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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 13, 2018
Headline for Religious Places in Colombo
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Religious Places in Colombo

Sri Lanka has a diverse populace. Various places of worship pop out of unexpected places. When in Colombo, things to do on your list should definitely include taking a look at these monuments.

1

Anjaneyar Temple

Anjaneyar Temple

One of the most noteworthy temples unique to Sri Lanka is the Anjaneyar Temple in the Dehiwela-Mt.Lavinia district, located a short distance away from the iconic Mount Lavinia Hotel. This Hindu temple is the first and only one of its kind on the island of Sri Lanka, and has held many important Hindu celebrations, known as chariots, during its time.

2

Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple

Arguably the most significant Buddhist temple located within the city of Colombo, the Gangaramaya Temple is more than 120 years old, and acts as a tourist attraction, place of worship as well as a learning and vocational center. The temple is known for its unique architecture, as well as statues showcasing a variety of artistic styles taken from the spectrum of Buddhist countries, including China, Burma, Thailand in addition to Sri Lanka.

3

Wolvendaal Church

Wolvendaal Church

Many would argue that this Church is the most important Dutch construction in Sri lanka. Its' construction commenced in 1749, and took eight years to complete, after which it was named after the packs of jackals that were mistaken for wolves by the Dutch settlers. In addition to being one of the oldest of Dutch Colonial era buildings, it's also the oldest protestant church in Sri Lanka.

4

Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque

Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque

Popularly known as 'The Red Mosque', this uniquely red and white construction was built by the Pettah muslim community due to their demands for daily prayer. The striking beauty of the mosque almost immediately made it a talked about locale and still is one of the most popular tourist attractions within Colombo's city limits. The unique and artistic nature of the Mosque enabled it to be used by sailor's as a landmark of Colombo.

5

Kovils

Kovils

There are few things more striking than the Kovils in Colombo. The almost menacing architecture of a pyramidal structure adorned with various seemingly dark deities make these Kovils stand a world apart from the various other religious erections that adorn the urban sprawl of Colombo. There are three main kovils located within the city of Colombo, the Kathiseran Temple on Sea Street in Pettah, The Sri Ponnambalam-Vaneswaram Temple in Kochikade, and the Sri Bala Selva Vinayagar Moorthy temple which is dedicated to Shiva and Ganesh, located in Colombo 10.
So the next time you find yourself in Colombo and don't feel like visiting the various tourist traps, cafes and shopping centres, take the time to enjoy a slice of historical heritage and bask in the magical wealth of culture found in Sri Lanka by visiting these religious sites. From the distinctive and almost menacing Kovils that seem to be out of an fantasy-adventure, to the elegantly Gothic churches from the Dutch-colonial times and the Buddhist temples with deep ties to ancient history. No city can boast the showcasing of such many wondrous places of worship from so many faiths and religions, so be sure to visit them should you find yourself on the island of Sri Lanka.

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