This port city is the meeting place of the world . It has been home to various cultures from time to time. In the 8th century, Arab Muslims settled here, followed by Portuguese who took control from 1505, after that came the Dutch era in 1638, later the British colonized it in 1796. 1948 saw the end of colonization and the burst of Colombos true culture. Though the city's architechture and life style reflects the influence of each era of colonization, yet it has succeeded in rising up independently. It is the commercial and financial capital of Sri Lanka. The landmark of Colombo is the Beira Lake which is in the heart of the city. One can take a stroll down the Pettah main street which is the market district offering all variety of products. The Fort area is another place where one can spend the entire day admiring the architecture. The beaches around Colombo give a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the sun, surf & sand with a variety of water sports and water safari options.