One of the best attractions in Colombo is the Colombo National Museum, which displays over 2500 years of Sri Lankan history. It is an Italian architecture colonial type mansion which was founded in 1877 by the British governor of Ceylon Sir William Henry Gregory. This treasure house is Sri Lanka’s most prestigious, oldest and largest museum. It is at a convenient distance from seafront Colombo hotels like the Berjaya Hotel Colombo.
The museum holds many artifacts from different eras such as; regalia, including the thrown and the crown of the Kandyan monarch, the magnificent royal throne made for King Wimaladharmasuriya in 1693, as well as the 9th-century bronze Bodhisattva Sandals, most appreciated by tourists
The Museum holds; Natural science section consists of Entomology, Zoology, Botany and Geology sections. For Entomology section there are over 95000 dry preserved and over 5000 wet preserved insect specimens. Zoology section display animal diversity in Sri Lanka, which holds the largest animal collection of the country. Geology section holds prehistoric items, fossils, mineral soils and many other items. Botany section has over 1500 dried plants including flowering plants, ferns, mosses, liverworts and several fungi species collected from natural forests in Sri Lanka.
The Cultural section has over one million cultural objects; mainly coins and currency, stone antiques, pottery, brassware, textile, furniture, agricultural, household, ritual and musical items. In galleries, dating back as far as 1877, contain all manner of art, carvings and statuary from Sri Lanka’s ancient past, as well as swords, guns and other paraphernalia from the colonial period. There are fascinating 19th-century reproductions of English paintings of Sri Lanka, and an excellent collection of antique demon masks.
The Museum also maintains a library that has a vast collection of rare historical books and chronicles for history lovers. It is actively involved in conducting research in pre historic ethnology, anthropology, culture and the crafts. It also conducts lectures and seminars periodically. .
Thus visit to the museum is a must to understand Sri Lanka and its heritage.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.