30 Facts About Colombo


Colombo is the executive and judicial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka by population.

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Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life, colonial buildings and monuments.

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In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.

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Unlike the Portuguese and Dutch before them, whose primary use of Colombo was as a military fort, the British began constructing houses and other civilian structures around the fort, giving rise to the current City of Colombo.

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Historically, Colombo referred to the area around the Fort and Pettah Market which is known for the variety of products available as well as the Khan Clock Tower, a local landmark.

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The lake is one of the most distinctive landmarks of Colombo and was used for centuries by colonists to defend the city.

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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 which means river delta.

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The population of Colombo is a mix of numerous ethnic groups, mainly Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils and Sri Lankan Moor.

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Colombo is the most populous city in Sri Lanka, with 642,163 people living within the city limits.

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Colombo was the capital of the coastal areas controlled by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British from the 1700s to 1815 when the British gained control of the entire island following the Kandyan convention.

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Colombo is divided into 15 numbered areas for the purposes of postal services.

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Great majority of Sri Lankan corporations have their head offices in Colombo including Aitken Spence, Ceylinco Corporation, Stassen group of companies, John Keells Holdings, Cargills, Hemas Holdings and Akbar Brothers.

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Colombo Harbour is the largest and one of the busiest ports in Sri Lanka.

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Colombo was established primarily as a port city during the colonial era, with an artificial harbour that has been expanded over the years.

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Colombo is part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that runs from the Chinese coast to the Upper Adriatic region with its rail connections to Central and Eastern Europe.

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Colombo has an extensive public transport system based on buses operated both by private operators and the government-owned Sri Lanka Transport Board.

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Post-war development in the Colombo area involves the construction of numerous expressway grade arterial road routes.

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Cannons that were once mounted on the rampart of the old fort of Colombo were laid out for observance and prestige at the Green, giving a colonial touch to the city.

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Colombo has many of the prominent public schools in the country, some of them government-owned and others private.

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Colombo has many International Schools that have come up in recent years.

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The first step in the creation of a university in Colombo was taken in 1913 with the establishment of the University College Colombo which prepared students for the external examinations of the University of London.

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Colombo has widely varying architecture that spans centuries and depicts many styles.

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Colombo is generally very busy on the eve of the festivals as people do their last-minute shopping.

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Several old clubs of the city give a glimpse of the British equestrian lifestyle; these include the Colombo Club, Orient Club, the 80 Club, and the Colombo Cricket Club.

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Colombo has several performing arts centres, which are popular for their musical and theatrical performances, including the Lionel Wendt Theatre, the Elphinstone, and Tower Hall, all of which were made for western-style productions.

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Colombo is the home for two of the country's most popular international cricket stadiums, Singhalese Sports Club's Cricket Stadium and R Premadasa Stadium.

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Colombo has the distinction of being the only city in the world to have four cricket test venues in the past: Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium, Singhalese Sports Club Cricket Ground, Colombo Cricket Club Ground and Ranasinghe Premadasa Stadium.

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Colombo has its local football team Colombo FC and the sport is being developed as a part of the FIFA Goal program.

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Colombo Marathon is an internationally recognised marathon established in 1998.

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Some prominent radio stations broadcasting in the Colombo area are Sirasa FM, FM Derana, Hiru FM, Shakthi FM, Vettri FM, Sooriyan FM, Kiss FM, Lite FM, Yes FM, Gold FM, Sith FM, Y FM and many more.

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