Arcade Independence Square – A Colourful Past, A Cosmopolitan Present

Arcade Independance Square

Arcade Independance Square,Nazly Ahmed, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Amongst the many landmarks often visited by locals and tourists alike, the famous shopping precinct, Arcade Independence Square has a history that is quite intriguing.

A Building with an interesting history

The Arcade Independence Square is housed in the former Jawatte Lunatic Asylum along with several other buildings renovated as a part of the Independence Square Redevelopment Programme undertaken by the government at the time.

As the years went by…

The Jawatta Lunatic Asylum was built under the guidance of the then British Governor, Sir William Gregory in order to replace the existing asylum in Borella. The building consisted of two wings accommodating around 400 patients. Later the occupancy of the building was taken over by several government institutions including the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation and the Auditor General’s Department.

Getting to Arcade Independence Square

The arcade is located in the heart of Colombo. Found a few minutes away from ongoing projects such as Capitol TwinPeaks that targets many looking for a luxury apartment in Colombo, the Arcade is a hard-to-miss landmark.

What to look forward to when at the Arcade

Take a stroll along the carefully manicured shrubs and step inside the time capsule that is the Arcade building. The wooden floors and the enormous staircase guarantee to take you back in time to the colonial times. The arcade features several boutiques such as Charles and Keith and Tommy Hilfiger, a theatre and many popular places to dine in.


A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Joanna James ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy. Google+