Colombo is the largest city and the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte suburb or the parliament capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is also the administrative capital of Western Province, Sri Lanka and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins with a population of about 752,993 in the city limits. It was the political capital of Sri Lanka, before Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte.
Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. It was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815, and its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948. In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
Like many cities, Colombo’s urban area extends well beyond the boundaries of a single local authority, encompassing other municipal and urban councils. The main city is home to a majority of Sri Lanka’s corporate offices, restaurants and entertainment venues. Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, the Viharamahadevi Park, Mount Lavinia beach as well as the National Museum.