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Museums

COLOMBO NATIONAL MUSEUM
 

The Colombo Museum as it was called at the beginning was established on 1st January 1877. It founder was Sir William Henry Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the time. The Royal Asiatic Society (CB) was instrumental in bringing to the notice of Gregory on his appointment as Governor in 1872 the need for a public museum with much difficulty the approval of the legislative council was obtained within a year. The Architect of the Public Works Department, J.G. Smither was able to prepare the plans for new structure on Italian architectural style. The construction was completed in 1876 and the Museum commenced it functions in the following year. The Authorities of the museum took various steps to display the cultural and natural heritage of the country for this purpose. With the development of the museum to international level, it earned the status of a national museum during the period of Dr. P. E. P. Deraniyagala. He was able to open up branch museums in Jaffna, Kandy and Ratnapura and a full - fledged Department of National Museums was established in 1942 under the act No. 31. The extension of the number of branch museums has now increased to nine and in addition a school science programme and a mobile museum service are also in operation. This process has further been improved by the arrangement of the galleries of the ground floor in a historical sequence and those of the upper galleries on a thematic basis.

Web : www.museum.gov.lk

Open Hours and Days : 09.00 am - 06.00pm (Except Public holidays)



NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
 

National Museum of Natural History which reflects the Natural heritage was established on 23 rd of September 1986. This museum is situated same premises of Colombo National Museum facing Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 07. Even though there is considerable number of museums in Sri Lanka, this is the only one representing solely the Natural Heritage. The special feature is that plants and Animal specimens which are endemic to Sri Lanka, rare and threatened with extinction are displayed in this museum. There is a large collection of specimens such as Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Insects, Fish, Amphibians of various kinds of Plants and Geological Rocks. Leopard of Punani can be introduced as a special specimens displayed in the Natural science Museum. This leopard which was caught at Punani in Batticaloa District on 16 th August 1924 had killed about 13 people. The Skull of Megacerus giganteus (elk) which huge horns which is displayed at the Geological section of the museum is a specimens that creates curiosity among the visitors. This skull which belonged to an extinct species of stag was gifted by Lord Eniskilen in 1950.

Web : www.museum.gov.lk

Open Hours and Days : 09.00 am - 06.00pm (Except Public holidays)



GALLE NATIONAL MUSEUM
 

The Galle National Museum is established in the oldest Dutch building of the Galle fort, constructed in 1656. To aware the public on traditional cultural heritage of Southern Sri Lanka, the Department of National Museums developed this museum and opened to the public on 31st March 1986. Galle National Museum displays a wide range of archaeological and anthropological objects inherited in Southern region. Collection of traditional masks used in various rituals, collection of ornamental objects made up of turtle shells, ancient wooden carvings and a Beeralu collection are important visitor attractive exhibits in the museum. The influence of Dutch is depicted by the equipments used in Dutch ships came to the Galle harbor. Large water vessels, V.O.C. porcelain objects and arms and weapons used by the Dutch soldiers are among the exposition. The Galle National Museum plays an important role as a center of education in the Southern region.

Web : www.museum.gov.lk

Open Hours and Days : 09.00 am - 05.00pm (Except Sundays, Mondays and Public holidays)



RATHNAPURA NATIONAL MUSEUM
 

Ratnapura is famed for being the home of the Lankan gem trade and has several private museums dedicated to the industry, where you can purchase precious stones. However the National Museum housed in a beautiful building known as the Ehalepola Walauwa has a whole host of other treats as well. Things to see The museum exhibits a collection of pre-historic fossils of elephants, rhinoceroses & hippopotamuses found in gem pits from the Balangoda area. Also displayed are stuffed animals & snakes in jars. There are numerous items of local art & culture such as musical instruments, masks, textiles, flags and fabrics. The thriving Gem and Jewellery industries are represented and examples of stunning jewellery, both historical and contemporary can be viewed to wet your appetite for what awaits outside the building. There also artefacts chartering the history of the Sabaragamuwa Province, the province in which the town lies.

Web : www.museum.gov.lk

Open Hours and Days : 09.00 am - 05.00pm (Except Sundays, Mondays and Public holidays)



KANDY NATIONAL MUSEUM
 

This building established during Sri Wickrama Rajasingha era was then known as "Palle Vahala" This was used as the palace where the Queens of the king lived. This building has been built according to the architectural features of Kandy period. This pallevahala building was used to deposit the various items of historical value made by Kandy Art Association established in 1832 and technicians of Matale district. This was opened for the public as a museum 1942. This museum has over 5000 museum objects which are depicting various aspects historical and cultural events of the Kandyan period. (17-19 century A.D.)

