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Tourist Places To Visit In Negombo
Negembo is a seaside paradise in Sri Lanka, renowned for its quiet holidays. With an interesting blend of local and colonial attractions, there are a lot of tourist place to visit in Negombo that will keep you enthralled for the most part of your holiday. Known for its complex & meandering waterways, Negombo is not only the best for its pristine coastline, sandy beaches and spiritual tourist attractions, but also has a lively nightlife that’s culturally rich too!
The Old Dutch Fort
One of the most popular attractions here, located to the front side of the ocean, close to the lagoon’s entry, is the ancient ruin of the Dutch Fort. The fort takes one back to Sri Lanka’s colonial era when it was ruled by the Europeans, stirring memories of the old period. With a fine gateway engraved with 1978 as the date of its inscription, the grounds of the Dutch Fort are now inhabited by the city’s prison.
The Hamilton Canal
With their fascination for waterways, the Dutch constructed the Hamilton Canal, which the Negombo city displays with aplomb! The original canal, however, was constructed by the Portuguese in the 17th century. Extending all the way to the south of Colombo and Puttalam’s north, the Hamilton canal is a must-see spot. A 14.5 km channel, the Hamilton Canal was designed to direct salt water out of the bayou of Muthurajawela.
Going 6 km up the canal, Hamilton joins the Muthurajawela wetlands, resplendent with greenery, tall grass, birds, fish, white flowers & butterflies with an occasional croc or python! The hour and a half long boat ride through the canal will show you the vast expanse with a number of animals and water bodies.
The Angurukaamulla Temple
With a 6m tall reclining Buddha statue, the Angurukaamulla Temple is one of the largest temples in the heart of the city which is a popular attraction for the tourists. Renowned for the ornate caves, engravings, murals and paintings that adorn its structure, the temple is a harbinger of tranquility and calm that stirs an instinctive sense of well-being within anyone visiting here. You can see the Buddhist monks educating the younger ones onsite, inspiring most visitors and locals alike to join in and spend some time in quiet reflection.
St. Mary's Church
Deeply inspired & led by Christianity, Negombo has numerous churches, of which St. Mary’s is a significant one. It is also one of the largest cathedrals on the island. Built lavishly and with majestic architecture, the church is all of 3 levels, painted in pink on the outside. The construction and designing of the Church displays the cultural fusion of European strategies and Sri Lankan architecture and designs in the early 20th century. With its ceilings designed with many saintly images in alabaster, St. Mary’s Church is a religious landmark.
It is because of Negombo’s beaches and the Negombo Park that most tourists flock to the city. Rich with sandy beaches and luxury resorts by the shoreline, the site is a treat for adventure enthusiasts. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Little Rome’, with a variety of fresh seafood and virgin beaches, Negombo is the perfect place to relax before you head out to explore the rest of Sri Lanka, or better still to unwind during the last leg of your stay in the country.
Brown Beach is the best at Negombo. Open 24/7, you can go for early morning strolls to see the rising sun or watch the sun setting in the evening, not to forget, breath-taking for a midnight swim! With a variety of water sports and shopping options, you’ll have plenty to enjoy here.
Labeled the ‘supreme field of pearls’, the Muthurajawela Marsh is no less precious for its swamps at Negombo’s south end. Here, you can witness almost 75 species of birds that include kingfishers, cormorants, Purple herons, in addition to some rare otters, crocodiles and monkeys. Before the Portuguese created a canal, the marsh was a basin for rich fields of rice, now being the largest saltwater wetland.
Negombo Fish Village & Market
Originally founded as a fishing village, Negombo’s fish village and the market still form a major hub for trading within the local community. The second largest fish market in the open, Lellama, as referred by the locals is a treat is situated across the lagoon bridge. Loud, bright and smelly! The village and its market will give you a detailed insight on the fishermen’s daily work, the trading process, the packaging and loading of fish for further distribution and finally the bustling market activities of vendors and customers haggling.
Located 40 km north of Colombo, the Negombo Lagoon is a massive estuarine fed by several small rivers and a canal, serving as an intersection of the coastal wetland and the Muthurajawela Marsh, with a depth of 2 m and a narrow opening on the north side into the sea. It is surrounded by a heavily populated area that includes coconut plantations, rice paddies and savannahs.
Kelaniya Buddhist Temple
Located 20 km south from the city of Negombo, the Kelaniya Buddhist Temple is rich with fine wall murals that you can admire for long, spend some quiet time reconnecting with yourself and just being. One of the best places to visit in Negombo, you will find a lot of small local stalls with souvenirs, figurines and idols of the temple to take home with you.