The essence of the National Museum of Colombo
The national museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum, is the largest museum in Sri Lanka and a wonderful place to get an introduction to the country’s history and cultural heritage. Commissioned by British Governor Sir William Henry Gregory, the impressive Museum, located in the central district of Colombo 7, opened in 1877 and over the years new wings have been added and the adjacent Natural History Museum established.
A magnificent 8th century stone Buddha greets visitors as your enter the Museum and are taken on a journey from evidence of early man’s presence on the island approximately 25 000 years ago to tracing of the arrival of Buddhism to the island and its establishment as the world’s oldest Buddhist land. Successive Hindu rulers left a fine legacy of bronze images and some of the finest are on display. One gallery looks at the Kingdoms of Kandy with King Wimaladharma’s impressive royal throne built in 1693, complimented by the Crown Jewels of the last king of Kandy that were returned by The British Museum. Other galleries highlight the Dutch and British periods, a collection of masks and a 4000-palm leaf manuscript collection.
&BEYOND can arrange a tour of the Museum lasting between one to two hours where the guides bring the collections alive and highlight Sri Lanka’s artistic achievements and heritage. This is an ideal introduction to a tour of the island’s varied cultural sites.
The Museum is closed on Fridays and Public Holidays.