Gampaha, Sri Lanka

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Gampaha, Sri Lanka

Region: Gampaha


Geographic Coordinates: 7.091700, 79.999700
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Gampaha, Sri Lanka?
Population: 62797
Language: Sinhala

Gampaha is a vibrant city located in the Gampaha District of Sri Lanka. Situated just 22 kilometers away from the bustling capital city of Colombo, It serves as an important economic and transportation hub in the country. Gampaha is known for its rich history, Cultural heritage, And natural beauty. One of the highlights of Gampaha is its historical significance. The city boasts several ancient temples that date back to centuries ago.

The renowned Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temple stands as a testament to Sri Lanka’s Buddhist heritage and attracts both locals and tourists alike with its stunning architecture and serene surroundings. Nature enthusiasts will find themselves captivated by the lush greenery that surrounds Gampaha. The city is blessed with beautiful landscapes, Including picturesque paddy fields, Coconut plantations, And tranquil lakes. A visit to Kandalama Lake or Yakkala Lake offers a chance to immerse oneself in nature’s tranquility while enjoying boat rides or simply relaxing by the water’s edge.

For those interested in local culture, Gampaha hosts several colorful festivals throughout the year. The annual Gangaramaya Navam Perahera is a grand pageant featuring traditional dancers, Drummers, And beautifully adorned elephants parading through the streets. This festival showcases Sri Lankan traditions at their finest. Gampaha also offers excellent shopping opportunities for visitors seeking unique souvenirs or locally made handicrafts. The bustling markets are filled with vendors selling everything from spices to textiles to hand-carved wooden artifacts – perfect mementos of your time spent exploring this vibrant city.

Food lovers will be delighted by Gampaha’s culinary scene which offers a range of delectable dishes influenced by both local flavors and international cuisine. From mouth-watering street food stalls serving hot hoppers (a type of pancake) to cozy restaurants offering authentic Sri Lankan curries bursting with aromatic spices – there is something to satisfy every palate. When it comes to accommodation, Gampaha offers a variety of options ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury hotels. Visitors can choose to stay in the heart of the city or opt for more secluded resorts nestled amidst nature’s beauty.

Gampaha is a city that seamlessly blends history, Culture, And natural beauty. Whether you are seeking spiritual enlightenment at ancient temples, Immersing yourself in Sri Lankan traditions during vibrant festivals, Or simply enjoying the serene landscapes and delicious cuisine – Gampaha has something for everyone.



Important Landmarks

  1. Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara: A Buddhist temple believed to have been visited by Lord Buddha, with beautiful murals and significant religious importance.
  2. Henarathgoda Botanical Garden: A scenic garden with a wide variety of plants and trees, including a giant Banyan tree that is over 100 years old.
  3. Sapugaskanda Royal Temple: A historical temple known for its intricate architecture and ancient relics.
  4. Gampaha Botanical Garden: Another botanical garden with diverse flora and fauna, featuring an orchid house and a spice garden.
  5. Negombo Lagoon: Located near Gampaha, this lagoon offers boat rides where visitors can spot various bird species like herons, kingfishers, and cormorants.
  6. Hamilton Canal: An ancient canal built during the Dutch colonial era that stretches from Colombo to Negombo, offering scenic boat rides or cycling tours along its banks.
  7. Attanagalla Raja Maha Vihara: A Buddhist temple known for its large reclining Buddha statue carved out of rock.
  8. Kirindiwela Central Fish Market: A bustling market where visitors can witness the vibrant local fishing industry and purchase fresh seafood.
  9. Oruthota Chaitya (Kosgala): An ancient stupa dating back to the Anuradhapura period located in Kosgala village near Gampaha town.
  10. Mirisawetiya Stupa (Peliyagoda): Another historical stupa believed to have been built by King Dutugemunu during his reign in Sri Lanka.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Gampaha has a significant agricultural sector, with the cultivation of rice, vegetables, fruits, coconut, rubber, and spices being prominent. The district is known for its paddy fields and vegetable farms.
  2. Manufacturing: Gampaha has a thriving manufacturing sector that includes various industries such as textiles and apparel manufacturing, food processing (including tea processing), rubber-based product manufacturing, construction materials production (such as bricks and tiles), and furniture manufacturing.
  3. Retail: The district is home to numerous retail businesses ranging from small local shops to large supermarkets and shopping complexes. These establishments cater to the needs of both residents and tourists.
  4. Construction: Gampaha experiences rapid urbanization due to its proximity to Colombo city. Therefore, there is a high demand for construction-related services such as building contractors, architects, engineers, suppliers of construction materials (cement steel), etc.
  5. Education: Gampaha has several educational institutions including schools (both government-funded and private), universities/colleges offering higher education programs in various disciplines like engineering or business management.
  6. Healthcare: The healthcare industry in Gampaha includes hospitals (government-run as well as private) clinics/dispensaries providing medical services to the local population.
  7. Tourism & Hospitality: Due to its scenic beauty with lush greenery and historical sites like temples or archaeological sites within close proximity; tourism plays an important role in the economy of Gampaha district.
  8. Transportation & Logistics: Being well-connected by roadways/railways with other parts of Sri Lanka makes it an ideal location for transportation companies/trucking firms/warehousing facilities catering to logistics requirements.
  9. Technology & IT Services: With advancements in technology adoption across sectors; IT services, software development, and technology-related businesses have emerged as a growing industry in Gampaha.

