Dutch cannel – Hamilton cannel
Continuing in a straight line at most of the times, the Hamilton Canal flows across a stretch of 15km from Negombo to Colombo. The canal was named after Garvin Hamilton and also called as the Dutch Canal. A boat ride in Hamilton Canal is far different from an extravagant journey; but it’s definitely an opportunity to experience the real life of coastal folks living in Sri Lanka. This entails the sightseeing of houses, churches, and day to day life of the dwellers. When you ride across the Muthurajawela marshy land as slowly, the eye-catching biodiversity of the mangrove ecosystems can be observed, including wetland animals, spectacular birds and plants endemic to the area. Closer to the entrance of the canal, there stands a suspension bridge with castle tower-like structures beside. Travelers can buy fish from the fish market at the edge of the canal; morning is the peak time of the day to buy fish.
St. Mary’s Church
Being named as the ‘Little Rome’ in Sri Lanka, the city of Negombo is home for a great crowd of Roman Catholics. The St. Mary’s Church in Negombo is a prominent church in the area emerged during the era that Sri Lanka was a colony of the Portuguese. This magnificent church was built in Neoclassicism style and still stands in glory as one of the largest cathedrals in Sri Lanka. The paintings of the church had been done by the hands of a Buddhist artist with an exceptional mastery of arts. St. Mary’s Church is located just 5km westwards from the Negombo town and irrespective of religion, it is greatly visited by tourists, both local and foreign.
Lellama Fish Market
Fishing is a part of life and culture in Negombo’s coastal folks, so Lellama is a must-see place once you travel around Negombo. It is located just 4 km from Negombo bus station, north to the Negombo lagoon. Lellama is a place where you can buy the freshest fish from Sri Lanka for the lowest prices (with some good deal of bargaining). It’s one of the biggest fish supplying trade centre in the country. Fishermen who went fishing in the night come with varieties of fish right into Lellama at dawn. It is beyond a casual sightseeing to see how they make dried fish by putting salt into them. You will be able to observe the complete procedure of a fish market; its noise, its smell, its people, and whatnot. Make sure you visit there in a time near dawn in order to get its full experience.
Within a distance of 6km from the Negombo town, the remnants of the Negombo Dutch Fort stand in grace with their ancient Dutch architecture. The Dutch Fort is located in a narrow stretch of land surrounded by the sea and the lagoon from two sides. It’s a spot that worth a quick visiting on your journey around Negombo. The place is open for all and no tickets will be required. A part of the land of the fort was later occupied by the prison constructed by the British.
The bell tower and the archway are still well preserved today so that visitors can capture some beautiful snaps around them.
Angurukaramulla Ancient Temple
Angurukaramlla Ancient Temple is considered to be an important Buddhist religious place in Negombo. the temple is famous for its 6m tall great statue of Buddha with a dragon mouth constructed as the entrance to the statue. Another significant feature inside the temple are the artworks; painting on the ceiling, sculptures and murals that have been dexterously created.
The epic stupa of the Angurukaramulla Temple enshrines another stupa inside it. Adding more historical value to the temple, there stands a remnant of a library which is old more than hundred years. Once you visit Negombo, make sure to worship this blessful destination.
Bird Sanctuary – Anawilundawa
Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary is truly a paradise for those who love to explore the biodiversity of scenic wetlands. In fact, it is the second internationally important RAMSAR wetland in Sri Lanka. The environment is enriched with medicinal herbs, rare plants, and endemic flora and fauna. Most importantly, 168 species of birds are found in this paradise in which 37 species are recorded as winter migratory birds. This picture-perfect wetland is an ideal destination for wildlife photography. It owns a historical reservoir made during the ancient times, plus three other interconnected tanks that elevate this arena into the best form of wetlands. Travelers can either choose a tour guide or boats of fishermen for an unforgettable excursion at Anawilundawa. Within a 1 hour and 50-minute drive across the coastal lines from Negombo, Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary can be reached easily. The destination will surely make you much closer to nature.