Sri Lanka is a mesmerizing island nation, South of India. Surrounded by the blue Indian Ocean from all sides, the island covers an area of 65,610 sq kms. Blessed with a diverse landscape ranging from lush green tropical forests to highlands, arid plains and pristine sandy beaches, this county has something for every one.
The capital city Colombo is a modern hub exhibiting urbane life. The city apart from its suave urban glimmer also houses some prominent forts and buildings of colonial era. Colombo also provides vibrant retail therapy at the traditional Pettah Bazaar.
Moving on from the polished city life, Sri Lanka’s exotic attractions are a paradise for animal and nature lovers. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage sanctuary is home to 60 abandoned wild elepahant babies who are cared for. Revel as you watch the elephants enjoying their river soak. Nuwara Eliya is the country’s lush green hill station, once a summer retreat of colonizers, it is now home to verdant tea plantations, Sri Lanka’s best golf course and the beautiful Hakgala Botanical Gardens. Kandy is another gorgeous hill city that is built around an attractive man made lake, the town is famous for the Esala Perahera Festival in August. Kandy is also known for housing a scared artifact in a guarded coffer in Dalada Maligawa or in the Temple of The Tooth.
For art and history lovers, Polonnuaruwa is an absolute delight. This place apart from housing the ancient ruins of palaces and friezes also features the 12 century stone sculptures of Buddha. Three statues of the Buddha, one sitting, one standing and the last reclining are the most revered monuments in Sri Lanka. Another exciting attraction is Sigiriya. This place is famed for housing the ancient ruins of the 5th century lion rock fortress of King Kashyapa. it is also renowned for having a 1500 year old painted frescoes located at the top of a spiral staircase and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is interesting to note that many attractions of Sri Lanka are located in a cultural triangle at the centre of the country encompassing other amazing attarctions like the Dambulla Cave Temples and the ancient city of Ceylonese in Anuradhapura.
Sri Lanka has an estimated population of 20 million people, the region is predominantly inhabited by Sinhalese, an Indo-Aryan native group. Sri Lanka is also home to other ethnic groups like Indian Tamils, Malays, South East Asian Settlers and Burghers who are descendants of European colonists from Portugal, UK and Netherlands.