Sri Lanka is one of major exotic destination in the world, surrounded by the emerald green waters of the Indian Ocean. Frequently referred to as the “Teardrop of India”. The Full name of the country is Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is also well known as “the Pearl of Indian Ocean”, Taprobane of the Greeks, Serendib of the Arabs, and Ceylon of the Europeans – according to the chronicles. This Magnificent Island is rich of landscapes, stretches of pristine golden beaches, unique culture and Traditions, breathtaking nature and wealthy wildlife. This Island is rich of over 400 waterfalls, 15 National Parks, nearly 500,000 acres of greenish tea estates and 08 UNESCO Heritage Sites.
Facts & Figures
Capital : Sri Jayawardenepura
Commercial Center : Colombo
Area : 25,322 square miles
Population: 20.33 million
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupees – RS / LKR
Main Ethnic Groups: Sinhala 74.0%, Sri Lankan Tamil 12.75% Indian Tamils 5.5%, Moor 7.0%, Others 0.8%
Religious Group: Buddhism 70%, Hinduism 16%, Christianity 7%, Islam 7%
Literacy Rate: 92.2%
Language: Sinhala (Official Language), Tamil & English
Topography: Flat coastal and Northern areas, Hills and Mountains in the Central and South Central areas
Average Temperature: Colombo 30.60C to 24.10C , Kandy 29.00C to 11.50C, Nuwara Eliya 20.20C to 11.50C
Rainfall : March to April – Inter Monsoonal
May to September – Southwest Monsoonal
October to November – Inter Monsoonal
December to February – North East Monsoonal
Location: An Island off the South – Eastern cost shores of India, 880km North of the Equator, in the Indian Ocean
International Dialing: +94 or 0094
Time Zone: Sri Lanka standard Time is Five and Half hours ahead of GMT.
History & Heritage
The history of Sri Lanka dates back to 543BC according to the first entries in the Mahavansa (A Great Chronical). The Prince Wijaya arrives to Sri Lanka from India during this period and Some 300 years later, commenced the early Anuradhapura Period, with King Devanampiya Tissa as the first ruler. Sri Lanka is slightly packed with world heritage sites that you should make time to visit and see their beauty of your own eyes if possible.
Anuradhapura Kingdom, the first political & religious Capital of Sri Lanka which established around 03rd Century BC. This ancient city includes major highlights of Ancient wonders. The Sacred Fig Tree (Sri Maha Bodhiya) the world’s oldest documented tree, which resulted from a cutting of the original tree where Buddha said to have attained enlightenment.
Abayagiri Stupa, Ruwanweli Stupa, Monolithic statues like Samadhit & Avukana are the other major attractions of this site. The Lion Rock- Sigiriya Rock Fortress, one of the most popular attractions in the country also the Eighth Wonder of the World, 200m high an Isolated Rock with a Royal Palace of a King who lived in 04th Century, shows its pride.
And the Golden Temple of Dambulla, also well known as Rock Temple is another popular site, a cave monastery with Buddhist mural paintings and 157 statues and over 1000 of Buddhist paintings that have been a sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries
Polonnaruwa Kingdom, the second and the medieval capital of Sri Lanka which shows a rich and advance side of Ancient culture and heritage of Sri Lanka. Dates back to 11th Century. Parakrama Samudraya (Parakrama – The name of the greatest King who constructed tank and Samudraya means Ocean ), Gal Wiharaya (The Rock Temple), Vatadage, Rankoth Vehera and Hindu Temples are the major highlights in this ancient city.
The Sacred City of Kandy, a famous pilgrimage site for Buddhists in the center of the country, The Temple of Tooth ( Dalada Maligawa) , a plateau is surrounded by mountains, and also the second largest city in Sri Lanka after Colombo.
Wildlife & Nature
Sri Lanka is one of the best places in Asia for seeing wildlife hotspot with an abundance of Sri Lankan Leopards, Asian Elephants, Migrant & Endemic birdlife and other wild creatures. There are 22 National Parks in Sri Lanka and If you want to spot leopards, head to Yala West National Park which is six hours from Colombo or Wilpattu National Park which is four hours from Colombo. If wild elephants are more your bag, We bring you to Minneriya National Park & Udawalawe National Park, which is four hours from the capital and near the tea trails. Also Mirissa, the southern coastal town is a hotspot for Blue Whales, Sperm Whales and Dolphins.
