That was more than a paradise to Portuguese who found the wild cinnamon that grow in the area is the very best in the world and lagoon’s shallow water provided safe shelter for their sea vessels. Without having a proper idea of where they have been landed to, they went for a walk to observe and feel the environment. When suddenly they entered to a small ‘kadamandiya’ dogs began to bark at those giant white strangers with golden beards. Ignoring the barking dogs one of them asked from villagers ‘what is this place?’. But none of the villagers could understand what did they asked since it was only their own language they have ever heard of. Imagining the meaning of white man’s words a villager answered ‘nikan buranne’, in English ‘just barking’ thinking they wanted to know the reason of dogs’ shouting. White man thought the town’s name is ‘Nikanbu’ Driving from capital to the north of the island, the most populated part of the western province, famed for finest sandy beach, is currently known as ‘Negombo’. The story says one of King Kavantissa’s squad, who had been sent to find out bee honey for his queen Viharamadevi, who was pregnant for prince Dutugamunu, was able to discover a bee hive on a canoe from a sea side village where had been named as “Mee-gomuwa” and currently known as “Migamuwa”. Sitting on the beautiful stretch of unspoiled coastline, looking at the horizon which you can never meet, enjoying the incredible view created with a line of uncountable canoes on the sea, this is probably a great place that you could go on a holiday.
The city possesses both Portuguese and Dutch architecture which says a lot about its pride history. Numerous Roman catholic churches witness to the city’s Portuguese colonial past while some Dutch houses stand still proudly along on beach side avenues which are currently being used for commercial purposes.
The current prison tells more than other places about the colonial past of the city. This was built by Portuguese to protect the Cinnamon cultivation. After it was captured from Portuguese in 1644, it turned in to the Dutch Fort in 1672. 118 years later, the British took over the Fort and re-constructed it as the prison. Negombo fish market is one of the largest in the country. The city calls it “lellama” and you should be there at its most active time, early morning to see how and what the fishermen bring in their catch from both deep sea and lagoon. There would be a huge collection of various types of fish that you would not have idea which to grab; crabs, shrimps, lobsters, shark, tuna, prawns, squid and many more.
Visiting lellama would give visitors a chance to meet fishermen and organize fishing trips into ocean and the lagoon. This absurd mixture of land and water exist not only water but a beautiful lagoon which creates a picturesque view in the city. Negombo lagoon is surrounded by a wide expanse of mangrove swamps and a wide veracity of water birds such as cormorauh, herons, gulls and many more. It’s not only the lagoon but the Dutch canal adds beauty to city’s landscape. Sri lanka’s one of longest canal Hamilton Canal/Dutch canal flows through Negombo. This 100km water way runs from Puttalam lagoon to Modara which was built by Dutch to use for transporting goods from Colombo to Puttalam. Travelling on both lagoon and canal would give you a chance to discover the city in a more attractive way.
Negombo beach is one of best and finest sand in Sri Lanka which attracts tourists and locals to its beauty day by day. There is no argument that it will serve you a wonderful holiday with unforgettable memories in a romantic environment. Poruthota Road, which is well-known as beach road holds so many tourist hotels with beautiful architecture which perfectly merge with their sunny environment; Browns Beach, The Beach, Jetwing Blue, Silva’s, Goldi Sands, Catamaran and many more. Sometimes it’s rough and wavy. Sometimes it’s smooth and calm.
Sometimes it makes you fear of it. Sometimes you will love it. Wherever it is, it is the same Indian Ocean all around the island. But this is Negombo will make you feel a difference with its identical brown beach, line of canoes, colonial architecture and history and of course, you should not forget to taste its very special ‘isso wade’ (Prawns wade) which would definitely make you mouth showering.