When the noted writer Sir Arthur C Clarke made his home in Sri Lanka in 1956, he claimed the island jewel of the Indian Ocean was the best place in the world from which to view the universe. The author of 2001: A Space Odyssey passed away in 2008, but no doubt the futurist would have logged on to Google Earth to gaze back at his island home from an online universe. And concealed in the sky-high imagery of this teardrop-shaped nation, he would have recognised an amazing diversity for somewhere so compact.
Fringing the coasts is an array of gently arcing golden-sand beaches, now making a comeback after the devastation wreaked by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Zoom closer to spy the giant tanks (artificial reservoirs) built by the first Sinhalese rulers around the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Pollonaruwa. In the Hill Country, a layer of cotton wool clouds obscures the view, mirroring the misty mornings travellers often experience in this area of waterfalls and verdant tea plantations.
To the northwest, a gossamer-thin land bridge almost connects fragile Sri Lanka to the modern juggernaut that is India. Two and a half decades of civil war reinforces this bridge to Tamil Nadu is as much cultural as geographic.
Irrespective of their cultural background, Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim locals will welcome you with pride. Pride in their criminally underrated cuisine, pride in their national parks and wildlife, and – especially – pride in their national cricket team. Whether you’re a humble three-wheeler jockey or a British-trained lawyer or doctor, the sport that frequently stops the nation is always worthy of discussion. How will the boys do in the upcoming series against New Zealand?
Faced with funding a war and weathering a global financial crisis, Sri Lanka’s proud population has been doing it tough for a few years. But equipped with a stellar combination of scenery, culture and history, a growing focus on sustainable tourism and (hopefully) a more settled society, Sri Lanka is firmly back on the radar for curious travellers seeking unique experiences.
The Chamber of Commerce & Industry is to launch its new website shortly enabling the industry to get up date information and many value added services...
Location: Located at the Southern tip of India. Between 5 55' and 9 55' North of the equator and between the Eastern Longitudes 79 42' and 81 52'
Total Land Area: 65,610 sq.km.
Currency: Sri Lanka Rupees
Capital City: Colombo 'A blend of east and west '
Legislative Capital: Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte.
Best Season to visit: November to April in the Southwestern Coastal area
January to April: Central high lands
Peak season: Mid December to Mid January and March to April
Festivals: July, August Climate
Average Temperature: 27c-29c
Average Rain Fall: 1,500mm-2,100mm
Average Humidity: 79%
Mainly an Agricultural country with Rice being the main crop. Tea Rubber and Coconut are grown as commercial crops with Tea bringing in the highest foreign exchange earnings. Other crops such as Cinnamon, Cardamom, Pepper, Nutmeg and Cloves are grown in small quantities. Tropical & Temperate fruits & Vegetables grow in Sri Lanka. From ancient times Sri Lanka is famous for its Precious and semi precious Gem stones, Spices as well as its golden beaches.
Distance: 322 km from Colombo
Arugambay surfer's paradise-Beach resort in the southern most part of the Eastern coast. Rated as the 11th best surfing destination in the world and 3rd in Asia. Lahugala national park famous for its elephants the Pottuvil lagoon and the Kumana Bird Santuary are in close proximity to Arugambay beach resort. A road leading to Panama and Okanda the gate way to Yala National park provides easy access for visitors to the delights of wild life.
Distance: 206 km from Colombo
First Capital city of Sri Lanka. Built in 5th century B.C. Tanks built by ancient kings, The most venerated Sri Maha Bodhi, Dagobas such as Ruwanweli seya, Abhayagiriya, Mirisawetiya, Jethawanaramaya, Thuparamaya, Rock carved Samadhi Buddha statue, Kuttam Pokuna, Moon Stones, Museums with ancient ruins found during excavations are some of the main attractions in Anuradhapura.
Distance: 216km from Colombo
Medieval Capital city built in 11th century B.C. Ruins of the King's palace with it's meeting chambers, ponds, pavilion, guard stones and many more to be seen. Sculptures of Buddha carved on the rock face with a massive reclining statue of 14 meters in length of and a 7 meter tall standing figure..
