The Colombo harbor has been used as a port by the country since the 14th Century. Today, the still bustling port handles most of Sri Lanka’s shipping due to its strategic position in the Indian ocean. Once a trading post for the Portuguese to sell cinnamon, the Colombo port is currently ranked 23rd globally. The area surrounding the port is considered prime property and is home to five star hotels and even luxury apartments in Colombo, such as the centrally located ¬Capitol TwinPeaks.
For those seeking views of the Colombo harbour and willing to brave heights, the Sambodhi Chaithya is definitely worth a visit. Designed by one of Sri Lanka’s most revered engineers, the Buddhist shrine is unique as it is built on a platform supported by two large concrete arches. Apart from its unusual external appearance, those who can climb the eleven staircases leading to the shrine and the subsequent staircase within it will be richly rewarded. Inside the temple are detailed religious murals and the observation area offers beautiful views of the Colombo harbour and its surrounding areas. Slightly further afield, but on the same road, is the Galle Buck Lighthouse which offers a greater view of the Indian Ocean. Visitors will get the opportunity to see a number of ships and tankers heading towards the Colombo port.
Surrounding the Colombo harbour are many areas of interest. The Fort area was once an early Portuguese settlement which has now been turned into a mixture of hotels, shopping districts and Colombo’s financial district. Most notably, the former Dutch Hospital has now been revamped as a shopping and restaurant area while retaining the beauty of its old architecture. Sri Lanka’s current mega infrastructure project, the Port City, promises to further enhance the attraction and vitality of the area by establishing a commercial centre on reclaimed land.
Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.