Join a mosque tour at one of the oldest prayer houses in the city
Old community mosque
With a history of 164 years, the Kew Lane Mosque was the 2nd mosque to be built in Slave Island. Much has changed since then, but the limestone and mosaic walls are still original. The mosque is located on a one-acre plot of land which was donated by the ancestors of Justice Akbar, a well-known Sri Lankan lawyer and judge.
The mosque is huge and can easily accommodate up to 3,500 devotees during Friday prayers. There are special programmes for children and women and at the end of Ramadan, the mosque is the centre of festive celebrations.
Want to know more? Join an open mosque day to learn more about the praying rituals, local festivals and what goes on in the mosque. A gesture so fitting with this multireligious neighbourhood. Long-time resident Roomi Careem explains, “This is a unique district in Colombo. Where else would you find a Church, Hindu Kovil, Mosque and Buddhist Temple – all in one street. We all live in harmony. We are one united family, and have lived this way for decades.”
Slave Island was once the site of the country’s first botanical gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens, established in 1810, not very long after the British had taken Colombo. It was called Kew Gardens after the more famous garden of London. Kew Road stands as the only reminder..