Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Colombo, a seaport town and-capital of Ceylon, on the W. coast, in lat. 6° 55' N., and long. 77° 45' E. Part of the town is fortified and is on a rocky promontory surrounded by the sea on three sides, and protected on the fourth by a lake and moat. The town has many fine buildings and is supplied with water and gas. Among other marks of the Dutch occupation are the trees which shade most of the streets, and the cinnamon gardens. One part of the town - Pettah - is occupied chiefly by natives and half-castes; another, Colpetty, is a pleasant suburb. The harbour has been much improved of late by the construction of a breakwater, and has taken the place of Galle as a coasting station. The population of Colombo presents great variety, including Singhalese, Parsees, Chinese, Afghans, Arabs, Malabars, Persians, Kaffirs, descendants of Portuguese and Dutch, and all kinds of half-castes. The Arabs discarded the ancient name of the town and called it Kalambu, which the Portuguese changed to Colombo. The Dutch captured it in 1656, and surrendered it to the British in 1796.