Nelum Pokuna ෴ නෙළුම් පොකුණ

Nelum Pokuna Nelum Pokuna Nelum Pokuna

Sri Lanka has a history of theatrical productions for over 2500 years. Centuries ago, theatrical arts were patronized by those of royal lineage and good artistes were rewarded generously. However, after the fall of the kings, theatrical productions were patronized by the state anymore and the performers suffered. It has been a dream of Sri Lankan artistes to be given the opportunity to perform on a high-end stage before thousands of people who would appreciate their talents and offer them patronage.

Nelum Pokuna Auditorium in Sri Lanka: The Concept of the Lotus Pond

The concept of Nelum Pokuna, which literally translates to ‘Lotus Pond’, was created by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in order to honor Sri Lanka’s history of theater by offering performers state patronage. The idea was to provide an ideal place, in the heart of Colombo, for talented artists to exhibit their abilities and build a rapport with other performers on a local and international scale.

In addition the community was also offered the opportunity to appreciate the arts and culture while providing financial backing to the performers with their patronage. The Nelum Pokuna is intended as the Best Performing Arts Venue in the entirety of South East Asia, on par with some of the best theatres in the world such as Sydney Opera House, Covent Garden, Teatro Real de Madrid, Wiener Staatsoper and etc.

Nelum Pokuna Auditorium in Sri Lanka: Five Things you need to know

  • The design of Nelum Pokuna was done by the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design but carried out under the guidance of local professional architects.
  • The structural design was inspired by the lotus pond in Polonnaruwa.
  • Construction was carried out by China as part of an agreement with the Sri Lankan government.
  • The agreement was signed in 15th March 2006 and construction began at the address: No 110 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 07.
  • The funding for the construction of Nelum Pokuna, which came to around Sri Lankan Rupees 3 Billion, was covered by a grant from the Chinese government.

Nelum Pokuna Auditorium in Sri Lanka: The Structure of the Lotus Pond

The Nelum Pokuna is for large scale productions and has two main venues; the main auditorium and the amphitheatre. The theatre consists of 7 floors in total; 5 floors above ground and 2 floors below ground level. The total height is 28m, and the total floor area is 15,562 square meters.

Seating Layout

The main auditorium is composed of 3 tiers, the main ground tier and two balconies. The ground tier and the third tier are for common use, while the middle tier is for VIP use.

Total seating capacity: 1288

Stage Lighting

Around 500 lighting units have been installed for performance illumination, in six lighting battens right over the stage and either side. The system is controlled by a HDL 2011 lighting control system.

Sound Systems

Two modern sound mixers (Soundcraft MH4 and MH3) are available with the best specifications. The sound system also includes over 45 JBL brand speakers.

The Amphitheatre

The rooftop of Nelum Pokuna has an open-air theater in proper Greek fashion with a 12m x 15m stage and a stepped seating area for over three hundred people. It is used for smaller productions.

Nelum Pokuna Nelum Pokuna Nelum Pokuna
【Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】

About Colombo District

Colombo is the largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, the capital city of Sri Lanka. Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins and a city population of 647,100.The Colombo Metropolitan Region, defined by the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara, has an estimated population of 5,648,000, and covers an area of 3,694.20 km²

Colombo is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural city. It is the most populous city in Sri Lanka, with 642,163 people living within the city limits. The population of Colombo is a mix of numerous ethnic groups, mainly Sinhalese, Moors and Tamils. There are also small communities of people with Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, Malay and Indian origins living in the city, as well as numerous European expatriates.

The great majority of Sri Lankan corporations have their head offices in Colombo. Some of the industries include chemicals, textiles, glass, cement, leather goods, furniture, and jewellery. In the city center is located South Asia's second tallest building - The World Trade Centre.

About Western Province

The Western Province is the most densely populated province of Sri Lanka. It is home to the legislative capital Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte as well to Colombo, the nation's administrative and business center. Western Province is divided into 3 main districts called Colombo (642 km²), Gampaha (1,386.6 km²) and Kalutara (1,606 km²) districts. As Sri Lanka's economic hub, all the major local and international corporations have their presence in the city and so do all the major designer and high street retailers, so be ready to indulge in some retail therapy in western province.

Having the highest population in the all the provinces, the almost all the premier educational institutions in the island are located in western province. Universities in the province include the University of Colombo, the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, University of Kelaniya, Open University, Sri Lanka, Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and University of Moratuwa .Western province has the largest amount of schools in the country, which includes National, Provincial, Private and International schools.