Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Sinhalese: සිංහල, Tamil: இலங்கை; known as Ceylon before 1972) is an island nation in South Asia, located about 31 kilometers (19.3 mi) off the southern coast of India. Popularly referred to as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, it is home to around twenty million people. Because of its location in the path of major sea routes, Sri Lanka is a strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia, and has been a center of Buddhist religion and culture from ancient times. Today, the country is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation, with nearly a third of the population following faiths other than Buddhism, notably Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population, with Tamils, who are concentrated in the north and east of the island, forming the largest ethnic minority. Other communities include the Muslim Moors and Malays and the Burghers.
Famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, rubber and coconuts, Sri Lanka boasts a progressive and modern industrial economy and the highest per capita income in South Asia. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka's tropical forests, beaches and landscape, as well as its rich cultural heritage, make it a world famous tourist destination.
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After over two thousand years of rule by local kingdoms, parts of Sri Lanka were colonized by Portugal and the Netherlands beginning in the 16th century, before the control of the entire country was ceded to the British Empire in 1815. During World War II, Sri Lanka served as an important base for Allied forces in the fight against the Japanese Empire. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century with the aim of obtaining political independence, which was eventually granted by the British after peaceful negotiations in 1948.
Places of Interest
Sri Lanka's premier city situated in the dry zone, Is the first Sinhalese capital of Sri Lanka, Its distance from Colombo is 206 kms
Colombo is the Commercial capital of Sri Lanka, located in the Western Province, Has a rich multicultural traditions of many religious & ethnic groups, Most of the Five Star Hotels, Banks, Shopping complexes are around the City
Galle Fort is a Dutch Colonial building, The fort was built by the Dutch in 1663, Places of interest would be the Cultural Museum and the Dutch Churchill
Polonnaruwa was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdom.
Mihintale, the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka is located 13km east of the World Heritage Site of Anuradhapura. Mihintale, a prime tourist attraction
Sigiriya, One of the major archaeological sites in Asia, shows the world about the great urban planning, gardening, engineering, architecture, hydraulic technology and art of the 5th Century AD
Arugam Bay is a fishing village on the eastern coast just 3kms from Pottuvil located 314 km to the east of Colombo's
296 kms from Colombo City has one of the world’s best natural harbours, Great location for some of the finest beaches of Sri Lanka -with a variety of Star Class, Hotels, Guesthouses and Cabanas.
Kalkuddah / Passekudah
Renowned for the most beautiful beach in the eastern coast
Beach (South Coast)
Renowned for Sri Lanka's best beaches on the south coast and southwest coast of Sri Lanka. Bentota and the South Coast are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving and bathing all year
Dambulla is situated in the Matale District in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, situated 148 km north-east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy.
A world Heritage City, Kandy is the capital of the Central Province, Sri Lanka’s most visited tourist destination
Nuwara Eliya is located in the heart of Sri Lanka - Hill Country. Home of the famous Ceylon Tea and the rolling mountains are carpeted of velvety green tea plantations
Named as the golden sandy beach of the north is peaceful, clean and wide. Nilaweli is a great for a relaxing and active holiday
Situated at a distance of 314 from Colombo and it is famous for its `Singing Fish' and picturesque lagoon.
Jaffna is situated on a flat, dry peninsula at the island's northern tip. Jaffna fell under Portuguese
Cultural Events & Festivals of Sri Lanka
· January - Thai Pongal - (Religious/Hindu)
· January - Duruthu Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· January - The Initial Aluth Sahal Mangallaya (New Rice Festival) at the Temple of the Tooth - (Customary/Sinhalese/Agriculture related)
· January - Patti Pongal - (Religious/Hindu/Agriculture related)
· January - Patti Kiri Ithirima - (Customary/Sinhalese/Agriculture related)
· February - The National Day (Independence Day) - (Customary/Political/Commemorating the Political Freedom attained from the British Empire)
· February - Navam Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· March - Maha Shivaratri - (Religious/Hindu)
· March - Milad-Un-Nabi - (Religious/Islam)
· March - Medin Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· March - Good Friday - (Religious/Catholic/Christian)
· April - Watching the new moon for the new Lunar year (Customary/Astrology related)
· April - Day Prior to Sinhala and Tamil New Year - (Religious/Customary/Buddhist/Hindu/Sinhalese/Agriculture related/Astrology related)
· April - Sinhala and Tamil New Year - (Religious/Customary/Buddhist/Hindu/Sinhalese/Agriculture related/Astrology related)
· April - National herbal oil anointing ceremony - (Customary/Buddhist/Sinhalese/Astrology related)
· April - Bak Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· May - May Day - (Customary/Political)
· May - Watching the new moon for the new Solar year - (Customary/Astrology related)
· May - Vesak Full Moon Poya (Vesak) - (Religious/Buddhist)
· June - Poson Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· July - Esala Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· August - Nikini Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· August - Esala Perahera - (Customary/Religious/Political/Buddhist/Hindu/Sinhalese)
· September - Binara Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· October - Ramazan Festival - (Religious/Islam)
· October - Vap Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· October - Deepavali - (Religious/Hindu)
· November - Il Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· December - Haj Festival - (Religious/Islam)
· December - Unduvap Full Moon Poya - (Religious/Buddhist)
· December - Christmas - (Religious/Catholic/Christian)