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Hotels of Negombo
A hotel in Negombo is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Negombo hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Negombo are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Negombo hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Negombo hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Negombo have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Negombo
An upscale full service hotel facility in Negombo that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Negombo hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Negombo
Full service Negombo hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Negombo
Boutique hotels of Negombo are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Negombo boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Negombo may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Negombo
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Negombo travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Negombo focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Negombo
Small to medium-sized Negombo hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Negombo traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Negombo hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Negombo
A bed and breakfast in Negombo is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Negombo bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Negombo B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Negombo
Negombo hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Negombo hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Negombo
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Negombo hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Negombo lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Negombo
Negombo timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Negombo often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Negombo on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Negombo
A Negombo motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Negombo for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Negombo motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Negombo (Sinhala: මීගමුව [ˈmiːɡamuʋə]; Tamil: நீர்கொழும்பு [nir koɭumbu]) is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the west coast and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, in Western Province. Negombo is the fourth largest city in Sri Lanka and it is also the administrative capital centre of Negombo Division. Negombo is one of the major commercial hubs in Sri Lanka and it is a very important economic centre in the country with about 144,551 inhabitants within city limits.
It is approximately 35 km (22 mi) north of Colombo. Negombo is known for its centuries old fishing industry, with busy fish markets and long, sandy beaches. Negombo is a westernised, vibrant city and it is one of the major tourist destinations in the country. The main international airport of Sri Lanka is in Negombo Metropolis.
The name "Negombo" was first used by the Portuguese; the Sinhala name Mīgamuva (මීගමුව) means the "Group of Bees". It was named a few centuries before in the ancient kings' era. The army of King Kavantissa found bee honey in a canoe near the seashore, for Viharamahadevi who was pregnant with the prince Dutugamunu. Because of this, the place was named "Mee-Gomuwa".
The wild cinnamon that grew in the region around Negombo was said to be "the very best in the universe as well as the most abundant" and for centuries attracted a succession of foreign traders and colonial powers. The shallow waters of the Negombo Lagoon provided safe shelter for seafaring vessels and became one of the key ports (along with Kalpitiya, Puttalam, Salavata, Kammala, Colombo, Kalutara, Beruwala and Galle) from which the Singhalese kingdoms conducted external trade.
The first Muslim Arabs (the Moors) arrived in Ceylon in the seventh and eighth centuries and eventually dominated the east-west trade routes. Many chose to settle in the coastal areas, and their legacy can be seen today; their descendants the Sri Lankan Moors remain the largest minority group in Negombo.
The Moors' long-held monopoly over the cinnamon trade, and the circuitous and largely overland route by which it was transported to Europe and the Mediterranean, added greatly to its cost. It encouraged a Portuguese takeover in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century.
Landing in the early 1500s, the Portuguese ousted the Moors, constructed a fort in Negombo and took over the trade of cinnamon to the West. During the Portuguese occupation, the Karawa (traditional fishing clan of Negombo) embraced Catholicism almost without exception. So successfully were they converted that today Negombo is sometimes known as 'Little Rome' and nearly two thirds of its population profess a Catholic faith.
Painting by Johannes Vingboons of the Dutch fort in Negombo, c. 1665
The Portuguese restructured the traditional production and management of cinnamon and maintained their control over the trade for more than a century. The decline of their power began in the 1630s when warfare between the Portuguese and the Kingdom of Kandy reached a stalemate. the King of Kandy turned to the Dutch for help. The Dutch captured Negombo from the Portuguese in 1646 and negotiated an armistice with Portugal for ten years. During this period the King of Kandy sought to provoke conflict between the nations by passing through the territories of the one to attack the other. On one occasion he captured the fort of Negombo and sent the head of the Dutch commander Adrian Vander Stell to his countrymen in Galle. Although the Dutch managed to regain control of Negombo from the King by diplomatic means, hostilities continued. In particular, the disruption of the cinnamon trade was a favourite method of the King to harass the Dutch.
