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Travel Info: Visiting Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Travel

»  The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (known as Ceylon before 1972) is a tropical island nation off the southeast coast of the Indian subcontinent. The island was known in ancient times as Sinhale , Lanka , Lankadeepa. During colonization, the island became known as Ceylon (from Selon through the Portuguese), a name still used on occasion. Its unique shape and proximity to the Indian mainland.

Sri Lanka is one of the world's bio diversity hot spots. Its forests are amongs the most floristically rich in Asia and for some faunal groups, it has the highest density of species diversity in the world. The southwest portion of the island, where the influence of the moisture-bearing southwest monsoon is strongest, is home to the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests. At higher elevations they transition to the Sri Lanka montane rain forests. Both these tropical moist forest ecoregions bear strong affinities to those of India's Western Ghats. The northern and eastern portions of the island are considerably drier, lying in the rain shadow of the central highlands. The Sri Lanka dry-zone dry evergreen forests are a tropical dry broadleaf forest ecoregion, which, like the neighboring East Deccan dry evergreen forests of India's Coromandel Coast, is characterized by evergreen trees, rather than the dry season deciduous trees that predominate in most other tropical dry broadleaf forests.

Capital: Colombo
Offical Language:
65,610 SQ KM
Sri Lankan Rupee
Calling Code:

» The island of Sri Lanka lies within the Indian Ocean, with the Bay of Bengal to the northeast. It is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. According to Hindu mythology, a land bridge to the Indian mainland, known as Adam's Bridge, was constructed during the rule of Rama. It is now mostly submerged, with only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level. According to temple records this natural causeway was formerly complete, but was breached by a violent storm (probably a cyclone) in 1480. The commercial capital is Colombo, but the administrative and legislative capital is located in nearby Sri Jayewardanapura (Kotte). Other major cities include Jaffna, Galle, and Kandy.

Sri Lanka can be regarded as consisting of either 8 or 9 provinces.

* Central (Kandy)
* Eastern
* North Central
* Northern
* North Western
* Sabaragamuwa
* Southern
* Uva
* Western

» About 74 percent of the population belongs to the Sinhalese majority, which is predominantly Buddhist, mostly following the Theravada tradition. The other major group on the island is the Tamils, who constitute 18 percent of the population. They are predominantly Hindu, and live mostly in the north, east and central provinces of Sri Lanka. The Tamil population comprises two communities, one composed of Native Tamils and another composed of more recent immigrants from India. Smaller minorities include the (mostly Sunni) Muslims (7%), mostly of Arab and Malay descent, the Burghers of mixed European descent (1%) and the Veddahs , the few remaining descendants of earlier cultures. Buddhism (70%) and Hinduism (15%) are the dominant religions. Christians represent 7% of the population, including 6% Catholics and 1% Protestants.

The two single biggest influences on Sri Lankan music are from Buddhism and Portuguese colonizers. Buddhism arrived in Sri Lanka after the Buddha's visit in 300 BC, while the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century, bringing with them cantiga ballads, ukuleles and guitars, along with African slaves, who further diversified the musical roots of the island. These slaves were called kaffrinha , and their dance music was called baila. Traditional Sri Lankan music includes the hypnotic Kandyan drums - drumming was and is very much a part and parcel of music in both Buddhist and Hindu temples in Sri Lanka.

» Throughout the, past centuries Srilanka has been going through a dramatic make over. A vast majority of the Sri Lankan community were only influenced by their own traditional food and nothing more. But, due to economical growth and intense competition in developed countries, companies have taken themselves overseas to developing nations, in an attempt to achieve a positive global presence (competitive advantage). Consequently, this method has caused a major ripple effect in countries like Sri Lanka like never before. Currently in some of the major cities in Sri Lanka you should prepare yourself to be dazzled (some may say loss of identity) by the assimilation/influence of western culture into Sri Lankan community.


Sri Lnaka Travel Resources   S r i  L a n k a   T r a v e l   L i n k s

Trip To Srilanka
Sri Lanka Society & Culture
Explore Srilanka

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