Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean with a land area of 65,610 square kilometers. A prominent multi-ethnic South Asian country, the island is known for its premium Ceylon tea, exotic cinnamon and enthralling natural beauty. The central highlands are ringed by verdant mountains whereas the coast is fringed by stunning beaches. Rain falls from two monsoons and from convectional precipitation. The south west monsoon blows from May to September and the northwest from November to March. The climate is typically tropical in the maritime region, meaning temperature ranges from 26 °C to 32°C in the low country and from 14°C-24°C in the central highlands. However, areas such as Nuwara Eliya enjoys a cool climate throughout the year. This varied climate of the country makes it a sensational year round destination.
The island’s history traces its roots back to prehistoric times during which Neolithic cultures thrived. Due to its prominent location in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has been opened to foreign penetration. Marking the near end of Sri Lanka’s monarchy, the Portuguese arrived in 1505 and their involvement with local politics was prominent during the 17th century, until the Dutch seized the island in 1656. Finally, the British invaded and officially took over the island in 1505. It was in 1948 Sri Lanka gained independence from the British Empire as well as the right to self-rule. Today, Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation with an Executive President, democratically elected parliament, and a cabinet of Ministers. The present government is unitary; a free sovereign, democratic, socialist republic.
The majority and official language is Sinhala. Tamil is the other official language used in the country. English is widely spoken and understood. Sri Lanka is a multi-religious country with Buddhists constituting the majority. There are also Christians, Muslims and Hindus.
Unlike many destinations, Sri Lanka offers something for everyone. Only a handful of destinations have as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites hidden in a relatively small area. Sri Lanka proudly holds eight such sites in her cradle. With its mesmerising beaches, exotic wildlife, scenic hills, timeless ruins, serene rainforests, tongue-tingling cuisine and welcoming people, Sri Lanka is a country like no other.
While international flights are going and coming from all over the globe, domestic flights are operated within the island. SriLankan is the country’s national carrier that covers over 90 destinations over the world. You can also travel in buses, trains, taxis and tuk-tuks. If you would like to see some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, board a train in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Standard Time is six hours ahead of GMT. (Please note that it is required to make allowance for summer-time changes in Europe).
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