About Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, Officially the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka, knows as Ceylon before 1972 an island nation in South Asia. Located about 31 kilometers (18 ½ miles) off the southern coast of India. Originally known as Heladiva, Serandip and Taprobane. Now it is home to around 21 million people. The earliest recorded civilization dates back to 380BC, when Anuradhaoura (205km from Colombo) was established as the first Capital City. Following the advent of Buddhism in the 3rd Century BC, a civilization rich in Indo-Aryan culture took root. It produced the great cities with their “dagabas” which compared, and even exceed in size, the pyramids of Egypt, palaces and pleasure gardens, rich art and architecture and gigantic irrigation works, many of which are still in use today. After over 2000 years of rule by local kingdoms, parts of Sri Lanka were colonized by Portugal and Netherlands beginning in the 16th Century, before the control of the entire country was ceded to the British in 1815.
During the World War 11 Sri Lanka served as an important base for Allied Forces in the fight against the Japanese Empire. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century, with the aim of obtaining political independence, which was eventually granted by the British after peaceful negotiation in 1948. Since then Sri Lanka has enjoyed a stable democracy and continuous economic progress until now.
Sri Lanka is a strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia and has been a Centre of Buddhist religion and culture from ancient times. Today, Sri Lanka is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation. The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population (around 78%). The Tamil community, who are mostly, live in the North and East of the island. Other communities include the Muslim and Malays as well as Burghers. English is widely spoken and is studied as a compulsory secondary language in School.
Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean. Island has a pleasant tropical climate and average temperature ranges between 25-30 degrees Celsius. Main and famous production and export of Tea, Rubber and Coconuts. Sri Lanka boasts a progressive and modern industry economy.
The natural beauty of Sri Lanka is its tropical forests, beaches, wild life and landscapes. As well as the natural beauty, its rich cultural heritage and the friendly faces, makes it a world famous tourist destination.
“..we welcome you to our beautiful island, Sri Lanka. The island’s proud history of over 2500 years and the breathtaking diversity of scenery will capture your heart and soul like no other destination. May the time you spend in our Island be filled with exciting experiences – memories of which you will carry long after you leave our shores.”
Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka offers a very rare and an exclusive experience to all.
|Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte|
|Commercial center: Colombo|
|Area: 65,606 sq kms (25,322 sq miles)|
|Highest Water Fall: Bambarakanda – 241 meters|
|Highest Peak: Pidurutalagala – 2524 meters|
|Longest River: Mahaweli – 335 Km|
|Climate: Warm and sunny year-round, with an average of 27oC in Colombo. Hill country district are generally around 10 oC cooler. The best time to visit the west, south and central highlands is October to March, after the southwest monsoon, while the east coast is best between May and September.|
|Rainy Seasons: South West Monsoon – May to August, North East Monsoon – November to February|
|Population: 21.4 million|
|Languages: Sinhala, Tamil and English are the main languages. English is widely used and understood in tourist areas.|
|Religion: Buddhism (69%), Hinduism (16%), Islam (8%), Christianity (7%)|
|Time: Sri Lanka is 5.30 hours ahead of Greenwich Time (GMT +05.30)|
|International Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake (34km north of Colombo)|
|Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (one Rupee = 100 Cents)|
|Exchange Rate: Approx. Sri Lanka Rs. 108 = $1 NZD|
Surrounded by the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean, miles of golden sand contour the little island in the sun.
Here’s a vision of supernatural beauty. By day, it’s a sacred ground for sun worshipers. By night, the moonlit shores and soft lull of waves echo romance and tranquility.
From sleepy lagoons to lively fishing villages, underwater fantasies to surfers’ paradise, each stretch of sand and every mile of crystal clear water is waiting to delight the amphibian in you. Visit the unforgettable beaches of Sri Lanka.
Castles in the sky are more than just a figment of your imagination. For there’s something very real about this splendid island and its many wonders.
The sheer majesty of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress with its breathtaking landscaped gardens make you feel on top of the world. Ascend the Mountain of Butterflies, a sacred ground to pilgrims of four world religions. Visit caves that were home to prehistoric man and move amongst the vestiges of ancient cities.
2500 years of civilisation, eight world heritage sites and dozens of wonders beckon you.
The altitude of a ride on the crest of a surf? The rush of a rapid on a foamy river? An incredible balloon ride over a silent valley? A safari through the jungle? A Friendly game of beach cricket with the locals? A round of golf in the hills? Or perhaps a joy ride in a “tuk tuk” through the bustling city?
Choose your pace and Sri Lanka will delight you at every turn.
There’s an exotic isle in Asia, where the traveler is guided by sheer instinct.
Wake up to the call of indigenous birds. Drink deep from a babbling brook. Take in moist air of a rainforest. Spend an afternoon in the presence of snoozing leopards and bathing elephants. Watch an amorous peacock flaunt its plumage against the flaming sunset. Turn your gaze towards the ocean to witness pods of frolicking dolphins at play. Dive deep to discover multi-hued underwater gardens and the colourful habitat amongst silent shipwrecks.
As night falls, end one adventure and start another.
There’s a greeting that every visitor to Sri Lanka becomes acquainted with. ‘Ayubowan’ is ‘hello’ and ‘welcome’. But most importantly, it is the wish of long life upon the greeted. It is this wish that sums up the ancient practice of Ayurveda – the science of life.
Amidst the scent of warm aromatic oils, a heavenly massage kneads away your sins. In a bath strewn with tropical flowers, your mind, body and soul are bathed in virtue. Transcend time as science and the art of spa relaxation fuse together. For indulgence that’s perfectly good for you.
Visit the wondrous isle of bliss. It will breathe fresh life into you.
A meandering ascent through the hills along the rise and fall of the blue green landscape emulates a journey to heaven. The cool mountain air rejuvenates your spirit. Suddenly you capture the sight of a white veil of cascading waters. Tea gardens dotted with brightly-attired figures, their quick fingers picking out the freshest leaves.
At the end of the journey, you are greeted with an invigorating cup of Ceylon tea. At 4000 feet above sea level, altitude is only one reason to believe you’re in heaven.
Welcome to a tropical island that generates warmth all year round. Soak in the sun on a palm fringed beach. Sink your feet into the warm sand for that tingling feeling of happiness. For warmth that goes more than skin deep, let the exotic flavours of our cuisine invigorate your taste buds. Touch, Smell, Taste, Rediscover the spice of life. Melt the hearts of those back home with lovingly crafted keepsakes and trinkets studded with Sri Lankan gemstones.
And as you journey through this wondrous isle, the smiles of the people would warm your heart and immerse you in a culture that stays with you for life. Come. Make yourself at home.
Whether it’s a celebration or veneration, the diversity of culture and religion in Sri Lanka keeps the spirit of festivity alive, all year round. Come. Discover.
For hundreds of years, festivals of faith and tradition gave brought blessings and good fortune to this precious little isle. At different times of the year festivities celebrated by a number of cultural and religious groups make the island come alive with light, music, dance and togetherness.
From Esela Perahera which takes a spectacular parade to the streets of the hills, to the Skanda festivities in the deep South and the Catholic pilgrimages along the Eastern coast with its magnificent churches, festivities in Sri Lanka create a unique tapestry of fairytale grandeur stunning to the traveler.