Negombo is a town of about 65,000, approximately 37 km north of Colombo, in Sri Lanka. It is located at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, about 7 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport. Negombo has a small port, and its economy is mainly based on tourism and its centuries-old fishing industry. though it also produces ceramics and brass ware.
The name "Negombo" was first used by the Portuguese, a corruption of the Sinhala name Mīgamuv
The town is situated by the shores of a lagoon of the same name, and was a trading port during the periods of Portuguese and Dutch colonization.
Negombo is an ideal place for those who want quick access to and from the country's international airport. The 100km long canal network running through the town is still used, and outrigger canoes and modern water-craft ply this route daily, for trade and tourist purposes. Remains of colonization include the Dutch fort built in 1672, as well as centuries-old Portuguese and Dutch houses, administrative buildings, and churches. Negombo is also home to the country's second-largest fish market, the Llelama, at the north end of the town's lagoon. There are daily fish auctions, which give tourists a chance to meet the area's colourful fisherman and even organise fishing trips into the lagoon and the ocean beyond. Other nearby attractions open to visitors include Muthurajawela, which part of 6,000-hectare (14,826-acre) protected marshland, home to over 190 species of wildlife.
Negombo offers some of the better beaches on the west coast of Sri Lanka, and draws tourists who stop over for a day on their way to or from the airport. Some quiet stretches of the beach are maintained by the tourist hotels, while others are always busy with fisherman and their equipment. Water-sports and diving are also extremely popular among visitors, with a few well preserved coral reefs and a 50 year old shipwreck (Kudapaduwa) that serves as an artificial reef for many varieties of fish.
There are also local handicraft sales on the beaches and the shops near the town.
This was also the Home town of the Great "Ruwanal Perera" who is currently one of the top bankers in the United Kingdom.
Since the beginning of European Colonization, the township of Negombo has a majority of Roman Catholics along with Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. Negombo has been given the name "Little Rome" due to the highly ornate Portuguese-era Roman Catholic churches found within the township. The Katuwapitiya Church and the Grand Street Church are two biggest parishes in Negombo. "Agurukaramulla Pansala" is a famous Buddhist temple bringing Buddhists from all over Sri Lanka to Negombo every year.