The Colombo Race Course is a famous landmark in the city of Colombo. While the venue is incredibly popular among the rugby fans and shopaholics of the modern day, this old attraction sure boasts of a very rich history!
The Colombo Race Course was built by the British in the year 1893. Back in the day, it was recognized as one of the best race courses in the East. The complex included The Colombo Turf Club along with its own pavilion and club house. The addition of a totalisator in the year 1922 truly enhanced the prominence of the race course.
In the year 1941 when the World War II began spreading to the East, the Colombo Race Course’s fate changed dramatically. Instead of welcoming masses of cheerful entertainment seekers, the race course started serving as an airfield in Colombo. The construction project was carried out by D. S. Senanayake, the Minister of Agriculture and Lands, who later became the 1st Prime Minister of Ceylon. The Royal Naval Air Station was also established here during those dark days.
Once the brutal war came to an end, the Colombo Race Course resumed its operation as a race track. But the activities onsite came to a grinding halt as betting was banned in the country during the 1950’s. The majestic race course started to decay forlornly, stripped of its former glories. Large portions of the land were distributed among the University of Colombo, Department of National Archives, Royal Colombo Sports Complex and Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club. The remaining bits of the race course were largely neglected. Occasionally the Sri Lanka Army and Sri Lanka Air Force used the premises.
New hope dawned for the Colombo Race Course with the extensive renovations that took place in the year 2011. Today, the Colombo Race Course serves as Sri Lanka’s first international grade Rugby Union grounds. A portion of the grandstand has been converted to a stylish shopping and dining venue too.
You can easily visit this remarkable attraction when you are travelling in the island with Green Holiday Centre. Enjoy a sensational shopping spree, relish exquisite delicacies, watch a game of rugby and marvel at the splendour of this majestic place which has such an incredible history!