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Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, has long been a port on the ancient east-west trade routes, and was ruled in succession by various European powers – the Portuguese, Dutch and British. The influences left by them are today reflected in Colombo’s architecture, which is a combination of colonial buildings with high-rises and shopping malls. The imposing Colombo National Museum, dedicated to Sri Lankan history, stands next to the sprawling Viharamahadevi Park and its giant Buddha. Beautiful Buddhist Viharas jostle with Hindu temples and Muslim mosques; street markets are piled high with everything from silks and cottons to fragrant spices. The bustling Pettah is Colombo’s leading bazaar district. The narrow-cobbled streets lined with shops and street stalls that offer the most fantastic bargains. Stroll around Galle Face Green, a seafront expanse of green graced by cricket games, kite flyers and cool breeze.