Parks, Zoos and Areas of Natural Beauty



Parks, Zoos and Areas of Natural Beauty
Talangama Wetlands

Galle Face Green

A large, grassy strip of lawn with a promenade facing the Indian Ocean and the busy Galle Face Centre Road running behind it, Galle Face Green is a Colombo landmark. The Green was laid out in 1859 by Sir Henry Ward, who was the governor of British Ceylon from 1855 to 1860. There is a plaque commemorating him along the promenade. The lawn was formerly used by British colonials for horse racing. Nowadays, it is a communal space where locals gather when the heat of the sun has faded. Kite flying is a popular activity here during weekends and holidays. Parks

The promenade makes for a pleasant stroll and many hawkers sell foods, kites and children’s toys along the seafront. However, scammers and con artists prey on tourists here, so it is advisable to always be on guard.

Viharamahadevi Park

A large green space in the centre of Colombo, Viharamahadevi Park is named after the mother of King Dutugemunu. It is a welcome shady spot with tropical trees as well as orchids and exotic plants. The park attracts a wide variety of birds and occasionally the odd elephant may be spotted here with its mahout (caretaker). The railings to the south of the park, along Green Path, display works of upcoming artists during the week and students’ works on Sundays. The white-domed Town Hall, dating back to 1927, overlooks the park to the northeast. Parks

Reminiscent of the US White House, it is hard to miss. Further north is De Soysa, or Lipton Circus, one of Colombo’s major intersections, where the Odel store is located. Across the road from Odel is the impressive looking Devatagaha Mosque.

Parks, Zoos and Areas of Natural Beauty
Dehiwala Zoo

Talangama Wetlands

A short distance southeast of Colombo city centre are the Talangama Wetlands, made up of ponds, canals and paddy field. Home to over 100 species of bird, this diverse area of wetland offers some exciting birding opportunities. Among the permanent residents are water birds such as the purple swamphen, egrets, herons, water jacanas and kingfishers; and forest birds can also be seen year- round. During the migrant season from November to April waders such as the common sandpiper, redshanks, greenshanks and plovers use this wetland as a stopover on their journey to the South Coast. Apart from birds, numerous species of butterflies and dragonflies can also be seen here, as well as some small mammals, such as he endemic purple-faced leaf monkey.

An urban oasis, the wetlands are bordered by motorable roads and are easily accessible.

Dehiwala Zoo

Spread over 11 ha, Dehiwala Zoo is a popular attraction with locals. The animals housed here include elephants, jaguars, leopards, sloth bears, porcupines and monkeys. In addition, a rich diversity of birdlife can be seen in the attractive walk-in aviary. There is also a butterfly house brimming with 30 species. The afternoon display of elephant acrobatics is popular among locals, although many visitors will find this uncomfortable to watch. Spread over 11 ha, Dehiwala Zoo is a popular attraction with locals. The animals housed here include elephants, jaguars, leopards, sloth bears, porcupines and monkeys. In addition, a rich diversity of birdlife can be seen in the attractive walk-in aviary. There is also a butterfly house brimming with 30 species. The afternoon display of elephant acrobatics is popular among locals, although many visitors will find this uncomfortable to watch.

Owning to the damage it suffered during the Civil War, the zoo has been undergoing extensive renovation. Although the enclosures for the big cats and bears are somewhat crammed, the zoo is better than a number of its Asian counterparts. more