The beautiful island of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean is a wild, but modernly developed area. In the capital city of Colombo, photographers will experience the best of both worlds: amazing natural surroundings and a vibrant city culture to make their photographs come to life.
7 Top Photo Spots in Colombo
Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam
The oldest Hindu temple in Colombo, the Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam is an important historic landmark and a top photo site in the city. Built in traditional Indian style, the ornate decorations will contribute to the cultural significance of your photographs and capture one of Colombo’s most scenic locations.
Some of the best places to photograph at the temple include the intricate main door carved in the resemblance of a lotus flower, and the numerous shrines to important Hindu deities like Brahma, Kali, and Ganesh. Thousands of devoted Hindus come to the Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam temple to pray, and many more people visit for the art and cultural experience.
A smaller, but unique attraction of Colombo is the charming lighthouse of the city. At 12 meters in height, the lighthouse isn’t large or extravagant, but provides a perfect site for photographs who want an image a bit off the mainstream tourist path.
Constructed in 1952, the Lighthouse is still in use and operated by the Sri Lanka Port Authority. Images including the pretty white building next to the green, swaying palm trees and tropical turquoise waters is a great way to photograph the special energy and charm of Colombo.
Locals in Sri Lanka call Sigiriya the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” and for good reason. This spectacular rock formation is a must-visit site for any photographer in Colombo and is truly a unique characteristic of the island. The high rock plateau reaches 200 meters above the jungle surrounding it, and was formed from a now dormant volcano. In addition to this fantastic natural rock formation, Sigiriya is also a site of ancient ruins. The remains of what was once a Buddhist monastery and a royal palace can still be visited today and is certainly one of the top photo sites of the island. Capture images of the preserved frescoes painted on the cliff walls and the majestic remains of the former glory of Sigiriya; these will give your photo shoot a significance unique to Sri Lanka.
Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple
The heart of Buddhist worship in Sri Lanka, the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple is an outstanding work of art and architecture, and a must-include site for photographers in Colombo. Based on Colombo’s diversity in culture, the building design has a combination of Thai, Chinese, and Indian architecture that create a distinct structure perfect to use in your photo shoot.
To learn more about the temple and Buddhist tradition, you can visit the library and museum that are also included on the premise. The Gangaramaya Temple is known for its great views over the city, and just by walking around the temple area on foot you’ll gain a better appreciation for this historic site as well as beautiful vista shots for your photo shoot in Colombo.
Dehiwala Zoological Garden
Famous for the exotic collection of animals and the beautifully manicured gardens and green spaces, the Dehiwala Zoologcial Garden is one of the oldest zoos in Asia. There are over 2500 individual animals at the zoo, originating from all over the world, but with particular emphasis on some of the tropical species found in Sri Lanka.
A beautiful place to capture photographs of the city, you’ll enjoy walking through the scenic gardens and seeing the brightly colored birds. The Dehiwala Zoo is also known for its conservation and environmental efforts, which can make your pictures here a bit more meaningful.
A beautiful green space in the heart of Colombo, Viharamahadevi Park also has historic significance for the city. It was originally built when European colonizers still occupied the island and was first known by the name Victoria Park. In an effort to return to more traditional names, this title was changed to Viharamahadevi. With pleasant walking and bike paths, the park offers great photo opportunities at any time of year.
However, to catch the trees in bloom, the springtime is the best time of year to visit when these colorful blossoms add a splash of brightness to your pictures. Many of these trees are native to Sri Lanka and have been preserved in the park to help maintain the natural wildlife of the island.
Galle Face Green
Originally constructed in 1859 by Sir Henry Ward, the then Governor of British Ceylon, the half kilometer stretch of Galle Face Green is right in the downtown area of Colombo along the ocean. This space was first designed as a horse racing track, but now it has become a popular place for tourists and locals alike to enjoy the warm sun and golden beach, as well as an excellent spot for photographs of Colombo.
The development of the region mean that high-end hotels and excellent restaurants are never far away, and the modern buildings can also make a nice combination of scenery for your photographs. For a cultural touch to your pictures, you can visit Colombo during kite season when the whole beach will be lined with colorfully colored kites flying above the crashing ocean waves.