Waterfalls in Sri Lanka, another beautiful creation of Mother nature. Sri Lanka has over 300 waterfalls around the Island and most of waterfalls can be seen in the hill country. Ramboda Falls, Devon Fall, St.Clair Waterfall, Ravana waterfall, Bambarakanda waterfall (The Highest in Sri Lanka) and Diyaluma falls are the popular waterfalls in Sri Lanka which can be seen during your tour.
Over One thousand kilometers of palm fringed sandy pristine beaches encircle the Island. Sri Lanka is never out of season for a beach holiday. Sri Lanka has stretch clean beaches which makes the holidays more adorable. The Beach resorts in the West Coast, South Coast and East Coast are the most popular beaches with people who enjoy taking a dip in the warm waters and relaxing on the sandy beaches while tasting the coconut. Also most of the beach areas are full delicious islands best sea food restaurants and have an adventure time with Watersports, such as Jet skis, scuba diving , snorkeling, surfing , kite surfing and other all water sports activities.
Bentota is a coastal town which is approximately 65kilometers from the country’s commercial capital Colombo and 56 kilometers north of Galle. Bentota is located on the southern bank of the Bentota River mouth. Bentota has a beautiful wide sandy beach which is connected to the Bentota river. One of the finest stretches of beach on the west coast, running south from the magnificent Bentota lagoon and lined with a river. One of the most popular relaxing beach of the Island with full of beautiful Beach hotels and resorts.
Located in eleven kilometers south from Colombo along the road to Galle is the beach resort of Mt Lavinia. This beach is popular for bathing and clean sandy beaches. Around the Mount Lavinia area, there are lot of restaurants, shopping malls and pubs which have easy access to each beach hotels.
A pretty little horseshoe beach backed by one of Sri Lanka’s most enjoyable villages. Close to the colonial town of Galle. A sleepy peaceful cove with deep still water and a temple overlooking the bay from the protecting cliffs. Unawatuna is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Sri Lanka and is the most “famous” beach in the country. It is a lovely banana-shaped beach of golden sand and turquoise water, surrounded by green palm trees.
Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, on the west coast of the island and the mouth of Negombo Lagoon. Negombo is approximately 20 minutes drive from the Colombo Air Port and approximately 35 kilometers north of Colombo. Negombo is known as for its huge and fishing village and fishing industry. Nice sandy beach with lot hotels, guest houses, sea food restaurant and happening pubs make your stay more colorful. Good spot to start the round tour.
Is a bay which is located in the southeast coast of the Island and 320 kilometers due east of Colombo. Arugam Bay is a fishing village and one of the major hotspot for the best surfing and an easy going happy party atmosphere, with its wide sweeping beach in front of the village. This area also well known as a low budget travelers haunt.
Hikkaduwa is a small town which is located in the southern coast. One of a top tourist destination in the country because of the beach. A long stretch of beach with plenty of hotels, restaurants and some nice bars, not forgetting the impromptu beach parties held on the beach. Hikkaduwa is well known for a beautiful coral reef and you can have a glass boat to spot the corals.
Mirissa is a small town which is located in the south coast. It is approximately 240 kilometers from Colombo . Mirissia beach is one of top tourist destination in the world because of the beach and this is the best place to see world’s biggest creature “ Blue Whales” and Dolphins. Perhaps a contender for the most beautiful beach in the world. Long, deserted and hot. Snorkeling is also incredible in Mirissa sea area.
Pasikuda beach, recognized as one of safest beaches in Sri Lanka is very famous among the travelers who travel around the Sri Lankan tourism areas. Known for its sun-kissed beaches, one of the best seaside areas to visit when in the Eastern Coast is Pasikuda Beach. Located in the Batticaloa district and around 300 kms from the commercial capital Colombo.
The Major city in the Eastern Province. Trincomalee harbour is one of a finest natural harbour in Asia. Dutch and British arrived to this place and they have described the beauty of this place. Now it is a famous beach.
Sri Lanka has the World’s best tea and well known as “Ceylon Tea”. Sri Lanka is one of the most famous countries to produce tea and is one of the most fabulously enjoyed beverages in Sri Lanka. Tea for us is literally second to water, every single person in Sri Lanka drinks and enjoys at least three cups a day. Tea is the most famous common drink in the country. World famous our Tea “Ceylon Tea” was introduced to Tea in the 1800’s by James Taylor, he began a tea plantation in Kandy and started manufacturing tea. He made his first sale in Kandy and thus began the growth of the tea industry in Sri Lanka.