The legacy of the Dutch colonial era can be seen in the Negombo fort, constructed in 1672, other Dutch buildings, churches and the extensive canal system that runs 120 km (75 mi) from Colombo in the south, through Negombo to Puttalam in the north.
Throughout the eighteenth century the demand for cinnamon from Ceylon outstripped the supply, and its quality appears to have suffered. Other factors, including the continued hostility from the Kandian government and a rival cinnamon trade from China, led to a 40% decline in the volume of cinnamon exported between 1785 and 1791. Despite attempts to clear land around Negombo and create cinnamon plantations, by the time the British commander Colonel Stuart took over the trade in 1796, it was clear that the industry was in decline. Poor policies put in place by Frederick North the first Governor of British Ceylon exacerbated the problem. By the 1830s commercial interest had moved elsewhere.
Following the British takeover of the Kingdom of Kandy in 1815, Negombo lost its strategic value as an outpost of Colombo. However it continued to develop in commercial influence. The Negombo fishery was at the heart of the seafood trade in Ceylon, and many migrant fisherman arrived annually with the profits of their ventures going into the small, prosperous town. In 1907 Negombo was connected to the massive railway project that was linking the island together under British control and encouraging the growth of plantations in coconuts, tea and coffee.
Negombo: Geography and climate
A traditional fishing boat
Negombo is about 2 meters above sea level, and Negombo's geography is a mix of land and water. The Dutch canal flows in the heart of the city. The lagoon is one of the most scenic landmarks of Negombo. There are over 190 species of wildlife and plenty of birds in its mangroves. The northern border of the city is formed by the Ma Oya river which meets the Indian Ocean.
Negombo features a tropical rainforest climate under the Köppen climate classification. The city receives rainfall mainly from the Southwestern monsoons from May to August and October to January. During the remaining months there is a little precipitation due to Convective rains. The average annual precipitation is about 2400 millimetres. The average temperature varies 24 to 30 degrees Celsius, and there are high humidity levels from February to April.
Climate data for Negombo, Sri Lanka
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Negombo: Negombo Lagoon
Negombo Lagoon is large semi-enclosed coastal water body with plenty of natural resources. The lagoon is fed by number of small rivers and the Dutch canal. It is linked to the Indian Ocean by a narrow channel to the north, near Negombo city. The lagoon and the marsh land area also support local agriculture and forestry. It has extensive mangrove swamps and attracts a wide variety of water birds. The lagoon supports so many distinct species of flora, fauna and as well as another species of birds and variety of animals. Negombo Lagoon is a major local and tourist attraction primarily for sightseeing and boating tours.
The fishermen who are based at the Negombo lagoon live in abject poverty in shanty thatch palm villages along the water's edge. They rely mainly on their traditional knowledge of the seasons for their livelihood, using outrigger canoes carved out of tree trunks and nylon nets to bring in modest catches from September through April. Their boats are made in two forms – oruvas (a type of sailing canoe) and paruvas (a large, man-powered catamaran fitted with kurlon dividers).
For generations the lagoon has provided the fishers with a plentiful supply of crabs, shrimps, lobsters, cuttlefish and many native species of fish. The men are regularly forced to head out to the ocean to fish, often losing money in the chartering process. In recent years, the villagers have supplemented the income earned from fishing by collecting 'toddy', or palm sap, which is used to brew arrack.
Negombo: Zones and Neighborhood
Built by the Dutch to transport spices, now used by the local fisherman to get to the sea, Dutch canal in Negombo
The Airport Expressway (E03) opened in 2013 links the capital Colombo through the Katunayake Interchange with Negombo city minimizing travelling time to just 20 or 30 minutes.
There is a highway bus service running between from Negombo to Matara (the southern tip of the country) through Galle using the Southern Expressway.
The A3 main road from Colombo, goes through Negombo, extends to Jaffna, and Trincomalee via Anuradhapura. Negombo is connected with some of the B grade roads, and there is a good road network in and around Negombo City.
