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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for List of Religious Places in Colombo – Treasures for the Sightseer
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List of Religious Places in Colombo – Treasures for the Sightseer

The vibrant city of Colombo boasts a diverse range of sightseeing attractions. Amongst these are a number of interesting religious places that will draw the attention of the culture lover.


Gangaramaya Temple

The well-known Gangaramaya Temple is a Buddhist place of worship that lays claim to a rich history stretching back many centuries. This vibrant and picturesque temple will undoubtedly capture the imagination of the avid sightseer with its appealing setting. The temple is located alongside a sacred bo tree amidst the waters of the expansive Beira Lake. This attractive temple may only be reached via a bridge which stretches across the waters. Gangaramaya Temple is renowned for its impressive buildings which include a stupa, relic chamber, image house, library, museum, various halls and other features. A well-known event organized by this temple is the splendid Nawam Perahera which features numerous elephants and performers.


Kelaniya Temple

The famous Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya as the temple is known to Sri Lankans is regarded as being one of the island nation's most important Buddhist shrines. This temple which has a history of 2,000 years is particularly renowned for its collection of Buddha images and the numerous frescoes that depict scenes from the life of Buddha. It is believed that this temple was initially constructed soon after the Arhat Mahinda brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka. The popular Duruthu Perahera which is conducted by Kelaniya Temple is a grand pageant that is regarded as one of the major Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka.


Wolvendaal Church

The distinctive Wolvendaal Church which dates to 1749 is regarded as being one of the most significant buildings in the island nation dating to the Dutch colonial era. The church received its name from the jackals that roamed the area at the time of its construction, which the Dutch mistook for wolves. The handsome church building which takes the shape of a Greek cross features sturdy walls and lofty ceilings. However perhaps its most noteworthy feature is the splendid Dutch furniture that it contains. An accommodation choice that you may consider from which this church would be within easy reach would be The Kingsbury Colombo which is a conveniently located Colombo city hotel.


Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque

This unmistakable mosque that is situated in the bustling area of Colombo known as Pettah is an attraction that will undoubtedly capture the eye of the sightseer. This mosque is one of the city's most distinctive buildings and religious attractions. This mosque's elaborate architecture and striking red and white colouring make it stand out from Pettah's other buildings. The mosque's domes are intended to resemble the shape of a pomegranate, rather than the onion shape traditionally used in mosques. The architectural style of the mosque is considered to be of the Indo-Saracenic type. In years past it is believed that this mosque was a landmark for seafarers approaching the Colombo port.


Colombo Kovils

The city of Colombo boasts a number of Hindu temples, known as kovils, that will draw the interest of the sightseer. On Pettah's Sea Street you will encounter the Kathiresan Temple which is devoted to Skanda, the war god. Another well-known kovil is the Sri Ponnambalam-Vaneswaram Temple which is constructed of granite from South India. If you choose to visit a kovil during the time of pooja you will have the opportunity to observe the various ceremonies and elaborate statues amidst the sound of bells and the exotic smells of incense and oil lamps. Another distinctive feature of kovils is the ornate statues of deities that can be found on their roofs.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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