FLIGHTS | TOUR PACKAGE | HOTELS | ACTIVITIES
Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoiled.
Few places in the world can offer the traveller 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 kilometres 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 2,500 years.
This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!
Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo Dialing code: +94 ISO code: LKA Currency: Sri Lankan rupee Population: 20.48 million (2013) World Bank Official languages: Sinhala, Tamil, English
Sri Lankan rupee
The British pound became Ceylon's official money of account in 1825, replacing the Ceylonese rixdollar at a rate of 1 pound = 13 1⁄3 rixdollars, and British silver coin was made legal tender. Treasury notes denominated in pounds were issued in 1827, replacing the earlier rixdollar notes. Rixdollar notes not presented for exchange were demonetized in June 1831.
The island was formerly known as Ceylon, until 1972, when it became a republic within the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka shares maritime borders with the Maldives and India. With an area of 65,610 km² the country is slightly larger than twice the size of Belgium or slightly larger than the U.S. state West Virginia.
Several languages are spoken in Sri Lanka within the Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Austronesian families. Sri Lanka accords national status to Sinhalese and Tamil. The languages spoken on the island nation are deeply influenced by the languages of neighboring India, the Maldives and Malaysia. Arab settlers and the colonial powers of Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain have also influenced the development of modern languages in Sri Lanka.
Low Season (May–Aug)
The Yala monsoon season (May to August) brings rain to the south and west coasts plus the Hill Country. The weather in the North and East is best. Prices nationwide are at their nadir.
Shoulder (Apr & Sep–Nov)
April and September offer the best odds for good weather countrywide. New Year’s celebrations in mid-April cause transport to fill beyond capacity. A good time to wander without a set schedule of bookings.
High Season (Dec–Mar)
The Hill Country plus west- and south-coast beaches are busiest – and driest. With beds in demand, prices peak. The Maha monsoon season (October to January) keeps the East, North and Ancient Cities wet.
Sri Lanka's population practices a variety of religions. As of the 2011 census 70.19% of Sri Lankans were Theravada Buddhists, 12.6% were Hindus, 9.7% were Muslims (mainly Sunni) and 7.4% Christians (6.1% Roman Catholic and 1.3% other Christian).