About Sri Lanka

About Sri Lanka

Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature's beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.

Few places in the world can offer the traveller such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location. Within a mere area of 65,610 kilometres lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres of coastline - much of it pristine beach - 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.

This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!

Official Name : Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Government Type : Republic

Location : Latitude 5° 55. to 9° 50. north, Longitude 79° 42. to 81° 52., 650km north of the equator

Dimensions : 430km North to South, 225km East to West

Coastline : 1,340km

Area : 65,525km

Currency (code) : Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

Administrative Capital : Sri Jayewardenepura

Commercial Capital : Colombo

Climate : Typically tropical, with a northeast monsoon (December to March) bringing unsettled weather to the north and east, and a southwest monsoon (June to October) bringing bad weather to the south and west

Terrain : Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central Interior

National Parks and Nature Reserves Area : 8,000sq.km

Population : 21,128,773

Ethnic Groups : Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)

Languages : Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%

Note : English (a link language commonly) is used in government and spoken competently by about 10% of the population

Religion : Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)

Industries :Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco.

Agriculture :Products Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, roots, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, meat.

Time Zone : Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)

International Dialing : +94

Electricity : 230 . 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer

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Why Visit Sri Lanka

if golden beaches, rising waves, misty mountains, mighty elephants, stealthy leopards, giant whales, a majestic past, lovely tea and warm smiles could sum up a country, that would be Sri Lanka.

With many sites and scenes bottled up in to a small island, a traveller could be riding the waves in the dawn and admiring the green carpeted mountains by dusk. Travel destinations in Sri Lanka provide an array of holiday experience from sun kissed beach holidays to a marathon of wildlife watching, adrenaline pumping adventure sports and pilgrimage to some of the oldest cities in the world.

The smiles and hospitality of Sri Lanka is world famous and so are its spicy food, exotic fruits and array of sweetmeats found nowhere in the world. With so many cultures living next to each other life in Sri Lanka continues among a series of festivities throughout the year, an ideal recipe for fun and leisure.