Pettah is the vibrant multi-ethnic wholesale and open air market/bazaar of Sri Lanka, an extension of downtown Colombo Fort, where historically traders from East Asia, Arabs and merchants from further afield visited to trade goods and export spices, gems and other exotic commodities.
Pettah is an interesting place to spend some time during your visit to Colombo, it also houses the Dutch Museum, the formal Dutch Governors residence (1634-1701) during Dutch colonial rule.
The Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque was built in 1908-9 in red and white brickwork in contrasting designs to Indo-Saracenic style and is a most interesting place of worship to see. It is visible from many areas of Pettah.
This Mosque helped ancient seafarers as a point of reference when approaching the port of Colombo.