Muthurajawela Marsh

North of Colombo

Muthurajawela Marsh, which evocatively translates as ‘Supreme Field of Pearls’, is a little-known gem of a wetland at the southern end of Negombo’s lagoon. A boat ride offers sightings of some 75 bird species, including purple herons, cormorants and kingfishers, as well as crocodiles, monkeys and even some very rarely seen otters.

The area had been a rich rice-growing basin before the Portuguese constructed a canal that flooded the fields with sea water. Over the centuries, Mother Nature turned Muthurajawela into Sri Lanka’s biggest saline wetland.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby North of Colombo attractions

1. Angurukaramulla Temple

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East of the town centre the Angurukaramulla Temple, with its 6m-long reclining Buddha, is worth seeing; take a three-wheeler for around Rs 200.

2. Duwa

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Joined to Negombo by the lagoon bridge, Duwa is famed for its Easter passion play.

3. Fish Market

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4. St Mary’s Church

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5. Dutch Fort

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Close to the seafront near the lagoon mouth are the ruins of the old Dutch fort, which has a fine gateway inscribed with the date 1678. Also here is a…

6. Main Fish Market

7.58 MILES

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7. Hamilton Canal


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8. Henerathgoda Botanic Gardens

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