Glimpse of Colombo
Gearing up on a bright sunny day to tour around the urban Colombo city was a bit of a challenging chore on a buzzy weekday morning. Yet stepping in to a funky, colorful open deck double decker bus made us feel that an exciting journey was about to begin. The SoulTrek team was excited to explore and experience life of Colombo. We were all set to capture moments of every nook and corner of the city.
As scheduled the tour commenced at the Kingsbury Hotel followed by the live commentary by the national guide gave an energetic start. Though a lengthy itinerary of attractions were lined up our tour guide made it easy and interesting by been descriptive about each and every place.
Reminiscing the childhood memories of been on a double decker bus the soothing breeze hugs lessened the tiring feel of been amidst the busy traffic.
Passing through the high skyscrapers, Colombo port city, Old parliament, Old Dutch hospital, Colombo light house, maritime museum and the president’s house we decided to make a stop at the independence square for a short break. The first thing struck our minds as soon as we got off the bus was posing for pics with the bus. Whilst capturing few shots around, the tour guide briefed us about the Independence square which was built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the restoration of full governing responsibility to a Ceylonese-elected legislature on February 4, 1948. Not forgetting an interesting fact about the place the independence Memorial Hall was featured as a pitstop on both 4th season of The Amazing Race Asia, and 1st season of The Amazing Race Australia.
Proceeding our journey once again to sight more interesting places we were offered some crunchy appetizing onion biscuits and a refreshing juice for snacks energized us to head off to the next site.
Our next site was the famous Gangarama Temple which houses the relics of Buddha’s hair is one of the sacred buildings in Colombo. It is built with a mix of modern architecture and not forgetting to add a little bit of our unique cultural essence. Seema Malaka temple mainly used for meditation and rest is another must visit fascination. The significant fact about the temple is that it is built on a lake in a miniscule island in the heart of Colombo that you need to walk across a tiny narrow wooden bridge to enter the premises. Once you enter you will sight enormous amount of things such as a library, a museum and a display hall of gifts received from devotees and well wishes over the years. There were various kinds of Buddha statues made out of stone, white cement and gold was indeed a unique experience.
Continuing our tour until our next stop, Red mosque in Pettah, The temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Dewasthanam kovil, Nelum Pokuna theatre, National museum, Nelum Kuluna, (Lotus Tower) Arcade independence square, Replica of Aukana Buddha statue made the whole experience quite atmospheric.
Our last stop of the of tour was at the famous Galle face green an extended stretch of green lawn next to the narrow beach and sea boardwalk amidst the hustling Colombo city. It is one of the ideal place to watch the sunset every evening surrounded with mouthwatering street food and small vendors hanging little toys to grasp the attention of little kids passing by the area.
Sadly the time was nearing to say good bye to an interesting road trip. We got off the bus thanking the humble old gentlemen toured us around the city sharing his knowledge was a worth of a trip. The lovely charming welcoming people, the buildings and places full of fascinating history are some highlights of Colombo that shouldn’t be missed.