A Medley of Colombo's Art & Culture
Geoffrey Bawa’s Architectural tour of Colombo City
PROGRAMME : A MEDLEY OF COLOMBO’S ART & CULTURE
PERIOD : NOV 2018 – APRIL 2019
Pick-up passengers from Pier at Colombo Port and start Colombo Art Burst Tour. Colombo, capital and major port of Sri Lanka, is a fascinating city that links the past with the present. Its culture and art are a unique mix of relics of Portuguese, Dutch and English settlements, blended with Indian influences. Your tour today shows you the varied hues of the city, taking you slightly off the beaten track.
Begin with house number 11, on 33rd Lane; this was the residence of renowned architect, the Late Geoffrey Bawa, and is an architectural bricolage housing arts and artifacts from his collection. This interesting composition in a row of four houses slowly acquired over a period of time, started with the construction of a pied-à-terre in 1958. The final result is an introspective labyrinth of rooms and garden courts which together create the illusion of limitless space. While the main house evokes a feeling of a lost world of verandahs and courtyards, the new tower serves as a periscope with views across the treetops towards the sea. Drive past the Colonial heritage of Colombo - the Old Parliament and government buildings; Galle Face Green where Colombo high society once strolled, to see and be seen by those who mattered, against the backdrop of the neo-classical facades of the Colombo Club and the Galle Face Hotel. Today there are joggers who talk politics and business as they run, and there may be kite flyers trying to catch a breeze. Lunch today is at Gallery Café – another legacy of Geoffrey Bawa. His former office now houses the café and art gallery run by Shanth Fernando. Drive past some of the city’s rich architectural heritage – mostly legacies of the British era along with some new additions. Delve deeper into this culture at the elegant, white, colonnaded National Museum, the largest museum in Sri Lanka. View the fascinating and sometimes scary mask collection, which has its share of demons, including Prince Maha Kola, wearing a diadem of interwoven snakes. Another gallery contains a display of outstanding Hindu and Buddhist bronzes. One group of statuettes is connected with the cult of Shiva, and includes a fine sculpture of Shiva as “lord of the dance.” Some of the images are mobile – not intended to be worshipped in the most sacred places, but destined for ritual processions around the temple or through the streets of the town. The museum also houses a collection of the regalia of the last King of Kandy.
Note: Guests must be able to walk approx. 240 yards over flat terrain, and navigate around 55 steps. Comfortable shoes are recommended. Photography of the government buildings and old parliament is prohibited. Videography is prohibited at Geoffrey Bawa's residence. The restaurant is not air-conditioned. Colombo National Museum is closed on Full Moon days and public holidays. Due to delays during security checks, it is recommended not to carry bags inside the National Museum.
TIMED ITINERARY – 06 Hrs
0830 Hrs Depart Pier at Colombo Port and drive around Colombo city for a panoramic
tour of Colombo. Witness Colonial buildings, Houses, BMICH, Independence Square, etc..
1000 Hrs Arrive at & visit The Geoffrey Bawa’s former Residence – No 11. (Tour duration
is approximately 40 minutes in the house (08 min. short documentary film on the design of the house + 30 min viewing).
1100 Hrs Depart Geoffrey Bawa’s former Residence to Colombo National Museum.
1115 Hrs Arrive at & visit the Colombo National Museum.
1215 Hrs Depart Colombo Museum to Gallery Cafe restaurant for lunch.
1230 Hrs Enjoy lunch at Gallery Cafe restaurant.
1400 Hrs Depart Gallery Café Restaurant to the port with a drive past another side of
1430 Hrs Arrive at the pier in Colombo Port.
? No Photos / Videos are allowed in side the Bawa House.
? Bawa House accepts only a maximum of 14 pax per visit at a designated times & is open for public viewing only by appointments. Generally the visiting hours of the Geoffrey Bawa's Colombo Residence "Number 11" are by appointments only - Mandatory to book in advance.
? All poya days (Full moon days) & other religious holidays are dry days (not allowed any alcoholic beverages) in sri lanka. Also government may declare additional dry days depending on special occasions or matter of importance.
Starting from USD USD 180 per person