News1st explores the hidden treasures of Colombo

News1st explores the hidden treasures of Colombo

By Staff Writer

06 Feb, 2014 | 6:41 am

A kaleidoscope of colour and cacophony of sound influenced by its colonial masters, the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the British –  while many of us are familiar with the city in that we are aware of the routes to and from work, the city possesses many hidden treasures.

On the premier of our ten-part series, Newsfirst Explorers, we take you deep into the heart of our biggest city.

Our team commenced the initial stages of their expedition at its headquarters in Colombo.

Phase one of the exploration was locating the historical sites of the Portuguese and the Dutch through maps used during that era. While scanning through the history of Colombo, we came across incredible facts about how the city got it’s unique name.

Many historians have noted that this mango tree existed down Commissioner’s Street for generations.

Rumours also persist that the name Colombo was derived from the word Kolongthota, which was the river mouth of the Kolong River, a tributary of the larger Kelani River.

Newsfirst’s explorers next focussed their attention on the records of the first European colonists, the Portuguese, who were mesmerised by the beauty of the island they dubbed Seilavo.

In 1505, a fleet of Potuguese Caravels, which were exploring the Indian ocean, near the Maldives, made port on the idyllic Southern Coast of Sri Lanka.

This was the Galle harbour which was then surrounded by lush forest. However, realising the fact that their goals could not be achieved from this part of the island, the Portuguese boarded their caravels once again and went in search of Colombo.