If, like me, you are a lover of Sinhala songs, you will no doubt have been mesmerized by the Sunil Edirisinghe song “Kayman dorakada indapan mama enathuru Selesssina” (Selessina, please wait at Kayman’s Gate till I come). Since this song is about the various old landmarks of Colombo, I was always curious to find out where this actually is. Then I found out that it is actually in Pettah, just a few minutes’ walk from my office.
Once Colombo’s smartest residential area, Pettah is now the city’s bazaar, a jungle of streets jammed with bargain-hunters, herds of trucks, Lorries, carts and the ubiquitous three-wheelers where the Dutch colonial facades still survive proudly beside gleaming new mercantile shops. After visiting Colombo’s Dutch Period Museum (featured last week), our next visit was to Kayman’s Gate and Wolfendhal Church. A visit to Pettah isn’t complete without at least visiting these two Dutch monuments.