| Colombo is capital of Sri Lanka.
Sheltered from the South-west Monsoon by a barely perceptible promontory
jutting out into the sea, Colombo's bay was an important site for Muslim
traders before the colonial period. However, it is essentially a
colonial city, whose rise to pre-eminence did not start until the 19th
century and the establishment of British power. Before that it was a
much less important town than Galle, but when the British took control
of Kandy and encouraged the development of commercial estates, the
Island's economic center of gravity moved north. The capital, Colombo
offered two east routes into the Kandyan highlands.