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Colombo’s Culture

Ah! Colombo’s potpourri of cultures. Quite special this city is. This experience gives you a...

Colombo, Western Province

Ah! Colombo’s potpourri of cultures. Quite special this city is. This experience gives you a look, close up, of Colombo’s sacred spaces. Your host takes you through Kochchikade and the vibrant streets of Pettah.

 

The Seema Malaka Buddhist temple sits on the surface of the water at Beira Lake. The main temple complex, Gangaramaya, is on dry land. Spend a bit of time here and then hop on a tuk tuk to get to Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil. It is a Hindu kovil that was built using ornately chiselled granite. The craftsmanship shines through and we immediately feel the spiritual weight of this sacred space. A quick walk and we’re at St. Anthony’s Shrine, a national Catholic monument where thousands go daily to pray and ask for boons. Here, you’ll hear the story of the compassionate Anthony of Padua (in Italy) from your host. Flower garland kades (shops) are common at places of worship in Sri Lanka. The garlands are used to adorn shrines and statues. Pass a whole row of them as we step into Pettah and immediately feel its inimitable pulse. The heady scent of spices from makeshift stalls selling Indian-influenced snacks fills the air. The market and bustling streets in Pettah are an experience themselves. We then walk past the colonial Dutch-installed Kayman’s Gate Belltower. The walk ends at the Jami Ul-Afar Mosque. Stand with your host and marvel at the mosque’s exterior where the domes are shaped and coloured like a pomegranate fruit.

 

Get back and unwind, while you absorb the diversity of cultural experiences Colombo just laid out before you.

 

Includes : Host, sarongs, socks, water.
Times : 0800 hours/ 1630 hours. (Approx. 2.5 to 3 hours)
Children : 12+ years.
To wear/bring : Conservative dress/flip flops.

What to Know Before you trvel

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Knowledge and expertise can make your holiday more canker free and fun filled.

Sri Lanka is a tropical island. Therefore, breathable cotton clothing would be ideal. White is considered a clean, pure colour especially when visiting religious sites. Ideally a pair of sturdy sneakers for treks would do whilst a pair of comfy flip flops would do for excursions and sandals would be perfect for the beach or for a casual walk.
Get permission from the proper people before visiting a sacred place. This might be a caretaker, holy person, elder, or the governing agency affiliated with the site. Be aware that even after attaining permission from a governing agency you may be offending indigenous people who may not have jurisdiction over their own sacred sites.
Exchange rates fluctuate constantly throughout the week as currencies are actively traded. This pushes the price up and down, similar to other assets such as gold or stocks. The market price of a currency – how many U.S. dollars it takes to buy a Canadian dollar for example – is different than the rate you will receive from your bank when you exchange currency. Here's how exchange rates work, and how to figure out if you are getting a good deal. For the more advanced investor, you might want to check out
01.A person may bring any sum of money in foreign currencies into Sri Lanka. This sum could be in TCs, Bank drafts or currency notes. However, if the total of such sum exceeds US$ 15,000, such sum should be declared to the Sri Lanka Customs.

02. If a person wishes to take out from Sri Lanka any sum in exceeds of US$ 5000 in currency notes out of the sum brought in as per (1) above, such person should declare the entirety of the sum brought in, even if it is less than US$ 15,000.
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