These are just some of the major industries and businesses in Gampaha, Sri Lanka. The district offers a diverse range of economic activities contributing to its overall growth and development.


Noteable History

  1. Historical Events:
    • British Colonial Period: Gampaha was under British rule from 1815 to 1948, during which significant infrastructure development took place.
    • Independence Movement: Gampaha played an essential role in the struggle for independence from British colonial rule. Many nationalist leaders and activists emerged from this region.
    • World War II: During World War II, Gampaha witnessed various impacts such as rationing, recruitment of soldiers, and changes in the local economy.
  2. Notable People:
    • Philip Gunawardena: A prominent politician who played a crucial role in the Sri Lankan independence movement. He was born in Udugampola, Gampaha District.
    • Dr. P.R. Anthonis: A renowned physician and philanthropist who established one of Sri Lanka’s leading hospitals – Anthonisen’s Private Hospital – located in Nittambuwa.
    • Dr. C.W.W Kannangara: A key figure behind introducing free education to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). He hailed from Dedigama village in Gampaha District.
    • M.S.H Mohamed: The first Muslim Minister of Education and Member of Parliament for Ja-Ela constituency.

These are just a few examples of notable historical events and people associated with Gampaha District; there are many more individuals who have contributed significantly to its history and development over time.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Colombo Museum: Located in the nearby city of Colombo, this museum showcases Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage with exhibits on archaeology, anthropology, and art.
  2. Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara: A renowned Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, Gampaha district. It is believed to have been visited by Lord Buddha and houses beautiful murals and ancient relics.
  3. Sapugaskanda Royal Temple: Another significant Buddhist temple known for its intricate wood carvings and serene surroundings.
  4. Guruge Nature Park: A nature reserve located in Gampaha district where visitors can explore lush greenery, walk along scenic trails, and observe various species of birds and animals.
  5. Kotte Raja Maha Vihara: Situated in Kotte, a suburb of Colombo near Gampaha, this historic temple features stunning architecture and religious significance.
  6. Negombo Beach: Although not technically in Gampaha district but nearby Negombo is famous for its beautiful beaches where visitors can relax or engage in water sports activities.
  7. Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery – Pethiyagoda Branch: A peaceful monastery that offers meditation retreats amidst tranquil surroundings for those seeking spiritual solace.
  8. Thewatte Basilica Church: Located in Ragama town within the Gampaha district, this Catholic church is known for its architectural beauty and religious significance.
  9. Horagolla National Park: Situated near Biyagama town within the Gampaha district, this national park provides opportunities for hiking amidst natural landscapes while spotting wildlife such as monkeys and birds.
  10. Hamilton Canal: This historic canal stretches across several cities including Wattala within the Gampaha district; it offers scenic boat rides or walks along its banks showcasing Sri Lanka’s colonial-era infrastructure.

These are just a few highlights among many attractions available to explore in the wider Gampaha district and its surrounding areas.



Sports Teams

  1. Gampaha Cricket Club: Founded in 1882, it is one of the oldest cricket clubs in Sri Lanka. The club has participated in various local cricket tournaments and has produced talented cricketers over the years.
  2. Gampaha United Football Club: Established to promote football in the Gampaha district, they have participated in regional football tournaments and leagues.
  3. Gampaha District Athletics Association: This association focuses on promoting athletics within the district by organizing various athletic events and training programs for athletes of all ages.
  4. Kelani Valley Tennis Club: Located near Gampaha, this tennis club offers facilities for tennis enthusiasts to practice and compete locally.
  5. Yakkala Volleyball Club: Yakkala is a town located within the Gampaha district, known for its volleyball team that participates in regional tournaments.

These are just a few examples of sports teams with some history within or near Gampaha, Sri Lanka. There may be other local clubs or teams depending on specific sports interests within the community as well.



