems to be an inherent part of life in Sri Lanka. All over the island you see turf accountants and numerous of these small stalls selling lottery tickets. This lottery ticket seller was a happy smiling character who took pride in his work as he touted the tickets to the passing crowds using a microphone.


The tuk-tuks of Colombo, Sri Lanka are very bright and colourful as well as providing a convenient and cheap way to get around the city.

Every year they have the Lanka Challenge where intrepid foreigners drive these local tuk tuks over the island of Sri Lanka – this has got to be the best way to see Sri Lanka. The Lanka Challenge is by no means an easy affair; contestants will embark on a true test of character, resourcefulness, endurance and navigational stupidity. It is a real maker of men and a genuine quest for wonder woman. This usually requires you to patch up your three-wheel mean machine in the most extreme of weather conditions, marooned in the most remote of locations and wearing the most ludicrous of outfits.


Lion lager is a beer brewed by the Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC in Sri Lanka and has got to be one of the most beautiful bottle designs I have seen in any beer. After a walk through the back streets of Colombo and a walk along the seafront this drink welcomed me in the Galle Face Hotel, one of the oldest and most traditional hotels in Colombo, and a great place to have a refreshment as you sit at the Veranda overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Along the beachfront on Galle Face Drive in Colombo these lifeguards were on duty to ensure the safety of those people venturing into the waves of the Indian Ocean. Their bright red uniforms stood out as they took their position on the watch tower.
In the background of this photo you can see the Galle Face Hotel which sits on a prime spot overlooking the beach and ocean.

Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia

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3 thoughts on “Colourful Colombo – Sri Lanka

  1. Thank you for this tour of Colombo and the vibrant pictures! Sri Lanka is a place I hope to visit one day. A pity about the Castle hotel.. Galle Face seems great though.

  2. Great great summary of Sri Lanka :). I’m Sri Lankan and haven’t yet gone on to give any such posts about my country in my blog yet XD Galle Face hotel is a lovely place to visit, and they are into renovating old dutch/british buildings now. Its so great to see them in all their old glory.

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