As I left the museum, barely 500meters away was this park. Around 40°C in March, and I was cursing myself to decide to walk out in this heat. To my surprise, the park was full of lots of school kids, and couples. I can only imagine how big this park was, because I spent 2 hours there, and still didn't see the whole thing. It had an artificial pond, a mini zoo, horses grazing at different corners, swing area for kinds (and me), a hanging bridge, fountains, big banyan trees, restaurant-sized ice-cream and food parlors, and this beautiful Buddha, right at the entrance. While It was humid, and I wasn't prepared for it, I was just mesmerized by the amount of things I could do here. I think I sat at every bench, to sit and drink water, but it was totally worth it. You can also find a war memorial, and a public library inside this park. -- HISTORY --
Situated opposite the Town Hall, the land on which this park was built was donated during the British rule. Back then, it was called Victoria Park, after Queen Victoria. Around 1920s, it was used for cricket between Ceylon and English teams. Later, the park was named after Queen Viharamahadevi, mother of King Dutugamunu(161BC).
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The first hour of my first solo-trip to Sri Lanka.
Having made an extremely hectic plan, of covering about 8 places on-foot, I headed out to visit the first place - The National Museum of Colombo. Wary of interacting with new people in a new country, I was keeping to myself. I walked through the gates to see this magnificent white structure. There was this long queue of 7-year old school kids, pumped to visit this museum. And boy, was that enthusiasm contagious. And I suddenly had multiple kids to share my curiosity and enthusiasm levels with. That's all it took to adjust.
Built by the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1877, the National museum of Colombo was established to represent the history and heritage of Sri Lanka. It holds crown jewels and the throne of the last king of Kandy, historic buddhist statues, skeletons of elephants, old tools, and funnily a lot of lighters in display. It also exhibits extinct flora and fauna, about 5000 specimens of mammals, fossils, rocks, and much much more.
It was a very interesting first hour, spent understanding the history and culture of Sri Lanka.