Sri Lanka is an island of Sun and Sand. More than one thousand kilometers of sandy beaches with palm trees surround Sri Lanka. Until 1972, this country was called Ceylon. And although its name has changed, it still grows the best black tea in the world – “Ceylon”. In addition to beautiful beaches and tea, Sri Lanka has a large number of historical attractions, ranging from Buddhist and Hindu monasteries and temples, to orchid gardens and colorful festivals.
Geography of Sri Lanka
The island nation of Sri Lanka is located in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Hindustan Peninsula in South Asia. Sri Lanka is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on all sides. In the northwest, it has a maritime border with India, and in the southwest, with the Maldives. The total area of this country is 65,610 sq. km
In the center and south of Sri Lanka there are foothills and mountains, and the rest of the territory is plains and coastal lowlands. The largest local peak is Mount Pidurutalagala, whose height reaches 2,524 meters.
The longest river in Sri Lanka is Mahaweli, its length is 335 km. Mahaweli flows through the central, northern and eastern regions of this country, and flows into the Bay of Bengal.
According to itypemba.com, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is the capital of Sri Lanka. More than 120 thousand people now live in this city.
Official language of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has two official languages - Sinhala and Tamil.
More than 70% of the population professes Buddhism (in particular, Theravada Buddhism), more than 12% – Hinduism, almost 10% – Islam, and about 7% – Christianity.
According to equzhou.net, Sri Lanka is a presidential-parliamentary republic. Its head is the President, elected for 6 years by universal suffrage. The president is the commander in chief and he appoints the ministers.
The unicameral parliament of Sri Lanka is elected by popular vote every six years 225 deputies. The President of the country has the right to dissolve the Parliament.
Administratively, Sri Lanka is divided into 9 provinces and 25 districts.
Climate and weather
Due to the proximity to the equator, the climate in Sri Lanka is tropical and warm. The average annual air temperature is +28-31C. In hilly areas and foothills – + 20C, and in flat and coastal areas – + 27C.
From May to July, the monsoon (rainy) season continues in the central, western and southern regions of the island. In the northern and eastern regions, the rainy season falls on December and January.
The best time to visit Sri Lanka is from November to April (southwest coast and mountains) and from May to September (east coast). Thus, you can visit Sri Lanka all year round, because. there is always a dry season in some part of this island.
Sea in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on all sides. The length of the coast is 1,585 kilometers. Local beaches are surrounded by palm groves. The average sea temperature in January is +28C, and in July – +27C.
Rivers and lakes
There are over 100 rivers in Sri Lanka. The longest of them is Mahaweli, its length is 335 km. Mahaweli flows through the central, northern and eastern regions of this country, and flows into the Bay of Bengal.
The history of civilization in Sri Lanka has more than 2.5 thousand years. In former times this country was called Ceylon. The first settlers were the Veddas. Around the VI century BC. Sinhalese arrived on this island and founded their kingdoms there. From the III century BC. Buddhism began to spread there. Until the 11th century, the capital of the most powerful Sinhalese kingdom was Anuradhapura, and then it was transferred to Polonnaruwa.
In 1505, the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka and monopolized the spice trade. By 1658, the Sinhalese kings, with the help of the Dutch, were able to expel the Portuguese from the island.
The Dutch were more interested in trade and profit than in governing this country. Therefore, they did not really resist the British when the British sailed to Sri Lanka in 1796. In 1815, Britain defeated the Sinhalese kingdom of Kandy, and thus established control over the entire island.
It wasn’t until 1948 that Sri Lanka achieved independence. In 1972, this country received its modern name – Sri Lanka.
Culture of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a multi-cultural society made up of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Therefore, the culture there is very interesting and diverse. Travelers will be able to see colorful unique festivals and holidays in Sri Lanka.
In January, Sri Lankans celebrate the New Year, Duruthu Perahera (held in memory of the Buddha’s visit to this island), Pongal (Hindu harvest festival); in February / March – the Buddhist holiday Navam Perehera and Maha Shivarathri Day; in April / May – Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Eid ul-Adha; July/August – Kandy Perahera and Vel festival; September – kite festival, Navarathri Hindu festival; October/November – Ramadan, Lilawali (“Festival of Lights”); December – Sangamittha Perehera.
All these festivals are colorful processions, they are necessarily accompanied by elephant parades, musical and dance performances, fireworks and theatrical performances.
The cuisine of Sri Lanka reflects the multi-ethnic composition of the population of this island. The main food of the locals is rice and curry made from a mixture of spices, herbs and coconut milk. In general, almost all local dishes are prepared on the basis of coconut milk and spices are used.
Samba is pearl rice and is eaten on special occasions. During festivals, yellow rice is made, cooked with coconut milk and seasoned a little with spices. Another popular rice dish is Kiribath (milk rice).
