For centuries, Sri Lanka has been a popular place of attraction for foreign travelers. The famous Chinese traveler Fa-Hien arrived in Sri Lanka in the late 4th century. In the twelfth century, Italian explorer Marco Polo claimed that Sri Lanka to be the “best island of its size in the world”. In view of its fascinating scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage, Sri Lanka is one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
In 2012, Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer named Sri Lanka as the best valued destination for holidays. In 2013 the popular travel guide book Lonely Planet named Sri Lanka as the best travel destination for 2013.
Few places in the world can offer a traveler such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location. Within a mere area of 65,610 kilometers lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometers of coastline – much of it pristine beach – 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,600 years.
The island nation, south of India in the Indian Ocean is geographically situated towards to the south of the Indian subcontinent. It lies between 5O 55′ and 9O 55′ north of the equator and between the eastern longitudes of 79O 42′ and 81O 52′.
Sri Lanka, once known as the British Crown Colony of Ceylon, became independent in 1948, although it remained under dominion status. Its 1972 constitution proclaimed it an independent republic, and changed the country’s name. Finally, in 1978, a new constitution officially declared the island the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka, the natures treasure chest is the home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Sri Lanka’s written history exceeds 2600 years. Its pre-history consist of planned cities, magnificent palaces, and expansive man made reservoirs, stunning temples and monasteries, green gardens, hard to believe monuments and works of art are characteristic of the rich and jubilant lives the celebrated monarchy of Sri Lanka lived.
It is generally regarded that Sri Lanka is one of the most premium and magnificent destinations in the world to visit for travelers who want to explore a culture, monasteries and temples and remnants coming from over 2600 years ago with 8 world heritage sites, mountains and high altitudes in picturesque cool hill country, safaris in thick jungles amidst leopards, wild elephants and many wilder beasts, cherish in pristine beaches over 1300 of coastline and many more while planning your wedding ceremonies in Sri Lanka or family vacations or even during your business trip in Sri Lanka.
Some facts at glance,
Capital : Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.
Commercial center : Colombo.
Area : 65,606 sq kms (25,322 sq miles).
Dialing code : +94
Official languages : Sinhala, Tamil. English is widely used and understood in tourist areas.
Religion : Buddhism (69%), Hinduism (16%), Islam (8%), Christianity (7%).
Population : 21.4 million.
Time : Sri Lanka is 5.30 hours ahead of Greenwich Time (GMT +05.30).
International Airport : Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake (34km north of Colombo).
Currency : Sri Lankan Rupee (one Rupee = 100 Cents).
Exchange Rate : Approx. Sri Lanka Rs. 150 = $1 USD.
Highest Water Fall : Bambarakanda – 241 meters.
Highest Peak : Pidurutalagala – 2524 meters.
Longer River : Mahaweli – 335 Km.