Viharamahadevi Park | Oldest and Largest Park in Colombo

Viharamahadevi Park
Viharamahadevi Park (Sinhala: විහාරමහාදේවි උද්‍යානය) is an urban and recreational park situated in Cinnamon Gardens in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. It is the oldest and the largest park within the vicinities of the Port of Colombo (Bajpai, 2019).

The park was established on the land donated by Charles Henry De Zoysa during the British rule of Sri Lanka (1815-1948) and initially, it was known as "Victoria Park" (Bajpai, 2019; Karunarathne & Gunawardena, 2020). It was considered the central point of Colombo when applying the Garden City Concept to the city by Sir Patrick Geddes in 1921. At the time of World War II (1939-1945), the park was occupied by the British Army with the Australian 17th Brigade (Bajpai, 2019). After the war, the park was restored and opened to the public in 1951 (Bajpai, 2019).

On 18 July 1958, the park was renamed after Queen Viharamahadevi, the mother of King Dutugemunu (161-137 B.C.) who was an important figurehead in Sri Lanka's history (FCD, 1959; Karunarathne & Gunawardena, 2020; Nawarathna Banda, 2010). Major development works were carried out at the garden before the 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that was held in 2013 in Colombo. 

The park covers an area of 18.8 ha and is maintained by the Colombo Municipal Council (Karunarathne & Gunawardena, 2020; Nawarathna Banda, 2010). The large Buddha statue and the series of water fountains are notable features of the park. It also includes a mini zoo,  walking & bicycle trails and a children's play area (Nawarathna Banda, 2010). At the western end of the park are the Cenotaph War Memorial and the Colombo Public Library. The Open Air Stadium at the eastern end of the park is used as a venue for concerts and many events such as out-door exhibitions, public meetings, carnivals, camping and other public events.

Viharamahadevi Park
See also

2) Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo - panoramio (1) by Alexey Komarov is licensed under CC BY 3.0
1) Bajpai, L.M., 2019. Stories of the Colonial Architecture: Kolkata-Colombo (Vol. 1). Doshor Publication. pp.134-135.
2) FCD, 1959. Ferguson's Ceylon Directory, 1959. Colombo. p.67.
3) Karunarathne, H.M.L.P. and Gunawardena, U.A.D.P., 2020. Economic Value of Urban Green Space: A Travel Cost Approach for Viharamahadevi Urban Park, Sri Lanka. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment, 10(1).
4) Nawarathna Banda, H.M., 2010. Demand for nature tourism: estimating recreational benefits from the Viharamahadevi National Park in Colombo. Wayamba Journal of Management 1 (2). pp.99-116.

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This page was last updated on 1 August 2023

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