Built 5th century A.D. by King Kashyapa a Royal Palace on the Rock 370 meters above sea level. The world famous Sigiriya Frescos are seen at the western face of the rock on the climb. The Gardens of the Sigiriya city are among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world.
The hill capital of Sri Lanka. One of the most visited cities in the country. The Dalada Maligawa where the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is enshrined is the centre of attraction in Kandy. Millions of people visit the Dalada Maligawa to worship the tooth relic of Lord Buddha. The Kandy Esala Perahera held in July/August where the replica of the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is taken in procession in the streets of Kandy is a treat to watch. During the 10 days of this glittering showpiece around 100 elephants elegantly dressed in beautiful attire march in the procession with Kandyan dancers accompanied by drummers and several cultural items exhibiting the ancient splendor of the Kandyan kingdom. One should not miss the Peradeniya gardens with an amazing variety of tress plants and flowers. Kandy also offers the pleasure of shopping for visitors providing an array of souvenirs made of copper, ceramic, wood, silver, brass, ebony and also handlooms, batics, jewelry etc.
Known as little England Nuwareliya, situated in the centre of the Tea country 1890 meters above sea level with its cool and serene climes provides the visitor a soothing atmosphere away from the busy urban life. Best kept parks with flowers blooming during most of the year and the famous Golf course provides a visitor with a well earned holiday. The famous Hakgala gardens is a place where visitors should never miss. It's well kept lawns and thousands of flowers and plants is a treat to watch during the high season in April. Close to Nuwaraeliya is the Hortan Plains. The Patna grass covered wide plain with it's harmless wild animals and birds is Sri Lanka's highest plateau which is the best attraction for nature lovers.
Ratnapura the Gem city, well known for the Gem industry since the times of the ancient Kings of Sri Lanka. An array of gems such as different shades of Sapphires, Rubies, Alexandrite, Cat's Eyes and several other semi precious Gem stones are found in the area. Gem Museums with a collection of different varieties of Gems, Gem Mines and Rubber and Tea plantations are some of the attractions in Ratnapura.
Yala National Park
Distance: 350km from Colombo
Famous for its Elephants. Several species of other wild animals and birds can also be seen in the Yala National Park. Spotted Deer, Sambhur Deer, Barking Deer, Monkey, Wild Baffalo, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, different varieties of birds endemic and migratory are seen in Yala. Peacock is the most famous bird in Yala. The Peacock dance is a treat to watch in the morning at Yala..
Uda Walawa National Park
Distance: 170km from Colombo
The Uda Walawa National park is just over 30,000 hectares in extent. Covered by shrub jungles and grass lands it is home for a variety of trees and plants. Large herds of Elephants can be seen in the park while animals such as Deer, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo, Jackal are also seen in the park.
Wilpattu National Park
Distance: 137 km. from Colombo
The Wilpattu National park is 1090 sq.km in extent. The specialty in Wilpattu is that it is covered by dense jungle while making it more exciting and Leopards and Sloth Bear are the special attractions seen in the park.
Located in the mouth of Sri Lanka's longest river Mahaweli Trncomalee, harbor is ranked as the fifth largest natural harbor in the world. Among the attractions in Trincomalee are the British built one and half century old Fort Fredrick, Thirukoneswaram kovil the highly venerated Hindu shrine on top of swami rock. All water sports are available
Situated close to Batticaloa Pasekudah is a fine bay with clear waters with an offshore reef sheltering the beach and keeping the waters calm and clear. Ideal location for Wind surfers and Water skiers
The most famous beach in the Eastern Coast. Situated in the 30 km stretch of golden beach Nilaweli is a travelers delight.A short boat ride will take you to the Pigeon Island suited for snorkeling.Shallow water near the beach offers some beautiful coral formations to the visitors. Whale watching Is the other attraction in Nilaweli.
The most popular beach close to Colombo. Situated just 12 km south of the capital city Mount Lavinia is one of the better known even during colonial times.
Bentota the prime beach resort in Sri Lanka offers a very interesting holiday to visitors.The wide Bentota river provides Boat rides Excursions and an array of water sports to the visitor
Hikkaduwa beach with it's coral formations attracts scuba divers and snorkelers. One can explore the fantasies under water by riding a glass bottomed boat.