The Bus Terminal Complex of Negombo is one of the best in Sri Lanka. It has ultra modern architectural features, state-of-the-art amenities and multiple facilities for passengers and public. It is served by many bus routes, connecting with some major destinations in the country.
Negombo - Colombo. (Through E03 Expressway and A3 Main Road)
Due to Negombo being situated along A3 Main Road, it is served by many bus routs from Colombo to Northern and North western points of Sri Lanka like Jaffna city, Vavuniya, Padaviya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Pulmude, Mannar, Kankasanthura, Point Pedro, Velvetithurai, Nikaweratiya, Panduwasnuwara, Anamaduwa, Silawathurai and etc.
Four railway stations serve to Negombo city: Kurana, Negombo Downtown, Kattuwa and Kochchikade. Negombo Downtown Station is the main railway station of the Colombo–Puttalam railway line. It serves Panadura, via Colombo from south and to Puttalam, via Chilaw from north. The Sri Lanka Railway Department has introduced an intercity express train between Chilaw and Colombo with stops at Negombo Downtown and Kochchikade Stations.
The Negombo Downtown Station is close to the central Bus Terminal Complex. Negombo is the closest major city to the Bandaranaike International Airport.
According by the statistics of 2011, 6.3% of the population of Gampaha district live in Negombo city limits and 11.6% of the population of the district live in Negombo Metropolis. It is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural city. Most of Negombo's residents belong to the Sinhalese majority. A large amount of Tamil and Muslim communities also live in the city.
The following table summarizes the population of Negombo according to ethnicity(2011 Census)
% of Total
Sri Lankan Moors
Sri Lankan Tamils
Sri Lankan Malays
Sri Lankan Chetty
Population of Negombo by religion as per the Census in 2011
% of Total
Other Christian denomination
Negombo is a multi-religious city. Since the beginning of European colonization, the township of Negombo has had a majority of Roman Catholics along with Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims.
St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo
Negombo has been given the name Little Rome due to the highly ornate Portuguese-era Roman Catholic churches such as St. Mary's Church found in the township and because the majority are the Roman Catholics. St. Sebastian Church at Sea Street and Katuwapitiya, Saint Stephen’s Church, Negombo, Grand Street St.Mary's cathedral Church, St.Anne's churches at Kurana and Palangatura and St.Anthony's church Dalupotha are the biggest parishes in Negombo. There are over 25 Roman Catholic churches in the city.
There is a branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Negombo. The church building is just west of the intersection of Ave Maria street and Old Chilaw street. There are also Methodist churches, Baptist churches, and the other Anglican churches in Negombo.
Agurukaramulla Raja Maha Viharaya (Bodhirajaramaya) is a famous Buddhist temple bringing Buddhists from all over Sri Lanka to Negombo every year. Abhayasekararamaya temple (Podipansala), Sri Sudarshanaramaya, Dutugamunu viharaya and Asapuwa are famous Buddhist temples in the city.
There are so many Hindu temples (Kovil) in Negombo: Kali temple, Ganapathi (Pillaiar) Temple, Kamachchi Amman Temple, Muththumari Amman Temple, Murugan (Kandaswami) Temple, Karumari Amman Temple are some of them.
Udayar Thoppuwa Mosque Dheen Junction Negombo Sri Lanka
There are nine Jummah Mosques in Negombo. The Kamachchoda Jummah Masjid in Kamachchoda, Negombo is one of the oldest in Sri Lanka. Another old Msajid in Negombo is the Udayar Thoppuwa Mosque, Mirigama Road, Dheen Junction, Negombo which was built in 1846 by Maththicham Saleem Lebbe Muhammed Thamby Vidane and the old building which was built in 1846 is still in use.
Negombo: Local government
The Negombo Municipal Council has governed the city with a mayor from the government, since 1950. Negombo's mayor and the council members are elected through the local government election held every five years. There are 29 wards in the Negombo municipal boundary. Each is represented by an elected member, but at the moment there are only 26 members.
