When you drive through the busy streets of Colombo, you will undoubtedly pass a building that looks like a blooming flower, facing the sky. This beautiful structure houses one of the most fascinating attractions in all of Colombo; The Sri Lanka Planetarium! You must pay a visit for it is guaranteed fun.
What can you expect?
This is the first and only planetarium in Sri Lanka and it was built in 1965. The building itself will strike as interesting and vaguely familiar; it was designed by Mr A. N. S. Kulasinghe, the chief engineer of the State Engineering Corporation of Ceylon to represent a lotus flower still in bloom. Mr Kulasinghe famously drew inspiration from two more famous buildings; the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral by Sri Frederick Gibberd and the Cathedral of Brasilia by Oscar Niemayer.
Where is it located?
If you’re taking a tuk just ask your driver to drop you off at Prof. Stanley Thilakaratne Mawatha; it is quite famous and all tuk drivers in the area know the location really well. It is in close proximity to most hotels in Colombo city too such as the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. You can easily sit for a show and still make it back to your hotel for lunch!
Is it worth it?
The “Grahalokagaraya” has always been a popular spot among school kids on annual trips, tourists and local astrology enthusiasts. After the refurbishments, the planetarium offers unique and ethereal experiences such as a 4D immersive experience of the night sky, a tour around all the constellations and even get a chance to witness the midnight sun from the Arctic Circle. It is truly worth your money as it will surely be a day well spent.
A few things to know before visiting
There are shows usually every Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 Am to 02.00 Pm. Although, after the pandemic, these times and dates may have slightly changed so it is best to call ahead and confirm before you plan. The regular tickets are priced at less than 1 USD.