Sri Lanka, also known as Ceylon, is an island country that is known not only for its tea all over the world but also for its beautiful temples, delicious food and adventure activities. Places such as the Galle Face Green, Lotus tower and beaches are some of the top tourist attractions. Sri Lanka has a rich history and being one of the most religious countries, it is famous for its rich Buddhist Culture.
Location and Population: – Sri Lanka is located in the southern part of Asia that lies at the Indian ocean and Bay of Bengal. It shares marine borders with Maldives and India. The geographical area of Sri Lanka is 65,610 km2.
According to the census conducted in the year 2012, the population of Sri Lanka is 20,359,439.
Sri Lanka’s History: – The History of Sri Lanka goes back to the 15th century when Sri Lanka, earlier known as Ceylon, was being ruled by several European countries such as the Dutch, Portuguese and finally the Britishers. The island was considered as a good route for trade and labourers from the Southern part of India until the country got independence in the year 1948. After gaining Independence, the name Ceylon was changed to Sri Lanka and there were communal tensions in Sri Lanka that led to the Sri Lankan Civil war which was on of the biggest wars that the country and the world had witnessed between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which went on for more than 10 years and it was in the year 2009, when the war finally ended with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Facts you should know about Sri Lanka: – There are some really interesting facts that the tourists should know about Sri Lanka before they pay a visit. They are as follows: –
- Sri Lanka is known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” and “the teardrop of India.”
- Sri Lanka is the largest exporter of Tea in the world and it grows various types of tea such as Green tea, Black tea and white tea.
- Sri Lanka is the first country in the world where a woman was elected as the Prime Minister of the country , Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
- Did you know that Sri Lanka has the highest literacy rate in South Asia of 92% ?
- The colours and symbols of the flag of Sri Lanka holds various meanings that are as follows: –
- The lion represents the Sinhalese people and the strength of the nation.
- The sword represents the nation’s sovereignty.
- The four bo leaves symbolise Buddhism
- The colour orange represents Sri Lankan Tamils,
- Green colour signifies Sri Lankan Moors,
- Red colour signifies the Sinhalese people.
- Yellow colour represents other ethnic groups present in the country.
Culture and Food: – The people in Sri Lanka are warm and friendly in nature, and are known for their hospitality. The official religion in Sri Lanka is Buddhism but there are other religions in the island namely Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc. The people in Sri Lanka are big fans of Cricket and they support the country’s cricket team till the very end.
Sri Lankan cuisine is a mixture of various countries’ cuisines such as Indian, Dutch and Indonesian cuisine. Sri Lankan cuisine includes rice, spices, meat, coconut, sea food like fish, crab, prawns, etc. Some of the popular dishes of the Sri Lankan cuisine are Gotu Kola Mallum Sambola, Fish Ambul Thiyal, Kiribath, Wattapalam, Kukul Mas Curry, Wood Apple, etc.
Things to explore in Sri Lanka: – Sri Lanka has There are various things for the tourists to explore in Sri Lanka in terms of festivals, events and adventure activities which are as follows: –
- Independence Day: – Sri Lanka celebrates its Independence Day on the 4th February every year and the tourists can get to see the celebration in the island such as the military parade, Flag hoisting ceremonies, Speech from President, traditional Sri Lankan music being played in the island, airshows, etc.
- Navam Perahera: – It is one of the most popular Buddhist festivals that is held in the month of February and is organised by the Gangaramaya temple. The tourists would get to see a procession in the streets of Colombo that has traditional dancers, acrobats, elephants, flag bearers, etc.
- Sinhala and Tamil New Year: – It is a festival that happens in the month of April that marks the end of the spring and harvest season. This festival collides with the new year of Tamil people according to the Tamil calendar. The tourists would get to see the houses decorated, people shopping for new clothes, buying sweets, going out with families to restaurants to have some delicious food and much more.
- Hot Air Balloon: – The tourists can do a Hot Air balloon ride that would give them a good view of the country from the sky especially the lakes, cities and much more. Some of the places to do Hot Air Balloon rides in Sri Lanka are Dambulla, Sigiriya, Galle, Bentota, etc.
- Hiking: – There are many places in Sri Lanka for the tourists to do Hiking and enjoy the greenery that the country has to offer to the tourists. Some of the places for the tourists to go for hiking are Adam’s Peak, Ella Gap, Horton Plains National Park, etc.
- Scuba Diving: – The tourists can scuba dive in the Sri Lankan waters and get to see the marine animals in the country. Some of the places to do Scuba Diving in the country are Taprobane reef, Gorgonian gardens, Barracuda reef, Unawatuna, etc.
Things to buy in Sri Lanka: – Tourists can get their hands on some really beautiful Gems and Jewellery, Ceylon Tea, Spices, Wooden traditional masks, Rubber, Coconut, Antiques, Jams, Chutneys, Antiques, Sarees, Chocolates, Paintings and clothing.
Best time to visit: – The best time to visit Sri Lanka is during the dry season that is between December to April as the climate would be pleasant and one can smoothly explore the island at its best.