Negombo City Local Board began in 1878. After 44 years, it became the Urban District Council on 1 January 1922. Negombo celebrated its silver jubilee of its Urban council status in grand style in February 1948. Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were the main patrons on the opening day of the celebrations. The Negombo Urban Council was offered Municipal status on 1 January 1950 under the municipal ordinance of 1865.
Negombo considered as one of the largest economic centre of the country. Negombo is about 5–6 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport, and the free trade zone. Negombo has a moderate fish port (used during the periods of Portuguese and Dutch colonization)
The economy of Negombo is mainly based on tourism and its centuries-old fishing industry, though it also produces cinnamon, ceramics, and brass ware.
The Colombo Stock Exchange-Negombo branch and many major financial corporations have their key branches in Negombo. There are department stores, large supermarkets, and boutiques in the bustling streets of Downtown and international food outlets are being opened.
Negombo is a major tourist destination in Sri Lanka. This city is an ideal and liberal place with luxury, tropical life style, for those who want quick access to and from the country's main international airport and also to Colombo city. The 100 km canal network running through the city is still used. Outrigger canoes and modern water-craft ply this route daily, for trade and tourism. Remnants of colonization include the Dutch fort built in 1672, as well as centuries-old Portuguese and Dutch houses, administrative buildings, Dutch Canal, churches and the ceiling frescoes of St. Mary's Cathedral, Bodhirajarama Maha Viharaya (Angurukaramulla Temple) – මීගමුව බෝධිරාජාරාමය.
Negombo is home to the country's second-largest fish market, locally famous as the Lellama (Lel-La-Ma), at the north end of the lagoon. There are daily fish auctions, which give tourists a chance to meet the area's fishers, buy fish and even organise fishing trips and boating tours into the lagoon and the ocean beyond. Other nearby attractions open to visitors include Muthurajawela Marshland, which is part of a 6,000-hectare (14,826-acre) reserve. The protected mangroves of the lagoon are home to over 190 species of wildlife.
Negombo offers one of the best sandy beaches and hotels and resorts on the west coast of Sri Lanka. It draws tourists who stop over for a day on their way to or from the airport. Some quiet stretches of the beach are maintained by the tourist hotels, while others are always busy with fishermen and their equipment. Water-sports and diving are popular among visitors, with a few well-preserved coral reefs and a 50-year-old shipwreck that can be seen in the distance also known as Kudapaduwa (Ku-Da-Paa-Du-We) that serves as an artificial reef for many varieties of fish. Mora Wala (Mo-Ra-Wa-La) and Beach Park are very interesting places.
There are local handicrafts, batiks and jewellery boutiques on the beaches and the shops.
Negombo is home to some of the oldest secondary educational institutes in Sri Lanka. The leading schools are listed below.
Ave Maria Convent
Maris Stella College
Newstead Girls College
Harischandra National College
Al-Hilal Central College
St. Mary's College
Wijayaratnam Hindu Central College
Ave Maria Dominican Convent
St. Joseph's College (Negombo Branch School of St. Joseph's College, Colombo 10)
St. Jude's College
Maris Stella Branch College
St. Peters Central College
Vidyalankara Maha Vidyalaya
St. Sebastians Maha vidyalaya
St. Anne's Maha Vidyalaya
Al-Falah Muslim School
Negombo Methodist College
Our Lady of Miracle School
St.Mary's Pitipana Maha Vidyalaya
Kochchikade Maha Vidyalaya
Sailan International College
Adventist International College
St. Nicholas International College
Leeds International School
NICE International College
Negombo International College
JMC International School
St. Michael's International College
OKI International School
Negombo South International School
There are also many higher educational institutes and private tuition institutes in Negombo City.
Ocean University of Sri Lanka Negombo faculty conducts Nautical Engineering, Marine Science, Fisheries and other degree programmes. Pope Benedict higher educational and Cultural Centre, Gateway Graduate School, Regent Language School, ACBS Campus, IPM Institute of Sri Lanka, ACCHE, SLIMM, AIMS College, American College of Higher Education, Australian Higher Educational Centre, E-Soft Institute, Electro Technical Institute and Don Bosco Technical College, IDM Institute are some of them.
