iShop Sea Street

A street filled with jewellery, gold and precious stones

All about bling

Sea Street is distinctly all about bling. Sea Street has always been the place to find all the gold traders. The entire street is like a mini market for jewellery, precious stones and gold. The street is host to dozens of goldsmith’s workshops. Sea Street for decades has been a prestigious destination for everyone from couples about to tie the knot, to people looking to buy jewellery for a newborn baby, a strange Sri Lankan custom because babies never seem to actually wear all this jewellery, they’re getting…

At the festival we sometimes break as many as 7,000 coconuts.
— Sellakumar Kandasamy

Come in April! or in August!

What gives Sea Street character, are the two stunning Hindu kovils (temples) with their fantastic coloured doorways in a palette of blue, yellow, red and green. If you are lucky enough to be there in April (during the Sinhala-Tamil New Year) or during the Aadi Vel festival in August this is the place to be. The new Kathiresan Kovil is the starting point of the festive ceremonial processions carrying the statue of Murukan through the streets of Pettah. ‘One of my best memories is the New Year procession. It is an old tradition to break a coconut when you go to temple as an offering of something pure. At the festival we sometimes break as many as 7,000 coconuts’ says Sellakumar Kandasamy.

Immigrants for trade

Sea street used to be along the sea, which is where the name comes from. “In Sinhala and Tamil the street is called Chettiartheru street, after the South Indian traders from Chettiar from Tamil Nadu. They are known all over the world for their craftsmanship and money lending skills. They sailed here in the 19th century and business was so good here that many of them decided to stay” says Sellakumar Kandasamy, of Lalitha Jewellers who has been in Sea Street for three generations.

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