Colombo Then & Now (6 Photos).

Colombo has undergone a total make-over in the past decade alone, let alone in the past century. 

We thought we’d put together some of the best photographs taken around the capital city  – then and now – just to show you how much things have changed. 

The ‘Then’ photographs here are from


The Archives

and


Lankapura

, while I took the ‘Now’ ones. Put them together and – mind blown. 


Note: These photos are interactive. Thilina made it so you can drag the pink dot left and right to switch between now and then. So do that.


1. Lipton Circus 



Then




Now





alternately:


animated GIF

This is one of my personal favourites from our list. I had to make my way into the new Eye Hospital and hang around for permission to enter doctors’ quarters just to get the same angle as in the old photograph. A recurring theme in all our Now pictures is how crowded everything seems and the clutter of vehicles and new buildings. The old massive green park smack in the middle of the roundabout is gone now, though to be fair there still seem to be plenty of trees around. Colombo is obviously more populated than it was sixty years ago, so it’s not surprising that things are more crowded and parks made way for roads – still, it’s kind of sad. 


2. Old Parliament Roundabout



Then




Now




alternately:


animated GIF

This picture was taken from the rooftop of the Kingsbury, while the old version must have been taken from the same spot from when it was the Intercontinental Hotel. We’ve

blogged about it before

, and the change is pretty gross, the highlight of it being the construction zone at the center. We’re glad that at least the Old Parliament building and the shores have survived, and the dramatic skyscraper-skyline that’s grown out at the back is pretty cool. 


3. Galle Face



Then




Now





alternately:


animated GIF

Galle Face was and still is a favourite spot for picnic-ers and lazy strolls on the rampart. It’s much less greener than it used to be though, and it seems part of it has had to give way to new road and pavements. The old picture looks idyllic, but then again, that’s from a time when people used

karaththas

in Colombo for transport. 


4. Old Town Hall, Pettah



Then




Now






alternately:


animated GIF

I think Pettah is probably the least-transformed part of Colombo. Sure, most of the hand-painted signs are gone (check out our

Pettah post

for photographs of what remains), and there’s a little less green and more street stalls. But it’s still crowded, chaotic and has loads of its older buildings intact – like

the old Town Hall

building. There’s a roundabout in front of it now though, to help direct all the traffic. 


5. Janadhipathi Mawatha



Old




Now





alternately:


animated GIF

This undated old photograph shows a time when the street to the Fort Clock Tower was flanked by trees all the way. Most of that is now replaced by tall office buildings. The good news at least is that this important part of the city’s history is officially re-opened to the public – you can read more about it

here


6. Scots Kirk Church, Kollupitiya 



Then




Now





alternately:


animated GIF

This photograph of St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk Church from the Galle Road in Kollupitiya – probably sums up Colombo’s transformation the best. While this beautiful English-castle-esque structure was an obvious highlight in Old Ceylon – you can barely see it now, peeking out awkwardly between the giant high rise buildings that now dominate central Colombo. 


Conclusion

Colombo is not what it used to be. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is debatable. On the one hand, yes, the city looks greener, quieter and more aesthetic in old photographs, on the other hand Colombo is slowly reaching towards becoming a developed capital, with a new restaurant, bar or boutique hotel cropping up every month. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

The Delightful Indian Cuisine at Navaratna by Taj Samudra

Navaratna is an Indian Restaurant located in Taj Samudra Colombo. Taj Samudra is a 5-star

Kamu

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

An ideal dinner date spot in Colombo – Ward 7

By Shamrina Carim Are you struggling to decide where you could have a decent fancy

Kamu

Reaching new heights at Virticle by Jetwing’s rooftop bar & restaurant

We were so excited to go to the highest rooftop bar & restaurant in Colombo

Highlights Kamu

Satisfy your Kottu cravings at KottuLabs

Located in Nawala down a little lane, Kottulabs is home to the widest and most

Highlights Kamu

A flavorful journey to the North East by Paadum Meen

An ecstatically beautiful place located down Frankfort place, Bambalapitiya has caught a significant eye for

Highlights Kamu

Trending.

Savor The Salt Of The Sea At Hilton Colombo

Fresh from the seafood markets to your table Colombo, Sri Lanka – 20th June 2022 – Partake

Trending

10 Types of Sri Lankans in Petrol Queues

By Janani Vithanage These days, spending time in the petrol queue is almost every Sri

Highlights Trending

Celebrating life with Perera & Sons

by Shamrina Carim Perera & Sons holds a privileged history of catering to the most

Highlights Trending

Before You Watch… Jurassic World Dominion

By Shamrina Carim The movie On a critic of honest opinions, Jurassic World Dominion is

Trending

Treats fit for a King at Ramada Colombo this Father’s Day!

Enjoy Father's Day special Grill, Lunch, Dinner, Deliveries, and Stays… This June 19th, we all

Trending

Celebrate Father’s Day with your Super Dad at Hilton Colombo!

Looking to express your gratitude for the superhero of your household this Father’s Day? Hilton

Trending

Yamu Guide.

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

The ideal skin care routine with Bio Oil

By Shanali Fernando Feeling overwhelmed, confused, and/or frustrated by the multitude of competing messages about

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 common causes of Dry Skin

The general cause of itchy, dry skin might seem like a no-brainer: It's a lack

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Places to Watch the SL Vs. AUS ODI Matches

By Janani Vithanage Sri Lankan cricket may ot have been on its best footing over

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 Cooking Tips from Knorr

By Janani Vithanage Being a mother in today’s world is no easy task. From waking

Highlights Yamu Guide

How Bio Oil reduces scars

By Shanali Fernando Still curious about this little pink bottle of magic and what it

Highlights Yamu Guide