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Basic Facts
Map of Sri Lanka

History of Sri Lanka

In the Beginning
  Anuradhapura  
  Polonnaruwa  
  Portuguese Period  
  Dutch Colonization  
  British Ruling  
  Independence  
  Senanayake Rule  
  Bandaranaike Period  
  Tamil Unrest  
  Riots & Violence  
  Incoming Peace  

Tourist Attraction

Beaches
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  National Park  
  Bird Sanctuary  
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  Museum & Art Gallery
  Religious Places  
  Fascinating Cities  
       

Adventures & Trips

Swimming
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  Hiking & Trekking  
  Golf  

Museum

National Museum, Colombo
Housed in a fine colonial-era building on Albert Crescent, the National Museum is the first public Museum to be established in Sri Lanka (1877). It is the best known for its collection of ancient royal regalia, Sinhalese artwork (carvings, sculptures and so on), antique furniture, china, and Ola manuscripts. It includes the national treasures and art facts from all parts of the island. A section of the first floor houses the Puppetry and Children's Museum. It also houses a library with a collection of about 500,000 books including very valuable and rare ones and more than 4,000 ancient palm leaf manuscripts. Open daily from 09.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs except on Fridays when it is closed to the public for cleaning.

National Museum of Natural History, Colombo
The museum displays the natural heritage of Sri Lanka. The fauna i.e. mammals and birds are displayed in dioramas. There are sections on Applied Botany, Geology and Fossils and the Natural Environment. In the Discovery Room one finds the mounted skeleton of an elephant and a scale model in relief showing the topography of a part of Sri Lanka. Open daily from 09.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs.

The Dutch Period Museum, Colombo
The old 'Dutch House' on Prince Street, Pettah (Colombo 11) which houses this museum was built in the late 17th century and was initially the residence of Count August Carl Van Ranzow along with five other houses of the elite. Today, the sides of the street are choc-a-block with boutiques and stores of Moslem traders. The restoration of this building commenced in 1977 and was completed in 1981. This museum was opened to the public in 1982. This building embodies the unique architectural features of a colonial Dutch town house. The museum while displaying the Dutch legacy with the artifacts viz. furniture, ceramics, coins, arms etc. portrays facets of contemporary life and culture. Open daily except Fridays from 09.00 hrs to - 17.00 hrs.

Bandaranaike Museum, Colombo
Housed in the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, the museum contains photographs, objects and documents portraying the life and times of the Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. Visitors can listen to recordings of some of his famous speeches. Open daily except Mondays and full moon days from 09.00 hrs to 16.00 hrs.

The National Maritime Museum, Galle
The museum is located within the Fort of Galle in a colonial Dutch ware-house with imposing pillars. This museum displays the fauna & flora of the sea and the environment. Artifacts consist of preserved material and scale models of whales and fishes. Generally, all the resources of the sea are covered in this Museum. It also shows in diorama form with life size models, the traditional methods of fishing. Some artifacts of under water archaeology are on display. An interesting experiment is the 'walk-into-the sea' diorama, showing the natural coral beds, sea grass beds and deep sea fishes. Finally, one leaves the museum seeing the causes of sea pollution, coast erosion and methods used to combat these problems. Open daily from 09.00 hrs - 17.00 hrs.

Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Department has established Archaeological Site Museums in Anuradhapura (ancient city), Isurumuniya, Mihintale, Veheragala, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Sigiriya, Kandy, Dedigama, Yapahuwa, Panduwasnuwara, Kotte, Matara (Star-Fort), Deegavapiya and Kataragama. Tourists may visit these museums free of charge but taking photographs is not allowed unless a permit is obtained from the Director General of Dept. of Archaeology. Notably, permits are necessary to photograph monuments at certain Archaeological sites. Archaeological museums are open daily from 08.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs but closed on Tuesdays and some of them will be close on public holidays too.

Gems Museum, Ratnapura
The National Museum of Ratnapura is housed in the famous Ehelapola Walawwa on the Colombo Road in Ratnapura. The museum displays to a great extent the prehistory of Sri Lanka. Ratnapura being famous for gems, the process of gem-mining is displayed through a model. Some of the artifacts displayed here, reflect the unique arts & culture of the Sabaragamuwa Province. Open daily except Fridays from 09.00 hrs - 17.00 hrs.

Folk Museum, Anuradhapura
Settling in the sacred city close to the Archaeological Museum, the Folk Museum Anuradhapura has a collection of artifacts illustrative of the rural life of the North Central Province. Open daily except Thursdays & Fridays from 09.00 hrs - 17.00 hrs.

Art Gallery

National Art Gallery
The National Art Gallery is located at 106 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha (Green Path), Colombo 7. It's opened from 9 am to 5 pm daily except poya days. It caters largely to the conservative taste in painting mostly portraits. There are also some temporary exhibitions of Sri Lanka artists.

 

 

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