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Sri Lanka - The Pearl of Indian Ocean

Srilanka Map

Capital: Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Area Total: 65,525 km2 Language: Sinhala,Tamil and English Population: 20.33 million (2012) World Bank Currency: Sri Lankan rupee

Sri Lanka, officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is a lush island country located in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean-just off the southern coast of India.

Sri Lanka -An Overview

Timeless ruins, endless beaches, large herds of elephants, killer surfs, fun trains, delectable cuisine, cheap fun and warm welcomes-that's Sri Lanka for you. For countless years, these and many more of its bounties have been hiding in plain sight and have left Sri Lanka largely unexplored.

Years of challenges, wars and tsunamis had kept Sri Lanka away from the itineraries of tourists, but it has now bounced back on the travel map-and in more ways than one. With numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites (eight), 2000-plus years of rich culture, mystical ancient sites, large ornate temples, 15 national parks, flushing wild life reserves, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 500,000 acres lush tea plantations and 25,000 water bodies; Sri Lanka is definitely worth a visit.

Sri Lanka boasts of an opulent history that dates back into time and pays rich testimony to the original soul of Buddhism-which still lingers in its unspoilt and abundant natural beauty. With 1,330 km of coastline, green tropical lowlands and alluring hills vying for attention amidst pristine beaches and rain forested peaks; Sri Lanka has a lot on its cards. It's now a preferred destination for walkers, trekkers, hikers, anglers, beach enthusiasts, nature lovers and normal travellers alike.


Get ready to feast your eyes on elephants heading towards their favourite waterholes or wait in anticipation for water buffaloes, sloth bears, leopards and a host of other animals, birds, aquatic creatures and insects to make their appearance. Sri Lanka's numerous national parks lure wild life enthusiasts and safari lovers from all over the world-- with their abundance of natural wildlife and 43 endangered species listed by the World Conservation Union.

Adventure Sports

The expanding mountains and lush green forests of Sri Lanka are a haven for hikers and trekkers and offer unforgettable walking experiences. Sri Lankan waters provide the best diving experiences in the world at Kalpitiya, Ampara and Trincomalee and bring you closer to large schools of dolphins and exotic marine life. The other adventure activities include rock climbing, kayaking, surfing, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, whale watching and plenty of beach fun.

Places of Interest

The urban delights of Colombo, ruins of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, Dutch fort of Galle beach resort and the attractions of Kandy, Kurunegala, Nuwara Eliya and Ratnapura (City Of Gems), rank high on the "must see" list of tourists in the country.

Along with those mentioned above, you should also visit Adam's Peak, Yala National Park, Beruwela beach resort, highlands of Polonnaruwa, Horton's Plains, World's End, Robolgoda beach resort and the rainforests of Sinharaja- along with the idyllic beaches of Unawatuna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Mirissaa.

Things to do in Sri Lanka

While in the scenic precincts of Sri Lanka, you can witness the abode of the world's oldest living tree at Anuradhapura, witness hundreds of elephants sun bathing at Minneriya, enjoy its long beaches, meditate in 2000-year-old temples, stroll through mellow villages or marvel at wildflowers and exotic species of birds -take your pick.

Along with these manifold activities you must remember to enjoy authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, experience the fervour of its many festivals, steep yourself in religious stupor at Buddhist monasteries and walk through history in the many sightseeing locations of historical and cultural significance.

You can also indulge in the delights of white water rafting at Kitulgala or challenge the waves with your surfboard at Arugam Bay. After indulging in a host of outdoor activities and many fun filled hours of beach fun, you can shop up a storm in the quaint bazaars and sprawling shopping arcades of Sri Lanka. And yes, don't forget to feast on delicious seafood on Negombo beach, sweat trek to Sigiriya rock, witness elephants bathing in Kandy or cycle through the many ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa.


Sri Lanka is basically tropical, and boasts of distinct dry and wet seasons. It has two monsoons-- Yala monsoon which brings rain to the island's south-western half and the Maha monsoon which blows from the October-January, and brings rain to North and East. Sri Lankan summers are warm and sultry while winters are more or less pleasant.