Sri Lanka located in the southern tip of
India has become increasingly popular as a travel destination. About twenty
million people reside on this relatively small island that used to be called
as Ceylon. People who come over to Sri Lanka can expect a great beach
holiday where Hikkaduwa is well known for its beach-resorts and for its
The country is proud of its warm sandy beaches with calm clear water which
give way to majestic mountains and lush tea plantations rising out of the
hill country. Some of the worlds engineering marvels like Sigiriya and the
Anuradhapura ancient cities are all part of Sri Lanka.
Marco Polo himself called it the finest island of its size in the
Official Name :
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Ethnic groups :
Sinhalese 74%, Tamil 18%, Moor 7%, Burgher, Malay,
and Vedda 1%
Sri Lanka is located off the southern tip of India.
Sri Lanka Rupee(LKR) ; 1 LKR = 0.4358 INR = 0.01001 USD =
0.008285 Euro (subject to change).
Capital city :
Sinhala, Tamil, with English widely-spoken
Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam & Christianity
25,322 square miles
Famous for :
Lush jungles, abundant wildlife, cool mountains and
Major cities :
Colombo, Kandy, Galle.
Light cottons, lightweight suits and loose clothing,
hats, sunglasses, high-factor sunscreen lotion, insect repellent, etc. The
hill towns require warmer evening wear.
Major events :
Kandy Esala Perahera (July/August), the Duruthu
Perahera (January), held in Colombo, which celebrates a visit by Buddha to
Sri Lanka, National Day (February), New Year (March/April, Vesak (May), the
Hindu Vel festival (July/August) in Colombo, the predominantly Hindu
Kataragama festival (July/August) in Kataragama.
Things to Buy :
Silk sarees, handicraft items, tea, gems, jewelry.
Things to do :
Adventure sports like Biking, white water rafting,
paragliding, canoeing, jungle camping and elephant and wildlife safari
Rice and curry, dishes of vegetables, meat and fish. Indian
curries such as vegetarian thali, delicately flavoured biriyani and kool, a
boiled, fried and dried-in-the-sun vegetable combo. Hoppers is a unique Sri
Lankan snack, served with egg or honey and yoghurt. Coastal towns have
excellent fish like the local tuna.
Tea and Beer.
Visa is not required for stay of up to 30 days for tourist purposes only.
30 days visa is issued at the border free of charge. Long stay (3 months)
visas are available only in advance.
Sri Lankan culture is an amalgamation of diverse cultural patterns both
indigenous and derived from, trade, religions, as well as, western
colonization. The cultural patterns of Sri Lanka today show the lasting
impact of a diverse range of cultures.
The overall culture is largely the result of the impact of the introduction
of Buddhism, more than 2,300 years ago. This does not remove the heavy
influence of Hinduism, together with the lesser impact of Islam,
Zoroastrianism, and Christianity, in addition to the pre-Buddhist worship of
deities and animism, some of which still remain in the traditions and
rituals of the country.
When to go
Climatically the driest and best seasons are from December to March on the
west and south coasts and in the hill country, and from May to September on
the east coast
It does not rain all the time. Reefs may protect a beach area and make
swimming quite feasible at places like Hikkaduwa, which during the monsoon
can be quite pleasant.
Average temperatures are: January/March 22° - 28°C; April/June 27°
- 30°C; July/September 25° - 28°C; October/December 20°
- 25°C. Temperatures in the highlands are normally some 7° - 9°
cooler. The main High Season is November/April, when the weather is normally
settled and sea conditions permit watersports. May/August is the usual
monsoon period on the west coast
By Air :
The only way to enter Sri Lanka is by flying. The
Bandaranaike International Airport is the only international airport in the
country located 35 km. north of Colombo and Srilankan Airways is the
international airways in the country.
Colombo is the international gateway for direct flights from Europe, Asia,
Australia and the Middle East.
By Road :
There are no domestic passenger flights in Sri Lanka,
which leaves buses and trains as the dominant modes of transport. Motorbike
and self-drive car hire are becoming increasingly popular comfortable. It's
common to rent a car with a driver for a day trip or a few days' tour of the
By Train :
Train travel, while slower, is more comfortable.
The trains are the most cheapest traveling method in Sri Lanka. From the
Pettah railway station which is the central railway station travelers can
take their trains to different destinations. You can take trains to most of
the important places in the island. Badulla, Colombo Fort, Kandy, Maradana,
Matara, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee and Vavunia are various cities connected by
Local transport consists of buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws. Use your nous
and agree a fare beforehand.
Colombo(capital city) :
Colombo, the island's largest city, is
noisy, wild - and just a little crazy. The city is made up of 15 small
towns, each of them being unique. One such town Maradana is perhaps the most
densely populated areas within the whole country. In stark contrast the fort
area is almost completely devoid of houses or apartments. Many of the high
rises in the country are concentrated near the Fort, which gets its name
from being a British fortress in the 19th Century.
To the north of the centre is the Fort district, the country's business
centre. South is Galle Face Green, a seafront expanse of occasional green
graced by cricket games and trysting lovers. Cinammon Gardens, further
south, is the most fashionable neighbourhood, with mansions and tree-lined
Sri Lanka Beaches :
Over one thousand kilometers of palm fringed
sandy beaches encircle the Island. Sri Lanka is never out of season for a
beach holiday. There is always some part of the beach that has friendly and
warm waters. The beach resorts in the North Coast, West Coast, East Coast
and the South Coast are popular among the tourists who enjoy taking a dip in
the warm waters and relaxing on the sandy beach.
The important beaches in the country are:
North Coast -
Jaffna beach, Mannar Island
West Coast -
Negombo beach, Mount Lavinia
East Coast -
Batticaloa beach, Trincomalee beach, Nilaveli
beach, Arugam bay
South Coast -
Berawela Beach, Bentota beach, Ambalangoda
beach and Galle beach