If you do not have the time to visit the Ancient cities in Sri Lanka, the Museums in Colombo are the
places to go to, as they reveal the rich Sri Lankan History and its Culture. They house important
visuals signifying the milestones of our History and provide useful information about the highlights
and the turning points. There are some specialized Museums with their own unique collections
showcasing a vibrant image of focused subjects.
National Museum of Colombo Sri Lanka
This is the oldest, largest, and the most visited museum in Sri Lanka built in 1877. National
Museum in Colombo is housed in a grand colonial building. With more than 4,000 palm leaf
manuscripts, ancient royal regalia, jewelry with Gems and ancient artwork, collection of traditional
masks and temple frescoes.
Artifacts on Display in National Museum of Colombo
The museum’s main attraction is the crown jewel and throne of the last King of Kandy that was
returned to the people of Sri Lanka by the British. Over 750,000 people visited the Museum to see
this, when it was first displayed in 1934. You will also find a huge collection of masks and puppets
in the museum.
National Museum Library
The extensive National Museum Library has been operational since 1877. However, the library
was started seven years earlier in 1870 under the name of Government Oriental Library. This is
the country's largest legal depository which has numerous local publications printed in the last 150
years.. The library also houses many palm leaf manuscripts written in various languages years
ago on diverse topics such as astrology and folklore.
Natural History Museum
This Museum was established in 1986 housing exhibits of pre-historic cave paintings, Jurassic-
period fossils, over 5000 specimens of various mammals, plants, and animals native to Sri Lanka.
Among other exhibits, you will also find a collection of different rocks that showcase the country's
varied natural history.