Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka
, located on the west coast of the island and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, in Western Province, Sri Lanka. Negombo is the fifth largest city in the country after the capital Colombo
, Kandy, Jaffna and Galle, and it is the second largest city in Western province after Colombo.
Negombo is also the administrative capital of Negombo Division. It is one of the major commercial hubs in Sri Lanka of about 128,000 inhabitants in the city limits, approximately 37 km north of Colombo city. Negombo is known for its huge and old fishing industry with busy fish markets and sandy beaches.
The fishermen who are based at the Negombo lagoon live in abject poverty in shanty thatch palm villages along the water's edge. They rely mainly on their traditional knowledge of the seasons for their livelihood, using outrigger canoes carved out of tree trunks and nylon nets to bring in modest catches from September through till April.
Their boats are made in two distinct forms, oruvas (a type of sailing canoe) and paruvas (a large, man-powered catamaran fitted with kurlon dividers), and are said to have originated in the islands off the Mozambican coast; they were brought to Sri Lanka by Portuguese traders in the 17th century.
For generations the lagoon has provided the fishermen with a plentiful supply of crabs, shrimps, lobsters, cuttle fish and many of the native species of fish. The men are regularly forced to head out to the ocean to fish, often losing money in the chartering process. In recent years, the villagers have supplemented the income earned from fishing by collecting toddy, or palm sap, which is used to brew arrack.
Negombo is a major tourist destination in sri Lanka. This city is an ideal and liberal place with luxury life style, for those who want quick access to and from the country's international airport. The 100 km long canal network running through the city is still used, and outrigger canoes and modern water-craft ply this route daily, for trade and tourist purposes. Still remains of colonization include the Dutch fort built in 1672, as well as centuries-old Portuguese and Dutch houses, Administrative buildings, Churches and the ceiling frescoes of St. Mary's cathedral church. Negombo is also home to the country's second-largest fish market, the "Lellama", at the north end of the town's lagoon.
There are daily fish auctions, which give tourists a chance to meet the area's fishermen and even organise fishing trips into the lagoon and the ocean beyond. Other nearby attractions open to visitors include Muthurajawela marshland, which is part of a 6,000-hectare (14,826-acre). The Protected mangroves of the Negombo lagoon, is home to over 190 species of wildlife.