Little Rome of Sri Lanka – Top 5 Travel Destinations of Gampaha

Why visit Gampaha in Sri Lanka? Here are some Top 5 Travel Destinations of Gampaha; it is one place that allows you to witness the vibrant culture, religion, and races. This city occupies the country’s main international airport and is also a leading university.

It is a little Rome! Isn’t that interesting? Negombo is the city in Gampaha that occupies many old Roman Catholic churches. Therefore, this place is compared with the beauty of Rome.

Till 1815, this place was covered with dense forest. Going by history, the fifth governor of Ceylon, Sir Edward Barnes, made his visit to Gampaha in the year 1825, and this further gave recognition to the town. Slowly the town started growing, and now in Sri Lanka, it is considered to be a major tourist spot. In Henarathgoda botanical garden, the first rubber tree in Sri Lanka was planted, which enhanced the town’s popularity.

It is 28km from Colombo and is located close to Negombo. If you plan to drive to this town from Colombo, it may take around an hour to reach this place. On your journey, you will surely enjoy the pleasant climate.

Tuk Tuk is a three-wheeler vehicle used to travel around the city. You can also travel by bus, so you should inquire about the timings well in advance.

Gampaha is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, which has a second-level administrative division of the country. The top 5 travel destinations of Gampaha are:

1) Henarathgoda Botanical Gardens

Henarathgoda Botanical Gardens

Henarathgoda Botanical Gardens is one of the important 5 botanical gardens of Sri Lanka. This botanical garden is 5 km away from the Gampaha. The garden comprises around 43 acres of land and is considered to be the most beautiful garden in the Gampaha district. Towards the South West of the garden, you can find Ruhunu National park and Wilpattu national park, which are also worth visiting.

In Henarathgoda Botanical Gardens, which is around 128 years old, you can find a diverse population of Flora and Fauna that solely belongs to Sri Lanka.

The first Brazilian rubber tree planted in Asia was in this garden. The seedlings of this tree were brought here in 1876 AD. Planting this tree boosted the rubber industry of Southeast Asia. Colourful flowers in this garden can give a soothing experience to your eyes. You can also view satinwood, ebony, ironwood, and mahogany in this garden.

You can also find a few imported trees in different varieties in this garden. You can also find around 80 different types of birds in this botanical garden. Visiting this garden during monsoon can allow you to get a pleasant view.

2) University of Kelaniya

University of Kelaniya

Gampaha town is also the home of the University of Kelaniya. This university mainly contributed to the national development of the country. It brought many new things to the higher education category.

Originally, this university was founded in 1875 and was a learning center for Buddhist monks. The name, University of Kelaniya, was acquired in the year 1978.

Sinhala was the first university that taught the Science subject. Art was also brought into the university in three categories: Humanities, Social Science, and Management and Commerce.

Departments of Industrial Management, Departments of Microbiology, Departments of Linguistics, Departments of Fine Arts, Departments of Modern Languages, etc., are a few departments that are part of the structure of the university. This university is considered the national center of excellence in Pali and Buddhist studies.

This university has a strong foundation in different languages: English, German, French, Hindi, Japanese, Tamil, Russian, etc.

3) Negombo Lagoon

Negombo Lagoon

The Negombo lagoon is mainly known for its grassland and coconut plantations. Here you can also find fantastic rice paddies. In the Westcoast of Sri Lanka, it is said to be the largest lagoon. The land around the lagoon is mainly used for agriculture and fishing purpose. This lagoon, near Negombo city, also includes small rivers and canals.

There are several birds around the lagoon that you can view, like cormorants, herons, gulls, terns, egrets, etc. The fisherman uses traditional canoes to get the best shrimp, crabs, shelled fish, etc., from the lagoon. Oruvas and Paruvas are the boats the fisherman uses in the Negombo lagoon.

4) Negombo


In Sri Lanka, Negombo is considered to be a popular tourist spot. Here you can view some amazing colonial buildings. This town is little Rome of Sri Lanka. Here you can view some Roman Catholic churches of the Portuguese era.

The golden beaches of the town are worth visiting. In this town, you can enjoy the day and the nightlife. From the international airport, you can easily get access to this place. It is around 40 km away from Colombo. You will enjoy amazing and affordable seafood in this town. The old fishing industry of this town still plays an important role in bringing income for inhabitants.

The Negombo lagoon richly supplies shrimps and crabs. You can hire a bicycle from your hotel to ride around the canal sides. You can also enjoy a boat ride to view the beauty of the town. You should visit the largest fish market in the country, the Llelama.

5) Negombo Beaches

Negombo Beaches

You can find some best beaches in the Western coastal area of Negombo. The beaches and fishing industry has made this place popular among visitors. You can accommodate yourself in a five-star hotel or in humble abodes. Golden beaches of the sea can offer you a calm and soothing atmosphere.

Travelers who want to do some adventure can definitely travel to this place. Even if you want to vacation with family members or friends, this beach is considered the best place in Sri Lanka.

Locals around the beach area sell batiks and handicrafts. Coral reefs can also be viewed around the beach coastlines. Divers will love to travel to this beach.

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