Places to visit in Sri Lanka
- Colombo: – The city which is the capital of Sri Lanka, situated at the western coast of the country, is Colombo. The tourists can visit the Lotus tower which is the tallest tower in Sri Lanka. It is a 350 metre tall tower and the top of the tower is designed in the shape of the lotus.The tourists can explore the Dehiwala zoo that is also known as the National Zoological Garden of Sri Lanka. It is a place that has a wide range of wild animals and an ideal location for animal lovers. Some of the animals in the zoo are Lions, Elephants, Snakes, Lizards, Birds, etc. The tourists would also get to see animal shows such as the Elephant show, Bird show, etc. Besides, the tourists can visit the R Premadasa Stadium which is the largest Cricket stadium in the country. It is situated in Khettarama road in Colombo and the seating capacity of the stadium is around 35,000.
- Kandy: – Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka, known for its temples as well as tea plantations. Tourists can visit the Temple of the sacred tooth relic, which is one of the popular buddhist temples in the country and is also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa. The temple is inside the Royal Palace of Kandy and is known for the relic of Lord Buddha that is kept in the chamber of the temple. The tourists should visit the temple on Wednesday as they would get a chance to drink the holy water that comes from the bath of the relic. The tourists can explore the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens which is the largest garden in Sri Lanka. It has a wide variety of flowers, trees and plants. Besides, the tourists can also explore the Ceylon tea museum which talks about the history of tea in Sri Lanka and the tea plantations which include James Taylor, the Father of Ceylon tea Industry. The museum has four floors wherein right from the ground floor to the second floor, the museum highlights traditional techniques to produce tea and showcases various videos, exhibits, library, etc. The tourists can get their hands on some delicious tea from the museum on the third floor and the fourth floor has a restaurant where they can enjoy a warm cup of tea.
- Galle: – The city located in the south western coast of Sri Lanka is Galle. The tourists can visit the Galle fort which is also known as the Dutch fort, built during the 16th century by the Portuguese.The Galle fort has many attractions such as the Galle Fort Clock tower, Galle Fort lighthouse, Museums, Shop at Pedlar Street, etc. The tourists can explore the Unawatuna beach which is one of the most popular beaches in Galle. The tourists can also indulge in various water sports such as swimming, surfing, diving, snorkelling, etc. There are readily available sunbeds, mats and umbrellas by the beach authorities for the tourists.
The Unawatuna Beach also has many restaurants and cafes where one can enjoy some delicious food with an amazing view. Besides, the tourists can visit the St Mary Cathedral which is a popular landmark in the city. It is a Catholic church that is known for its architecture and was built during the 19th century.
- Anuradhapura: – Situated in the north central plain of Sri Lanka, also known as the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, is Anuradhapura. The tourists can visit the Sri Maha bodhi which is the oldest tree in Sri Lanka, at the Mahamewna garden. The tree is believed to be brought from India around 2000 years back from Bodh Gaya in India, where Gautama Buddha had attained enlightenment and the tree is still planted. The tourists can explore the Ruwanwelisaya stupa which is one of the largest stupas in Sri Lanka. This magnificent stupa was built by King Dutugemunu during 140 BC and the height of the Stupa is around 338 feet. The Stupa is believed to be the site that contains the relics of Lord Buddha and the stupa is also known as Maha Stupa. Tourists can explore the Anuradhapura Archaeological museum. It was built during 1947 and is known for ancient paintings, coins, exhibits, antiques, inscriptions, statues of Lord Buddha and Hindu Gods such as Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Besides, the museum also has models of buildings which are now destroyed and the remains of the buildings are in Polonnaruwa.
How to reach Sri Lanka from India: – The tourists can reach Sri Lanka from India by flights. There are direct flights available to Sri Lanka depending on the city chosen by the tourists. Some of the airlines that fly to Sri Lanka are Indigo, Air India, Sri Lankan Airlines, Vistara, etc. Besides, the tourists can also reach Sri Lanka through cruise. The tourists can travel to Chennai and take a cruise to Sri Lanka.
Popular Packages: – These are a list of popular packages to travel to Sri Lanka:-
|Name of the Package||Duration of the Package||Price of the Package (RS)|
|Best of Sri Lanka||4 Nights / 5 Days||37,500|
|Amazing Sri Lanka||7 Nights / 8 Days||42,500|
|SriLankan Delight||6 Nights / 7 Days||45,999|
|Ramayana Legend Tour||6 Nights / 7 Days||65,000|
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the currency of Sri Lanka ?
Ans: The currency of Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan Rupee.
- What is the language spoken in Sri Lanka ?
Ans: The language spoken in Sri Lanka is Sinhala and Tamil but the locals can also speak in English.
- What are the eateries that serve Indian food in Sri Lanka ?
Ans: A portion of eateries that serve Indian food in Sri Lanka are Maharaja Palace, Indian Chaat Corner, Balaji Dosai, The Empire Cafe, Golden Mango Indian Restaurant, etc.
- What is the national sport of Sri Lanka ?
Ans: The national sport of Sri Lanka is Volleyball.
- Which places are popular for shopping in Sri Lanka ?
Ans: There are various places for the tourists to shop in Sri Lanka such as Pettah Floating Market, Paradise Road, Colombo City Centre mall, Orchid house, Kandy city centre, etc.