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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 13, 2018
Headline for Monuments in Colombo - The Well Known and the Lesser Known
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Monuments in Colombo - The Well Known and the Lesser Known

Sri Lanka has experienced many changes throughout the ages and some of these have been made into lasting impressions that can be seen in and around Colombo, its commercial capital.

1

The Independence Memorial Hall

In 1948, the Sri Lanka went from being a British colonized country to becoming an independent nation. It was through a lot of struggles and rebellions that Sri Lankans gained this independence and there are some who even lost their lives; so a monument to celebrate this great victory was absolutely necessary. The location for the monument was chosen to be the site where the formal ceremony held to mark the start of self-rule took place at a special podium. This is located within Cinnamon Gardens, an area famous for big shopping arcades like Racecourse, the spectacular Lotus Stadium and some of the most luxurious of apartments in Colombo, Sri Lanka the likes of Capitol TwinPeaks. The Memorial Hall is designed according to the same style as the Royal Audience Hall of the Kandyan Kingdom. Built entirely out of stone, the monument features many intricate carvings that depict some of the most important events in the history of Sri Lanka.

2

Statue of Queen Viharamahadevi

This is one of the lesser known monuments in Colombo. It's located within the grounds of the lovely Viharamadevi Park which is named after a brave and patriotic queen. The story goes as this, Princess Viharamadevi's father King Kelanitissa was said to have boiled a Buddhist monk alive. Angered by this cruel act, the gods sent a massive tsunami wave to engulf the whole island as a form of punishment. According to soothsayers, redemption was only possible through the sacrifice of a princess, so the brave Viharamadevi volunteered herself to save her motherland and set off to sea. Legend says that as soon as she was sent off, the sea calmed down and the tsunami disappeared. Thankfully, Princess Viharamadevi safely washed up ashore in the southern kingdom of Rohana, ruled by King Kavantissa. The king blown away by the princess's great courage married her. Queen Viharamadevi was the mother of Dutugemunu and Saddhatissa. The former was as brave as his mother for he was the one who overthrew the Chola invaders.

3

Colombo Lighthouse

Situated in the south of the Port of Colombo at the Galbokka Point, the Colombo Lighthouse is an impressive monument that was built in 1952. Standing atop an elaborately-designed concrete base, the lighthouse is 95 feet in height. There are four intricately carved stone lions standing around its foundation. The best time to visit the lighthouse is in the evening cause then you can witness the beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean.

4

Cenotaph War Memorial

Dedicated to the fallen heroes of Sri Lanka who lost their lives during the two world wars, the Cenotaph War Memorial is located right next to the Viharamadevi Park. The monument comprises of memorial walls and a towering Cenotaph. What is interesting to note is that originally the memorial was built on the grounds of the Galle Face Green in 1923 but during the World War II it was removed to the current location because of fears that Japanese bombers might use it as target to direct their artillery.

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