Sri Lanka

Category: Resorts » International » Asia | Author: alex | Views: 45204 | 7-10-2011, 15:30

 

Sri Lanka

Official name: The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Сapital: Colombo;

Area: 65,610 square kilometers;

Geographical position: an island in the Indian Ocean (the historical name "Ceylon"), off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent;

Climate: tropical (warm and wet);

Population: 15 million people;

Ethnic groups: Sinhalese, Tamils, burgers (the descendants of Portuguese and Dutch), Moors (the descendants of Arab traders);

Language: Sinhalese ( Tamil and English are also popular);

Religion: Buddhist (70%), Hindu (18%), Christians (5%), Muslim (7%);

Currency: Rupee (LKR, code "4217") (1 U.S. dollar = 109 rupees);

Internet domain:. Lk;

Phone code: 94;

Local Time: UTC +5:30. 



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Sri Lanka

Flag of Shri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Map of Shri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Coat of arms of Shri Lanka

 

Information about Shri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an exotic country in the middle of the ocean. The island of golden sandy beaches and coconut palms, resort towns and ancient ruins of palaces, lost in jungle. Sri Lanka is considered to be a center of Buddhist religion and culture.

 

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

 

Geographical position of Shri Lanka

Sri Lanka is situated on the island "Sri Lanka" (the historical name of the island is "Ceylon") in the Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent and 800 km. from the equator. It is separated from India by the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait. The relief is mainly flat, mountains rising only in the south- central part. The highest mountain peak is mount Pidurutalagala (2524 m) and Mount Kirigalpotta (2395 m). The longest river is the "Mahaweli Ganga" (335 km).

 

Sri Lanka

 

Photos of Sri Lanka (Ceylon)

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

 

Climate of Shri Lanka

The climate of Sri Lanka is tropical equatorial (warm and wet). The average annual temperature is about 27 C. The Seasons on the island are determined by the amount of precipitation. The dry season in South-West lasts from October to May, and in the North - East coast - from April to November. Peak of tourism season is in November, December and January. In these months, the ocean is calmer and weather is not so hot.

 

History of Shri Lanka

According to the Hindu legend in ancient time Sri Lanka was conquered by Rimachandroy, the seventh incarnation of god Vishnu. The real history is described in the chronicles of the "Mahavamsa", which had been writing by Buddhist monks until 1815. Chronicle tells that in 1504 BC. the island was conquered by the Indian Prince Vijaya. During Several hundred years, his ancestors had been ruling the Sinhalese and called themselves Sinhalese. Tamil (invaders from south India) came to the island in the 8th century and formed their community in the North-East. In the 15th century, the Chinese army seized the island and it was divided into small states. In the 16th century the island was under the influence of Portuguese, and in 1638 - 1639 years it was captured by Dutch troops. Later they were replaced by the British. In 1802, the island was named Ceylon and became the British colony. Only after the Second World War, the country gained independence from Britain. On the 22 of May, 1972 the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was proclaimed. Since 1983 the country has been at war with Tamils, who demand independence. In 1991 Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and in 1993 President of Sri Lanka, Ranasinghe Premadasa were killed by Tamil terrorists. In 1995, government troops carried out a successful operation against Tamil separatists, but unfortunately, this conflict has not finished yet. In December 2004 the country was hit hard by the tsunami caused by an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, which killed more than 36,000 people. 

 

Culture of Shri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a holiday almost every day. Sri Lankiness are very happy people and love to celebrate the holidays. They have 166 holidays in year. The most beautiful and colorful are: Caring the Sacred Tooth Relic from the temple Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, Esala Perahera festival, march of hundreds richly-decorated elephants, dancers and torchbearers are in the program. At the festive processions dedicated to God Skanda take part also thousands of participants in Kataragama. Folk crafts such as carving and ivory, making masks and batik is widely developed in Sri Lanka. There are the world's finest tea plantations in the mountains, and there are mines in Ratnapura, which contain precious stones: sapphire, aquamarine, amethyst, topaz and rubies. Sri Lanka is considered to be a center of Buddhist religion and culture. There are many sights which are concentrated mostly in the central part of the island, including the ancient cities Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, which contain numerous Buddhist relics, the lion rock Sigiriya and Golden Cave Temple in Dambulla.

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

 

Flora and fauna of Shri Lanka

Island flora and fauna is very diverse. According to average amount of precipitation the relief is divided into wet and dry zones. The wet area is in the south-western part, and the dry zone - in the East, South-East and North. Acacias, some valuable species, such as satin, black and mahoganies grow in dry zones. Tropical forests are dominated in wet areas.