Cultural Events

  1. Gampaha Nawam Perahera: This is a grand procession held annually in February to celebrate the full moon day of Nawam. It features beautifully adorned elephants, traditional dancers, drummers, and fire performers.
  2. Gampaha Pura Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya Festival: Held at the Kataragama Devalaya in Gampaha, this festival celebrates the Hindu god Skanda/Kataragama with elaborate rituals, processions, and cultural performances.
  3. Vesak Lantern Festival: Celebrated during Vesak Poya (full moon) in May, this festival involves lighting colorful lanterns and decorating streets and homes with Buddhist-themed displays to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha.
  4. Sinhala New Year Festival: Celebrated in April during the Sinhala New Year (Aluth Avurudu), this festival marks the beginning of the traditional agricultural season. It includes various customs such as lighting an oil lamp for prosperity and preparing special meals.
  5. Navarathri Festival at Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara: The Kelaniya Temple hosts a vibrant Navarathri festival dedicated to goddess Bhadrakali each year around September or October. Devotees flock to witness ritualistic dances known as Kolam performed by skilled artists.
  6. Ranmuthu Duwa Cultural Pageant: This event showcases Sri Lankan culture through traditional dance performances including Kandyan dances, low-country dances (Pahatharata Natum), Sabaragamuwa dances, and more.
  7. Gampaha District Agricultural Exhibition: Organized annually by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with other government institutions, this exhibition promotes agricultural practices by showcasing modern technologies and providing farmers with access to new equipment and knowledge.
  8. National Day Celebrations: On February 4th, Sri Lanka celebrates its independence from British rule. The National Day is marked by various events and cultural performances throughout the country, including Gampaha.

These are just a few examples of the cultural events and festivals that take place in Gampaha, Sri Lanka. There may be additional local or religious festivals celebrated within specific communities or temples in the region as well.


Cuisine

  1. Ambepussa Rest House: Known for its delicious rice and curry dishes, this restaurant is famous for its authentic Sri Lankan flavors.
  2. New Castle Restaurant: This restaurant is renowned for its seafood dishes, particularly prawn curry and crab curry.
  3. Hotel Raja Bojun: Offering a wide range of traditional Sri Lankan dishes in buffet style, this restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
  4. The Sandwich Factory: A popular spot for quick bites, this eatery serves an array of sandwiches with various fillings to satisfy your taste buds.
  5. The Grill Hut: As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in grilled meats such as chicken, beef, and pork served with delicious sauces.
  6. Cafe Amazonia: If you’re looking for international cuisine options along with Sri Lankan favorites like kottu roti or hoppers, this cafe is worth a visit.
  7. Kandoori Restaurant & Bar: This Indian-inspired restaurant offers mouthwatering tandoori dishes like chicken tikka alongside other Indian delicacies.
  8. Wijaya Beach Restaurant: Located near the Negombo beach area in Gampaha district, this seafood-centric restaurant serves fresh catches from the ocean cooked to perfection.
  9. Curry Pot Restaurant & Bar: A cozy eatery known for its flavorful curries made from locally sourced ingredients combined with aromatic spices.
  10. Vila Food City – Gampaha Branch: This food court-style establishment offers various cuisines ranging from Chinese to Sri Lankan street food stalls serving local favorites like koththu roti and string hoppers.

These are just a few examples of the diverse culinary scene in Gampaha where you can find both traditional Sri Lankan cuisine as well as international flavors to suit your taste preferences.


Parks and Recreation

  1. Viharamahadevi Park: Located in the heart of Gampaha town, this park is known for its beautiful landscaping, walking paths, children’s play area, and a large pond with paddle boats.
  2. Kirindiwela Central Park: Situated in Kirindiwela town, this park features lush greenery, a jogging track, picnic spots, and a small lake where visitors can enjoy boating.
  3. Kanduboda Recreation Park: This spacious park is located in Yakkala and offers facilities for cricket, football, tennis courts as well as a playground for children.
  4. Kadawatha Public Playground: Ideal for families with kids, this playground in Kadawatha has various play equipment such as swings and slides to keep children entertained.
  5. Maligathenna Mini Zoo: Located near Gampaha town on the Colombo-Kandy road (A1), this mini zoo houses various animals including deer monkeys birds and reptiles.
  6. Thewatta Conservation Center: Situated in Thewatta village near Gampaha town, this center offers nature trails through wetlands where visitors can observe diverse bird species.
  7. Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya Temple Grounds: Besides being an ancient Buddhist temple complex with historical significance, the temple grounds also offer serene surroundings perfect for relaxation or meditation.
  8. Bollegala Wetland Sanctuary: Located near Bollegala village, this sanctuary is home to several bird species, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching or nature walks along the boardwalks through the marshland.

These are just some of the public parks and recreational activities available in Gampaha, Sri Lanka. There are many more attractions that cater to different interests within close proximity to the city.


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