Colombo: How did the capital Of Sri Lanka get its name?

by - 4/03/2023

 I am sure Colombo doesn't need any introduction. It's the  humble capital of our next door neighbour, Sri Lanka's capital. It was the first place (obviously) where we landed and then we proceeded towards Negombo, a tiny beachside town beside Colombo. So basically we dumped our luggage in our beach villa and then moved forward to explore the capital.

Colombo has innumerable historical sites and modern architecture too. And that sprung a thought about the etymology of the capital. From where did Colombo get it's name and how old is this city?

Well my queries weren't baseless as the word Colombo does have an origin. It was born out of the classical Sinhala name Kolon Thota, meaning port on the river Kelani. The term Colombo was first used by the Portuguese in 1505. Also, did you know that Colombo is the largest artificial harbours in the world? Yes, it has so many other hats!

We started with the Independence Square. You can equate it with the India Gate of Delhi, Independence Square of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Rizal park of Manila, Philippines etc.

One thing I have noticed during my travels is that every developing/third world country has a dedicated Independence Square or national monument which becomes the most significant tourist spot of its capital city. 

Anyways, the Torrington Square (its former name) was established after the British rule came to an end in Sri Lanka. There is a huge statue of the 1st prime minister of the country there who is also the Father of their nation.

The memorial and the surrounding area is quite vast and very well maintained and peaceful. There is a temple too, where you can pay your respects. If you are into details, you can visit the museum too. We opted out of that one as we were already handling two kids.

Fun fact: This Memorial Hall was featured as a pit stop on the 4th season of The Amazing Race Asia, 1st season of Amazing Race Australia and also the Israeli version of Amazing Race. How cool is that?

Our next stop was Viharamahadevi Park. It is in front of the town hall and is the oldest and the largest park of Sri Lanka. Founded by the British, it was initially named Victoria Park, which was changed after independence. This park is a peaceful place indeed which is green all over with perfectly manicured lawns. There is a giant Buddha statue and even if you are not into parks, you will love this place for its charming landscape; which would provide excellent photo ops! Not to forget, some cheap eating stalls too!

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023 

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  1. Interesting to know about this beautiful capital city

  2. Putting all these places on my bucket list.

  3. Added to my travelling list 👍🏻

  4. That is interesting how Colombo got its name from Kolan thota. Independence square, Torrington square and most other places sound very interesting. Beautiful images as usual.