 

Sri Lanka is home for 227 species of birds, 171 species of reptiles (the biggest is swamp crocodile ), 106 species of amphibians and 91 species of mammals, among them are bears, the Sri Lankan leopards and elephants, the Indian deer zambara. There are 26 species of Cetacea live in ocean. 


Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

 

Where to go in Shri Lanka
  • Colombo is the capital of modern Sri Lanka and its largest seaport. There are many temples, mosques and cathedrals in Colombo. The most popular temple is Kelaniya Raja Maha-Vihara — the sample of Sinhalese architecture. To other attractions belong the Temple of Saints Peter and Anthony, Hindu temples Ganeshan, the Old and New Katiresan, Buddhist monastery Vaydzhyaramara, Hindu monasteries Kochchikade and Kottahena, mosque Jumma Afar, Cathedral of St. Lucia, which was built in the image of St. Peter's in Rome. Colombo is business center of Sri Lanka. There is a high concentration of banks, shops and restaurants there.
  • Kandy (116 km from Colombo) - is the former capital of Ceylon. The city is situated among the hills and has a picturesque landscape. In the centre there is a lake, in the middle of it there is an island with Royal Summer Palace. Not far from the lake there is a temple "of the Sacred Tooth of Buddha" ("Dalada Maligawa"). The main shrine of the temple is the tooth of Buddha, which was taken out from the fire by his principle and was brought to the island by the Indian princess. It is also interesting to visit the Museum of Ceylon tea, which exhibits ancient things connected with the production of this drink: hand roller, the first dryer, the oldest tea bag, etc.
  • Paradeniya is famous for its Asia's largest botanical garden. It has gathered 45 000 species of tropical plants. The garden has area of 60 hectares and is divided into zones, such as palm alley, alley of orchids, alley of "celebrities", which contains the "historical" fig tree, planted by King Edward the Seventh, iron tree planted by Russian Emperor Nicholas II and pine tree planted by Yuri Gagarin. Bats, flying foxes are hanging from tall trees. There is a narrow suspension bridge over the river. Take a walk on this bridge and get a lot of adrenaline.
  • Pinnavela – it has an elephant orphanage. Here live small elephants, who for some reasons were left by parents. Small animals are always friendly and sociable.
  • Anuradhapura is located in North-Central part of the island. It is one of the most ancient cities built in the 4th century BC by Indian prince Anuradha. Visit the temple Lankarma, place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from around the world and the sacred Bo tree, which age is more than 2000 years.
  • Sigiriya (65 km from Anuradhapura) - the main attraction of the city is "Lion Rock". At the top of the cliff there is the Royal Palace, built in the 5th century AD. Now you can see there its ruins and frescoes. Stairs carved between the paws and jaws of a huge lion are leading to the Palace.
  • Dambulla (Temple of Dambulla) - There are many caves with statues of Buddha in the city. In one of the caves you can see an amazing sight: the water on walls flows from the bottom up to ceiling falling in a golden cup.
  • Peak Adams - the sacred mountain, which is visited by pilgrims and monks from around the world. According to legend, Adam and Eve were settled there after being cast out from paradise. Four-meter mark in form of footprint is at the top and considered to be holy for several religions. Buddhists believe that Buddha has left it; the Christians say that it is the footprint of St. Thomas; Hindus worship it, as the foot of god Shiva, and according to Muslim legend, Adam was punished here for his sins and was standing on one leg for a long time.
  • Galle - There is a turtle farm nearby. People collect turtle eggs from the coast and bring here, later the adult turtles are released back to sea.
  • Matale is famous for its Spice Garden. It is interesting to see how cinnamon, cardamom and pepper are grown.
  • Ratnapura - the center of precious stones. Visit the precious stones enterprises and watch this fascinating process with own eyes. Visit the Yala National Park where you can see elephants, buffalo, deer and leopards in their natural environment. 

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

 

