One of my favorite stops during my hectic two-week trip to Sri Lanka has been the colorful, extravagant, loud Pettah, possibly the district in Colombo that seems to be the most redolent of their colonial past than all of the others.
In Sri Lanka, I met other friends and the occasion of our trip was the wedding of our mutual friend Raashid. Apart from attending the ceremony, we also explored as much as we could of his beautiful, green country, understanding once and for all, the reason Arab traders had chosen the moniker of Serendipity for what’s known also as “the teardrop of India”.
Sadly only an afternoon was devoted to a stroll along absorbing Pettah market, where you can find anything from sarees to spices to veggies, but thanks to our friend Halik who volunteered to show us around, we did immerse in the not-so-remote past of the island and its painful memories.
Here is a small collection of pictures I took in Pettah, as usual in the hope you will be inspired enough to visit Sri Lanka yourself.
Making our way towards Pettah, one of the most hectic, messy, colorful, lively and smelly neighborhoods in Colombo Sri Lanka. Along our path the typical colonial architecture belonging to the country’s not-so-ancient history.
Colonial-era signs still very much visible
More colonial-era shop signs
Cargill’s is somehow an institution in Sri Lanka’s retail scene
A view of Cargill’s building
More colonial style buildings near Pettah. I know what you are thinking and I agree. Where did the sky go? It does look pretty odd, but that was actually the light when I was in Pettah, right at the beginning of the monsoon season.
Here we are, ready to delve into Pettah market and lifestyle
Pettah’s mosque, reminding me a bit of Moscow Cathedral
Along with the mosque come the residents. Busy in their daily chores and enjoying a bit of breeze of the new season after the usual blazing heat.
Getting into Pettah’s pulsing heart
Buildings, shops, banners and lots of people in daily Pettah market
I was never tired of taking photos of their banners. It does remind a bit of Manhattan, doesn’t it? Or my idea of it, since I’ve never been there..
Tuk-tuks everywhere in Colombo. You can be as experience a traveler as you like, if you are a foreigner (tourist), in a way or the other they will always manage to charge you more than the correct fare.
Now, just because they are a three-wheel vehicle, it doesn’t mean that here they have right of way, the people own the streets here.
There should be a book devoted to rickshaws slogans. Apart from Jesus Coming Soon, one of my favorites was: “Michael Jackson bonus track Leave Me Alone included”. Included in the ride? I never had the chance to ask.
A view from the upper floor of the former Town Hall. Tuk-tuks, as usual, the undisputed stars.
As a perfect ending for our brief but rewarding glimpse of the neighborhood, our friend Halik brought us to a vegetarian eatery. Happy me since I had had quite a hard time finding veggie options and was growing tired of veg rice/noodles.
More tasty short eats at the veg place near Pettah market