Fresh produce in a huge handsome old brick warehouse
Manning Market must be one of Colombo’s most photogenic places. The crumbling colonial warehouse with its huge wooden beams, cobblestones and brickwork is over 150 years old. The place is huge, about 3 acres in size. During the British colonial era it was a sugar warehouse, it was converted into a marketplace in the 80s and has been the epicentre in Colombo for suppliers and buyers of fresh produce ever since. Peak operating hours of this wholesale fruits and vegetables market are from 4am to noon, so come early if you want to catch the action. Manning Market offers up some great opportunities to photograph the daily life of Pettah in all its raw reality. Its glory days maybe in the past and Manning Market’s primacy as a household shopper’s paradise long gone, but the market still is the biggest whole-seller of fruits and vegetables in Colombo and sees traffic from all parts of the island, receiving the best of the country’s agricultural produce.
What to buy?
The market also does retail, and especially in the morning is a fantastic place to get some of the freshest fruits and vegetables. The traders and workers are boisterous and friendly, and will be excellent company as you stroll through, sampling the goods.
Rumours have it that the market is going to be moved to Peliyagoda, a suburb close by. So pay a visit as soon as you can