The ideal climatic conditions play a major role in the success of the growth of tea in Sri Lanka. 4% of the country’s land is covered by tea plantations. The main tea growing areas are Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Central Province, Bandarawela, Haputale, Uva Province, Galle, Matara, Southern Province, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Sabaragamuwa Provinces. Ceylon Black Tea is the most famously known tea around the globe. The high-grown black tea has a honey golden liquor and light and is among the best teas which have a distinct flavor, aroma, and strength. Ceylon black tea is famous around the world and is used as the base for many blends such as Earl Grey tea, and much other fruit flavored teas. Black tea is not the only tea produced, Sri Lanka produces Green tea, silver tea and White tea.
Sri Lankan Taste
Sri Lanka has an extensive number of indigenous dishes, fruits and spices. Over the last centuries Lankan cuisine is complemented with Indian, Chinese, Malay, Arabian and European tastes. Foods in Sri Lanka can be hot or very mild or can be combination being very much a question of individual preference. Most of Sri Lankan food is unique for their Culture. Most of the Sri Lankans eat vegetables. With a large community of farmers the Rice and curry is the main food in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka curries are known for their fiery hot spicy flavors and coconut milk is very distinct feature of Sri Lankan cuisine that different regions of country specialize in different types of dishes. The specialty in Sri Lankan food is that same food is differently made in different regions. Dishes from the North region of Sri Lanka have distinct south Indian flavors.
Most Popular Sri Lankan Cuisines
|Rice and Curry||Kiribath ( Milk Rice)||Hoppers||String Hoppers|
|Pittu||Dhal Curry||Coconut Sambol||Fish & Meat Curry|
Sri Lanka is rich for various kind of fruits. Some of the fruits are endemic to the country and have specific area and the season for the cultivation. Sri Lankans love to eat fruits and country produce fresh Jams, cordials, soft drinks and many products. Country produces more than 800,000 metric tons of fruits and vegetables annually and exports both fresh and processed varieties to many destinations in the world.
Most Popular Fruits in Sri Lanka
Herbs & Spices
Sri Lanka is a country which has a rich life of Spices and Herbs, began over 3000 years ago. In the 16th Century Ceylon, as it was then known, was discovered by Portuguese who soon began trading in Cinnamon and other famous spices. The Dutch and British invaded the country in 17th and 18th Century and followed bringing with them their own history and influences, forming a strong western presence which created a history of food expressed with spices which can be tasted in the dishes today. Sri Lankans use various kind of Spices for their daily meals. Creating good that is unique and interesting, adding subtle flavors and aromas. It is an Ayurvedic belief that spices have healing abilities that can enhance wellbeing.
|Chilli||Garlic||Tamarind||Turmeric||Cinnamon||Dry Ginger||Green Cardamoms||Mace|
|Lime||Nutmeg||White Pepper||Vanilla Beans||Whole Cloves||Nutmeg with shell||Black Pepper|
Arts & Crafts
Sri Lanka has a proud and rich heritage of arts and crafts and you’ll find a distinctive memento to take home among the wide range of items for sale in Commercial capital Colombo and other major tourist destinations of the country. Popular handicrafts include Handcrafts gold and silver jewelry set with gems, wooden masks, intricate lace-work, Batiks, lacquer work and ceramics. Sri Lanka has its unique styles of those with traditional touch. Objects carved in wood, made of brass and silver, decorated with lacquer, hand woven clothes and lace, beautiful reed mats, attractive colorful batiks, pottery, traditional wooden masks are the major handcrafts items made by Sri Lankan traditional craftsmen.
Ayurveda & Yoga
Thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed Ayurveda, which continues to be one of the World’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems. More than a mere system of treating illness, The meaning of Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential.Sri Lanka is a rich country of traditional Ayurveda and healing techniques which runs over 5000 years. Ayurveda in Sri Lank has its unique techniques and use many herbs as the country is full of herbs. It’s amazing just how many herbal treatments and cures there are in Sri Lanka. Still today in Sri Lanka approximately 60% of the population are treated with healing system. Ayurveda an approach to healing that has been proven and tested over thousands of years and that only uses medicines that are found in nature. Almost every herb, vegetable and fruit has a wide variety of medicinal properties. In short, there’s a cure for every ailment if you know herbs well enough. Herbal medications are also becoming popular exports in Sri Lanka. There are many Traditional Ayurvedic medical centers and Ayurvedic Hotels in Sri Lanka. Many tourists come to Sri Lanka, especially for the Ayurvedic Treatments.
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga exercises heal your body and soul, and increase your brain functioning level. Is kind of a meditation which uses different kind of positions. Yoga is getting more popular in the world and Sri Lanka is one of the major Yoga destinations. There are many yoga centers and many hotels in Sri Lanka which conduct Yoga centers for locals and tourists.