Renowned the world over as the Little Rome of Sri Lanka, Negombo is a religious epicenter that is vast despite being smaller than its European counterpart. Home to a multi-ethnic and multi religious community the popular seaside resort earned its quaint nickname due to the sheer volume of Roman Catholic churches in the city. In fact Roman Catholics form the majority of the city’s population which also includes Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus. A religious heartland during the colonial era the town’s Buddhist heritage prior to the European colonization is well preserved in the ancient Buddhist temples of the area which lay claim to a rich legacy all on their own. Similarly the Hindu and Muslim communities of Negombo throughout the ages have built stunning religious edifices of historic significance that are also considered among the island nation’s most prominent faith-based institutions.

Home to the largest concentration of Catholic churches in the island the beachside resort town of Negombo is perhaps best known for its Dutch and Portuguese era churches which were constructed during the 16th and 18th centuries. Numbering well over 19 the churches in the city display ornate European architectural elements with elaborately decorated facades. St. Mary’s Church is the town’s most famous edifice with the Grand Street Church, Sea Street Church and the Katuwapitiya Church forming the three largest parishes in the area. Other must-see highlights include the St. Joseph’s Church, St. Anthony’s Church, Our Lady of Snows Church, St. Sebastian’s Church, Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, and St. Sebastian’s Church while the Holy Spirit Church, Risen Christ Church, St. Peter’s Church and St. Anne’s Church are the other prominent Catholic churches in Negombo.

Baptist and Methodist parishes are also found in the township that is equally well-known for the ancient Agurukaramulla Raja Maha Viharaya. Famed for centuries old frescoes and murals the venue also contains a large reclining Buddha statue within its expansive devotional hall. Other temples worthy of exploration include the Dutugamunu Viharaya and Asapuwa and the Abhayasekararamaya temple while mosques of particular interest include more than five Jumma mosques and the Negombo Grand Jumma Masjid which is one of the country’s largest Islamic mosques. Hindu kovils the likes of the Karumari Amman Temple and the Kali Amman temple are also worth the visit while the Muththumari Amman Temple and the Ganapathi Temple are also renowned as sacred abodes of Hindu deities.

Travellers on the lookout for a Sri Lanka spa resort in Negombo will be more than satisfied with the Jetwing Lagoon. Designed by iconic Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa this breathtaking Negombo resort pulls out all the stops when it comes to vacationing in sheer luxury.