Negombo, located on the western coast of Sri Lanka, is a town famous among tourists for its beautiful beach resorts. It is the fourth largest city in Sri Lanka, after Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna. Negombo, located approx 35 KM north of Colombo, is very close to the Bandaranaike International airport (7 Km). The city is popular among travelers for its picturesque sandy beaches and vibrant night life. Many international tourists either start or end their tour of Sri Lanka from Negombo.
With its charming beaches surround by palm trees and blue sea, Negombo draws tourist from all over the world. Long-stretched sandy beaches of Negombo are safe for swimming and various water sport activities. Some of the beach stretches here are being maintained by luxury hotels and are much cleaner than the main beaches. There is also a 100 km long canal network in Negmobo that is also used by locals for transport using canoes. The city has a well established tourism infrastructure with some of the best hotels, restaurants, and pubs in the country located here.
In past, Negombo has been ruled by the Portugese, the Dutch, and the British. Travelers can still finds the remnants of the colonial period in Negombo like beautiful canals constructed by the Dutch and the majestic churches built by the Portuguese. One of the most popular tourist attraction among these historical structures is the 17th century Dutch Fort. This town is highly noticeable for its large fishing industry and ceramics and brass ware. Negombo is also popular among visitors for the freshness of its sea food in all over Sri Lanka.
History of Negombo
In the past, Negombo was referred by Sinhalese as ‘Meegamuwa’ – The village of honey” (or bees). Actually it was not honey or bees, Negombo was known for the valuable spice – cinnamon. Soil of Negombo was so fine and sandy that the production of cinnamon in the area was considered the sweetest and best. It was discovered by the Moors (Muslims) who settled on the west coast, but cinnamon soon became the source of conflict between nations for its trade.
About 16th century, Portuguese captured Negombo and took over the cinnamon trade. In the 1640s, Dutch captured both Negombo and cinnamon trade from Portuguese. Because of their encouraged planting of cinnamon in commercial groves, production of Cinnamon increased and during Dutch period, Negombo became a busy commercial port. However, today Negombo is known for its fishing and it is quite possibly the island’s best fishing market.