| Sri Lanka|
| Colombo District|
Mohommad Muzammil (UNP)
| National Museum of Colombo, Viharamahadevi Park, Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka, Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara|
University of Colombo, University of Kelaniya, Open University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, National Institute of Business Management
Colombo (Sinhala: ????, pronounced Tamil: ) is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka. According to the Brookings Institution, Colombo has a population of 5.6 million metropolitan area, with 555,031 in the city limits, and a popular tourist destination. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the legislative capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is within the urban area of, and a satellite city of, Colombo. It is also the administrative capital of Western Province, Sri Lanka and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. It was the legislative capital of Sri Lanka until 1982.
Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. It was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815, and its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948. In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
Like many cities, Colombos urban area extends well beyond the boundaries of a single local authority, encompassing other municipal and urban councils such as Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council, Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, Kolonnawa Urban Council and Kotikawatte Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha. The main city is home to a majority of Sri Lankas corporate offices, restaurants and entertainment venues. Famous landmarks in Colombo include Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, Beira Lake, Colombo Race Course, Planetarium, Mount Lavinia beach as well as the National Museum.
As Colombo possesses a natural harbour, it was known to Indian, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Arabs, and Chinese traders over 2,000 years ago. Traveller Ibn Batuta who visited the island in the 14th century, referred to it as Kalanpu. Muslim Moors, whose prime interests were trade, began to settle in Colombo around the 8th century AD mostly because the port helped their business by the way of controlling much of the trade between the Sinhalese kingdoms and the outside world. Their descendants now comprise the local Sri Lankan Moor community.
Colombos geography is a mix of land and water. The city has many canals and, in the heart of the city, the 65-hectare (160-acre) Beira Lake. The lake is one of the most distinctive landmarks of Colombo, and was used for centuries by colonists to defend the city. It remains a popular attraction, hosting regattas, and theatrical events on its shores. The Northern and North-Eastern border of the city of Colombo is formed by the Kelani River, which meets the sea in a part of the city known as the Modera (modara in Sinhala) which means river delta.
Colombo features a tropical monsoon climate under the Koppen climate classification, falling just short of a tropical rainforest climate. Colombos climate is fairly temperate all throughout the year. From March to April the temperature averages around 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) maximum. The only major change in the Colombo weather occurs during the monsoon seasons from May to August and October to January. This is the time of year where heavy rains can be expected. Colombo sees little relative diurnal range of temperature, although this is more marked in the drier winter months, where minimum temperatures average 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit). Rainfall in the city averages around 2,400 millimetres (94 in) a year.
Galle Face Green is a ribbon of green space located in the heart of the city along the Indian Ocean coast, and is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. The Galle Face Hotel is a historic landmark on the southern edge of this promenade.
Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo. The temples architecture demonstrates an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture.
The Viharamahadevi Park (formerly Victoria Park) is an urban park located next to the National Museum of Colombo and the Town Hall. It is the oldest and largest park in Colombo and features a large Buddha statue.
As part of the Urban Regeneration Program of the Government of Sri Lanka, many old sites and buildings were revamped to modern public recreational spaces and shopping precincts. These include Independence Memorial Hall Square, Pettah Floating Market and Old Dutch Hospital among others.
The great majority of Sri Lankan corporations have their head offices in Colombo including Aitken Spence, Ceylinco Corporation, Stassen group of companies, John Keells Holdings, Hemas Holdings and Akbar Brothers. Some of the industries include chemicals, textiles, glass, cement, leather goods, furniture, and jewellery. In the city centre is the World Trade Centre. The 40 story Twin Tower complex is the centre of important commercial establishments, in the Fort district, the citys nerve center. Right outside the Fort area is Pettah which is derived from the Sinhalese word pita which means out or outside.
Colombos most beautiful festival is the celebration of Buddhas birth, enlightenment and death all falling on the same day. In Sinhala this is known as Vesak. During this festival, much of the city is decorated with lanterns, lights and special displays of light (known as thoran). The festival falls in mid May and lasts a week. Many Sri Lankans visit the city to see the lantern competitions and decorations. During this week people distribute, rice, drinks and other food items for free in dunsal which means charity place. These dunsal are popular amongst visitors from the suburbs.
Since there is a large number of Muslims in Colombo. Eid Ul Fitr and Eid Ul Adha are two Islamic festivals that are celebrated in Colombo. Many businesses flourish during the eventual countdown for Eid Ul Fitr which is a major Islamic festival celebrated by Muslims after a month-long fasting. Colombo is generally very busy during the eve of the festivals as people do their last minute shopping.
Christmas is another major festival. Although Sri Lankas Christians make up only just over 7% of the population, Christmas is one of the islands biggest festivals. Most streets and commercial buildings light up from the beginning of December and festive sales begin at all shopping centres and department stores. Caroling and nativity plays are frequent sights during the season.
The Sinhala and Hindu Aluth Awurudda is a cultural event that takes place on 13 and 14 April. This is the celebration of the Sinhala and Hindu new year. The festivities include many events and traditions that display a great deal of Sri Lankan culture.
Several old clubs of the city gives a glimpse of the British equestrian life style, these include the Colombo Club, Orient Club, the 80 Club, the Colombo Cricket Club.
The National Museum of Colombo, established on 1 January 1877 during the tenure of the British Colonial Governor Sir William Henry Gregory, is in the Cinnamon Gardens area. The museum houses the crown jewels and throne of the last king of the kingdom of Kandy, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha.