Conveniently located less than 38km from the commercial capital Colombo, the beach vacation Mecca that is Negombo is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular tourist hotspots to date. Occupying pride of place at the entrance of the Negombo Lagoon this former colonial stronghold is affectionately dubbed Little Rome due to the large concentration of churches found within its confines. Travellers on the lookout for Sri Lanka beach hotels in the region will be more than pleased with the elegant Jetwing Ayurveda Pavillions. Offering guests a resplendent spa holiday amidst a breathtaking coastal setting, this stylish rest provides true relaxation & rejuvenation. Once settled in, make sure to head to the historical sites in Negombo which offer an insight into the town’s heritage.
The Angurukaamulla Temple is one such historic venue as the iconic Buddhist temple has been a fixture in Negombo city for centuries. As the largest Buddhist temple in all of Negombo this larger than life religious institution is home to many relics as well as other historically valuable treasures. Highlights include its large devotional hall which houses a reclining Buddha statue that is an impressive 6 meters in length. Centuries old murals and other paintings decorate the temple walls with elaborate scenes from Buddhist epics featuring prominently. St. Mary’s Church on the other hand hold’s the distinct honour of being Negombo’s holiest and largest catholic cathedral. Built as far back as 1874 this monolithic structure features ornately painted ceilings and sculptural representations of various saints in alabaster. As one of the largest churches in Sri Lanka this historic venue popularly known as the Mahaweediya Palliya is an architectural marvel for the ages.
The Negombo Fort is perhaps the most renowned point of interest connected to the city’s colonial past. Built by the Portuguese the fortress was subsequently used by the Dutch and eventually the English. A portion of the massive fort’s eastern wall remains today as does a towering clock tower erected during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebrations.
The Dutch Canal is equally worthy of exploration as a 100km long waterway which served as the main supply route for goods during Dutch occupation is still visible today. Constructed in the 17th century boating excursions along the canal are available for tourists. Still employed by fishermen the Dutch Canal also known as the Negombo Canal begins from Hendala and ends in Pamunugama.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.