Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a land of ancient ruins and religious relics, palm-fringed beaches and colorful reefs, balmy rain forests and local legends. Life in Sri Lanka is dictated by the sea. Monsoon winds create the seasons, rainbow-colored fishing boats deliver the bounty of the Indian Ocean to the nation’s tables and tropical surf washes endlessly against the island’s golden beaches. For many, this is the perfect introduction to the Indian Subcontinent.

In the Hill Country, the centre of the British occupation, colonial-era trains still wind their way through tea plantations and cascading paddy fields, but this highly populated little island is far from frozen in time: the coastline is peppered with modern resorts, beach bars, bronzed surfers and boutiques full of designer swim-wear. Elsewhere the forests of Yala, Udawalawe and other national parks teem with monkeys, leopards and wild elephants, while sea turtles, dolphins and blue whales can be spotted around the coast. Not bad for an island similar in size to South Carolina.

Basic Information

Official Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Capital City: Colombo

Currency

The Srilankan currency unit is Srilankan Rupees.

Boundaries

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.

Languages

The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhalese and Tamil.

Climate

Sri Lanka climate is tropical and consists of distinct wet and dry seasons. The Yala monsoon brings abundant rainfall to the country’s western and southern regions from May to September; the area experiences its dry season during December through March. Altogether, the southwest receives around 4000mm of rainfall each year. The Maha monsoon affects northern and eastern Sri Lanka weather and often lasts from October to January, with the dry season usually lasting from May to September. This region receives approximately 1000mm of precipitation annually, significantly less than the other half of the country. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November during which rain and thunderstorms occur frequently across the island.

Major Religions

Sri Lanka’s population practices a variety of religions 70.19% of Sri Lankans are Theravada Buddhists, 12.6% are Hindus, 9.7% are Muslims and 7.4% are Christians .

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