Kelaniya Tourist Places to Visit in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, Asia
Kelaniya is a suburb of Colombo City in Western Province of Sri Lanka placed between latitude 06°57′24″ in the north and longitude 79°55′14″ in the east. Kelaniya is famous for its Kelaniya Temple located on the banks of Kelani River and houses the University of Kelaniya.
History of Kelaniya:
Kelaniya was earlier known as Kalyani. According to Buddhist Mythology, Gautama Buddha visited Kelaniya during 5th century BC and to mark the event, Kelaniya Temple was constructed. Kelaniya also served as the capital of a regional King Kelani Tissa’s kingdom. An ancient sculpture of Kelaniya Temple is still good in condition and looks really amazing.
How to reach Kelaniya?
A1 Colombo- Kandy highway passes through Kelaniya connects it with Colombo and Kandy cities. One can board buses from Kelaniya Bus Stand located few kilometers away from the railway station.
The Kelaniya Railway Station is placed in the vicinity of Colombo Kandy Road, 5 kms away from Kelaniya Centre and the trains to Kandy and Galle city are accessible from here.
Ratmalana Airport is the nearest domestic airport and Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo is the closest international airport to Kelaniya placed 24 kms and 29 kms away from the Kelaniya respectively.
Food, Culture and Shopping in Kelaniya:
Kelaniya houses the population of higher majority of Buddhists citizens. The natives speak Sinhalese along with Tamil and these two are the national languages of Sri Lanka. Duruthu Maha Perahera is the very famous religious festival celebrated on November or December annually. Also the locals celebrate Tamil Thai Pongal Day, National Day, Maha Sivarathri Day and Sinhala and Tamil New Year Day with great enthusiasm and splendor.
The people of Kelaniya like both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. The popular eateries of Kelaniya natives include Aappa, kiribath, Lamprais, Koola’ya, Pittu, Roti, Wattalapan and Undu Walalu. Also Kelaniya houses numerous hotels with traditional Sri Lankan, Indian and Chinese cuisine.
Kelaniya houses jewelry, handicraft, medicine, clothes, shoes and gadgets shops. One can find the shops of Colombo City located 11 km away for better purchase.
Places to see in Kelaniya:
Kelaniya Temple also called as Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is a famous Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, known for Lord Buddha wall paintings and the beautiful sculptures. It is believed that, this temple was built to mark the visit of Gautama Buddha to Kelaniya.
The National Museum of Colombo:
The National Museum of Colombo is located in Colombo City, about 11 kms from Kelaniya was built in 1877 and has great information about the history of Sri Lanka. The museum is open from morning 9 to evening 5.
Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque is a holy place of Muslims and the famous tourist destination in Colombo located in second Cross Street in Pettah.
Other tourist attractions near Kelaniya include:
- The Natural History Museum
- Town Hall
- The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
- The World Trade Centre towers
- Royal College Colombo
- The Murugan Hindu temple
- The Nelum Pokuna Theatre
- The Dutch Period Museum
Best time to visit Kelaniya:
The months of November, December and January are ideal to visit while the grand cultural events are held in Kelaniya Temple.
Accommodation Options in Kelaniya:
The hotels in Kelaniya and Colombo City are listed below:
- Hotel Clarion
- Pegasus Reef Hotel
- Taj Samudra
- Hilton Colombo Residences
- Hotel Ramada Colombo
- Grand Oriental Hotel
- Cinnamon Grand Hotel
- Galle Face Hotel
- Lake Lodge
- Hotel Ranmuthu
- Hotel Sansu
- Galle Face Hotel
- Garden Guest House
- Palm Village Hotel
- Ceylon Continental
- Hotel Galadari