What to do in Shri Lanka

  1. Beaches. Sri Lanka boasts beautiful beaches with clear blue water, white sand and coconut palms. The best destinations for beach holidays are the Mount Lavinia, Bentota, Beruwela and Hikkaduwa. There are a lot of hotels and restaurants near beaches.
  2. Diving and surfing. Sri Lanka has great potential for those who like diving and surfing.
  3. Bentota is a center for water sports and it has the largest diving club "Konfifi Marina." You can either enjoy the numerous coral reefs and their inhabitants or explore the wrecks. There is the International Association of surfers in Hikkaduwa.
  4. Fishing. The southern coast of Negombo can offer the exotic fishing.
  5. Ecotourism. There are 4 national parks in Sri Lanka. The largest of them is the National Park in Yalle. There you can see flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, herons, pheasants, wild buffalo, elephants, leopards, bears, crocodiles and monkeys. We also recommend you to visit parks Villatu, Udavalave and Bundala.
  6. Tours - the country is rich in attractions, which are especially concentrated in the "cultural triangle" Three oldest city (Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy) form a triangle within it you can visit the most interesting monuments of the country.
  7. Ayurveda is art of healing without medicine. Herbal teas, pungent - spice extracts, aromatic oils, and sweet nectar of the palm are used for healing. Ayurveda includes everything of value that has been collected peoples of South Asia in the field of medicine, health, psychology, and serves as a prolongation of life.
  8. Meditation - for those who want to gain clarity of thought, peace in mind and healthy body. It should be noted that meditation centers are not located in tourist areas, so look for their addresses in guidebooks or on the internet.
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

 

Prices in Shri Lanka (useful to know):

  • Hotel - 15 $ - 70 $ (vip class is more expensive);
  • Food - Cafes - from $ 4 - $ 6, cafes in the excursion places - from $ 6 - $ 10, restaurants - from $ 10;
  • Beer (0.65) - 0.8 $;
  • Arak (0.7) - $ 5;
  • The entrance to the elephant orphanage - $ 10;
  • National Park - $ 20 - $ 25;
  • Botanical Garden - $ 10;
  • Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Sinharaja, Anuradhapura, Dambulla - $ 15 - $ 20;
  • Taxi - $ 3 - $ 5 (depending on the air conditioning);
  • The bus (50 km) - 1.5 $.

 

Cuisine of Sri Lanka ("Ceylon cuisine")

 

Ceylon cuisine includes the culinary traditions of the peoples who are connected with the history of the country. You can find dishes close to Arabic, Portuguese, English, Dutch, Chinese and Polynesian cuisines. "Buriyani" ("Buriyani") and "Saw" ("Pillau") - types of rice and kebabs came from Arabian cuisine , cakes and puddings- from England, meat dishes with black bean sauce - from Chinese. The main ingredients of Sri Lankan cuisine are rice, curry, meat, fish, seafood, poultry and vegetables. The ingredients of many dishes include coconut chips, coconut juice, coconut oil and palm nectar. Enjoy the tropical fruit - bananas (over 200 varieties), avocados, mangoes, papayas, oranges, coconuts and pineapples.


 We also recommend you to take such dishes:

  • Hopper (string hoppers) - steamed noodles from coconut flour.
  • Appa (hoppers) – pancakes from coconut flour, coconut milk and yeast.
  • Kiribati (kiribath) - rice with coconut milk.
  • Kata sambol (katta sambola) - Kiribati rice with spicy red pepper, onion, lemon and other spices.
  • Pete (pittu) - a mixture of rice flour, grated coconut and water.
  • Roti (rotti) - cake made of rice flour and grated coconut.
  • Arak - a coconut Moonshine. 
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

 

What to buy in Sri Lanka

  • Precious stones (sapphire, ruby, alexandrite, amethyst, aquamarine, topaz) – we recommend you to buy them in special stores and to keep a check. There is a fair of precious stones in Ratnapura from 09.00 to 14.00, lower prices, but quality is not guaranteed.
  • Ceylon tea;
  • Spices;
  • Handicraft products (masks, batik, leather goods). On the market or in private stores you can bargain and reduce the price by 30%.

 

PS: Beware of the market thieves

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It is important to know

The national currency of Sri Lanka rupee is prohibited for export from the country, so always keep the receipts with official exchange rate. In this case, you can exchange unspent money at the rate of purchase in the airport bank.

 

Conclusions

Sri Lanka is an exotic tropical country, which is located on the island in the Indian Ocean. The historical name of the island «Sri Lanka" is "Ceylon." Sri Lanka is considered to be a center of Buddhist religion and culture. The climate of Sri Lanka is an equatorial tropical (warm and wet). The average annual temperature is about 27 C. Year is divided into wet and dry seasons. Tropical jungles are spreading on the island.


Culture of Sri Lanka differs from Indian. Unlike to India Buddhism is dominated in Sri Lanka (70%Buddhism and only 18% Hindus). Sri Lanka has many holidays.
The country is rich in cultural and historical attractions: the temples, palaces, gardens and statues. The largest botanical garden in Asia - "Paradeniya" is located in Sri Lanka.
Flora and fauna of the island is also very rich and diverse and has many rare species of plants and animals.
Sri Lanka is also famous for its spices and tea (Ceylon tea).


You will have unforgettable impressions from staying in this exotic country, if you know where to go and what to visit.


Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka



Tags: Sri Lanka, Ceylon


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