Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo

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Built by the British Viharamahadevi Park is the oldest and largest park in Colombo. The park was originally named “Victoria Park” after Queen Victoria, and was renamed in the 1950s after Queen Viharamahadevi, the mother of King Dutugemunu. Located in front of the Colombo Town Hall, a colonial era building, the park has lots of flowering trees which bloom in March, April and May.

The park was developed a lot since the late 90s and now has comfy benches, walkways, playgrounds, a mini zoo, aquarium with turtles and well maintained green space. The park is a popular jogging area among locals, and many visit the park to relax and spend time with friends and family.

It was recorded that there was a cricket ground in the park which was used for first-class cricket around 1927. It was also recorded that Ceylon played against a touring English Cricket team in 1927, and against an Australian team in 1935.

The park was used by the British Army and an Australian Brigade as a base during World War II, and reopened to the public in 1951. Within the park there is the Cenotaph War Memorial which is dedicated to the Ceylon military personnel killed during both the world wars. The memorial was originally located in the Galle Face Green, however due to fears that the Japanese might use it as a marker to direct artillery it was dismantled and brought to Viharamahadevi Park during World War II.