Negombo: Notable personalities of Negombo
Chairman, Urban Council, Negombo, 1922-1923 & 1925 to 22 August 1934. He was the first person to be the Chairmen of the Negombo Urban Council. He was the eldest Son of Mudliyar John de Silva Wijegooneratne Rajapakshe, J.P. of Negombo. Rajapakse Park and Rajapakse Broadway in Negombo are named after him.
He was the Vidane Arachchi of Negombo from 1896 to 1915, the highest position held by a Muslim in Negombo in the Native Department of the British Government of Ceylon. After completing the Cambridge Senior Examination he got involved in managing the family estates before being appointed as the Vidane Arachchi. He was the third child of Maththicham Saleem Lebbe Muhammed Thamby Vidane (1819–1884) of Negombo. Dheen Junction in Negombo is named after him
Chairman, Urban Council, Negombo from 20 November 1941 to 31 December 1943. He was the only Muslim to be the Chairman of the Negombo Urban Council. He was the second Muslim (first was his elder brother Proctor S. I. Dheen JP) to qualify as a Lawyer in Negombo and was the 08th (01st Muslim) President (1948-1958) of the Negombo Law Society. He was the fourth child of Muhammed Thamby Samsudheen Vithane Arachchi alias Dheen Arachchiar of Negombo. Raheemanabad in Periyamulla Negombo is named after him
Founder and owner of Wijaya Bus Company which was nationalized on 1 January 1958 Mudaliyar Mendis Mawatha in Negombo is named after him
He was elected the Mayor of Negombo in 1954 and entered Parliament in In 1960 from the Katana electorate as a UNP candidate. He was appointed Minister of Textile Industries in 1977, in 1989 he became the Minister of Transport and Highways, In 1993 he was appointed Leader of the House and in 1994 he became the Chief Opposition Whip in Parliament which he served till 1998. He was the third child of Mudliyar T. David Mendis of Negombo.Wijayapala Mendis Road in Negombo is named after him
Born in Periyamulla, first indigenous Archbishop of Colombo and first Sri Lankan Cardinal
Negombo: See also
Place names in Sri Lanka
Gulf of Mannar
De Silva, K (1981). A History of Sri Lanka. University of California Press. pp. 89–91. ISBN 0-520-04320-0.
The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics and Literature, For the Year 1817. London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy. 1817. p. 511.
Newitt, Marlyn (2005). A history of Portuguese overseas expansion, 1400–1668. New York: Routledge. p. 234.
Tennent, James (1860). Ceylon: an account of the island physical, historical and topographical, with notices of its natural history, antiquities, and productions, Volume 2. London: Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts. p. 44.
Obeyesekere, Donald (1999). Outlines of Ceylon history. Neh Delhi: Asian Educational Services. p. 257.
"The Old Man and the Sea". Global Village. Episode 1927. 2009-04-29.
Kanakath, Pramod (January 16, 2017). "48 hours in Negombo, Sri Lanka". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved January 17, 2017. Situated at Temple Road, close to the city centre, Angurukaramulla Buddhist Temple is more than 200 years old and is a great place to visit if you love culture and architecture. The façade of this temple cannot be missed from outside, as the six-meter tall Buddha statue and dragon-mouth entrance are eye-catching. The dragon-mouth entrance is unusual for a Buddhist temple, however, we are told that this is to ward off evil spirits. Inside the temple are colorful statues, sculptures and murals from different episodes of Buddha’s life. The reclining Buddha is very noteworthy.
"Family #3729 Rajapakse of Negombo". Sri Lankan Sinhala Family Genealogy. rootsweb.
"Family #214 Mathicham Muhammedh Vidane of Negombo". Sri Lankan Muslim Family Genealogy. rootsweb.
Negombo: External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Negombo.
Negombo travel guide from Wikivoyage
Negombo Municipal Council
Sri Lankan cities with a 50,000+ population
500,000 and more
Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Metropolitan cities of Sri Lanka
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte(Administrative)
Note: also a Provincial capital, also a Municipal council
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