In addition, the people of Sri Lanka are real experts in cooking fish and seafood dishes. Grilled fish is served with fried potatoes and salad, while curried fish is served with rice.
Popular dishes are Mallung with curry (finely chopped dried vegetables, shrimps with grated coconut and spices), Sambol (spicy hot dish), Pol Symbol (grated coconut, onion, red pepper, lime and salt), Seeni Sambol (fish with spicy onions ), Lamprais (curry, cutlet, shrimp paste, eggplant curry, rice wrapped in a banana leaf and baked), Buriyani (rice in meat broth), as well as Thalaguli and Wattalapam sweets.
The traditional soft drink in Sri Lanka is black tea, which is most often drunk with sugar and milk. Sometimes crushed ginger is added to tea. In addition, the inhabitants of this island love coffee, fruit juices and coconut milk.
Alcoholic drinks are also made in Sri Lanka – low-alcohol “toddy” (from coconut palm juice) and “arrak” (30-40%, from coconut palm juice).
Sights of Sri Lanka
According to official figures, there are several hundred Buddhist and Hindu monasteries in Sri Lanka. And if we add temples, palaces, mosques, cave complexes to this, then the number of local attractions will reach several thousand. The top ten attractions in Sri Lanka, in our opinion, may include the following:
- Buddhist temple Dalada Maligawa (it houses the tooth of the Buddha)
- Fort in Colombo
- Sigiriya fortress
- Dawatagaha Mosque in Colombo
- Cave Buddhist temple in Aluvihara
- Hindu monastery Kochchikade in Colombo
- Ruins of the city of Anuradhapura
- Palace of King Cassiapa on the “Lion Mountain”
- Buddhist cave temples of Dambulla
- Buddha’s footprints on Sri Pada
Cities and resorts
The largest cities in Sri Lanka are Kandy, Tricomalee, Kurunegala, Galle, Ratnapura, Kurunegala and Colombo.
Sri Lanka has many kilometers of beautiful beaches. Many of these beaches are located in picturesque bays surrounded by palm groves.
The best beach areas are Colombo, Trincomalee, Bentota, Arugam Bay, Hikkaduwa, Kogalla, Negombo and Kalutara. Many tourists believe that the best beach in Sri Lanka is Mount Lavinia near Colombo. All local beach resorts have a good infrastructure for recreation. There are also excellent opportunities for surfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding, swimming, diving, fishing, spearfishing and diving.
Near some beach resorts (for example, near Trincomalee) there are hot springs, and therefore tourists can take therapeutic baths there.
From Sri Lanka, tourists usually bring handicrafts, ceramics, jewelry, masks, leather goods (for example, bags), batik fabric, coconut shell souvenirs, spices, and, of course, local (“Ceylon” ) Black tea.
Mon-Fri: 09: 00-13: 00
Some shops are also open on Sundays.
If tourists travel to Sri Lanka for up to 1 month, then a visa is not required.
Currency of Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan rupee is the official currency in Sri Lanka. Its international designation is LKR. One Sri Lankan rupee = 100 cents. Hotels, prestigious restaurants and shops accept all major credit cards.
If you want to bring more than 10 thousand dollars into Sri Lanka, then you need to make a note about this in the declaration. It is allowed to import into Sri Lanka no more than 5 thousand Sri Lankan rupees.
It is forbidden to import atheistic literature, poultry meat, plants and edged weapons. Corals, ivory, antiques, as well as plants and animals cannot be exported without a permit.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
The interests of Sri Lanka in Ukraine are represented by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Russia:
Postcode: 129090, Moscow, st. Shchepkina, 24 T:
email: [email protected]
The interests of Ukraine in Sri Lanka are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in India:
Postcode: 110 057, New Delhi, Vasant Vihar, E-1/8 T
: (8 10 9111) 2614 60 41
mail: [email protected]
110 – call the ambulance or fire brigade
119 – call the police
The difference with time in Kyiv is +3.5 hours.
Tipping in Sri Lanka is widespread. Many hotels and restaurants include a service charge (10%) on the bill. It is not customary to tip a hotel maid, but if you want your room to be very well cleaned, then leave her a “tea” of 10-20 rupees a day.
If you travel by car, then the driver is given 5-10 dollars a day.
Before traveling to Sri Lanka, doctors recommend tourists to be vaccinated against typhoid fever, malaria, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B.
The crime rate in Sri Lanka, compared to other Asian countries, cannot be considered high. However, reasonable precautions still need to be observed. Do not leave valuables unattended, do not stay at night on a deserted beach.
Remember that there are heavy fines for illegal collection of orchids in Sri Lanka, so it’s better not to pick any exotic plants there. But even greater punishment is provided for disrespect to the Buddha. So, if foreign tourists begin to be photographed near the Buddha in “sexual” poses, then they face imprisonment.