Web : www.museum.gov.lk

Open Hours and Days : 09.00 am - 05.00pm (Except Sundays, Mondays and Public holidays)



ANURADHAPURA FOLK MUSEUM
 

Anuradhapura Folk Museum was established in 22nd August 1971 as a provincial Museum under the Department of National Museums. The aim of this museum is to collect, conserve and exhibit the cultural and religious objects used by the folk community in Nuwara-Kalaviya area. In 12-13 A.D. the kingdom was shifted to the South-west because of the foreign invasions. Several families remained and they lived in a little hamlets surrounded by the thick forest. They were unable to communicate with the outer world and had to product all the things needed in their day- today life. The objects they used in daily life illustrate their traditional knowledge. Anuradhapura Folk Museum has a good collection of traditional objects used by the folk community in Nuwara Kalaviya. Several live size models related to folk culture has been created in the museum premises.

Web : www.museum.gov.lk

Open Hours and Days : 09.00 am - 05.00pm (Except Mondays and Public holidays)



DUTCH MUSEUM
 

There are numerous exhibits from Dutch colonial times such as ceramics, coins, paintings and military equipment that were used in the invasion of Lanka. The museum has maintained the features of a colonial Dutch town house and would be of great interest to architecture enthusiasts.

The garden still has the original stone wall of the house as well as a grave yard full of Dutch explorers and traders.

Outside the museum, Pettah the heart of Colombo, bustles with life, as market traders

Web : www.museum.gov.lk

Open Hours and Days : 09.00 am - 05.00pm (Except Sunday, Mondays and Public holidays)



INDIPENDANCE MEMORIAL MUSEUM
 

From the beginning of Sri Lankan civilization till the present times for about 25 centuries, the service rendered by the Sri Lankans to uplift and sustain their political, economical, social, cultural and human freedom is immense. The challenges they bravely faced on such occasions provide an example and a pride to future generation The aims and objectives of this exhibition constitute the rekindling of our pride and reminding of the great efforts taken over the centuries until 1972 when we regained in gain independence, by our national heroes and their bio-sketches, for the benefit of the future generations.

Web : www.museum.gov.lk

Open Hours and Days : 09.00 am - 05.00pm (Except Sunday, Mondays and Public holidays)



MARITIME MUSEUM
 

Maritime Museum is the only museum which aware the public on marine biological and anthropological aspects of Southern coastal area. It is located in the old Dutch ware house of the fort of Galle, built in 1671. The museum was open to the public on 9th May 1992. Aftermath of Tsunami on 26th December 2004, the museum was completely destroyed and all the expositions were damaged. Under Sri Lanka – Netherlands Cultural Co-operation Program, the Royal Government of Netherlands provided financial assistance for reconstruction of the Maritime Museum. After 3 years period of reconstruction, now the Maritime Museum has opened to the public. The first gallery depicts the types of watercrafts used in passenger transport and maritime trading in Southern Sri Lanka. The traditional life style of fishing communities and such fishing techniques are displayed with attractive models and replicas. The second Gallery is focused on marine eco systems and their flora and fauna. Models of mangroves, sea shore plants, turtles, sea birds and marine mammals are displayed with their taxonomic details. Specimens of corals, marine shells and some invertebrates can be observed in the exhibition while a large skeleton of a Whale mounted in the roof giving you a wonderful experience. The Maritime Museum is serving as a centre of education for various groups of visitors and researchers of Southern region.

Web : www.museum.gov.lk

Open Hours and Days : 09.00 am - 05.00pm (Except Sunday, Mondays and Public holidays)


 

CEYLON TEA MUSEUM
 

Ceylon Tea Museum situated in Hantana, Kandy is a project jointly operated by Sri Lanka Tea Board and Tea Industry Stakeholders. The main objectives of setting up of the Tea Museum are to exhibit memorabilia machinery, documents, pictures and object of historical value to the Sri Lankan tea industry and to exploit the tourism potential of the tea industry. Tea is Sri Lanka’s main agricultural export commodity and Sri Lanka is the second largest exporter of tea in the world. The story of the tea industry is a valuable part of our history that we are committed to preserve.

Ceylon Tea Museum is one of best Museums of its kind in the world and visitors would be pleased to see more than 100 years old tea machinery & object displayed. The ground surrounding the Museum is landscaped with different varieties of tea as well. The panoramic view of Kandy town, Knuckles range and Matale range of hills can be viewed through a telescope mounted on the fourth floor of the Museum. It is located about 03 Km from Bogambara prison junction on the Hantana road and may take approx. 1 ½ hours for the entire round trip from any hotel in Kandy. The tickets are reasonably priced at Rs. 500/- for non-resident adults and Rs. 200/- for non-resident students.

Web : www.ceylonteamuseum.com


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