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You are in page   Outbound Tours - Sri Lanka Travel Guide

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Sri Lanka Fact File Sri Lanka Fact File

History of Sri Lanka History of Sri Lanka

Entry Formalities to Sri Lanka Entry Formalities and Visas

Sri Lanka People and Culture Sri Lanka People

Shopping in Sri Lanka Shopping in Sri Lanka

Festivals and Culture of Sri Lanka Festivals & Culture of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Tour Packages Sri Lanka Tour Packages

 

Galle Old city, Sri Lanka

 

 

What to Pack

What to Pack

When to Go to Maldives Island

When to go

What to Wear What to Wear
Health Care Health and safety
 
Things to do in Sri Lanka
Things to do in Sri Lanka

Adventure Tours in Sri Lanka Hot Air Ballooning

Adventure Tours in Sri Lanka Paragliding

Adventure Tours in Sri Lanka Canoeing & Kayaking

Adventure Tours in Sri Lanka White Water Rafting

Adventure Tours in Sri Lanka Hiking & Trekking

Adventure Tours in Sri Lanka Wildlife Safari

Adventure Tours in Sri Lanka Banana Boating

 

Factoids - Sri Lanka

"Seven properties of Sri Lanka have been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, namely, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa (1982), the ancient city of Sigiriya (1982), the golden Temple of Dambulla (1991), the old town of Galle and its fortifications (1988), the sacred city of Anuradhapura (1982), the sacred city of Kandy (1988) and the Sinharaja forest reserve (1988) "

Seven properties of Sri Lanka have been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List

"Elephants in Sri Lanka were once royal property, and it was forbidden to kill them. Today there are only about 2800 wild elephants left, compared with 12,000 in 1900. "

Pinnewala - Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka

"Sri Lanka is the First country in the world to have established a dedicated hospital (Mihintale, 4th century BC). "

Sri Lanka is the First country in the world to have established a dedicated hospital (Mihintale, 4th century BC)

"The world's first recorded wildlife sanctuary was at Mihintale. It was established by King Devanampiyatissa in the 3rd century BC."

The world's first recorded wildlife sanctuary was at Mihintale

"Sri Lanka is the First country in the World to have a female prime minister (Sirimavo Bandaranaike, July 21, 1960). "

Sri Lanka is the First country in the World to have a female prime minister (Sirimavo Bandaranaike, July 21, 1960).

"First female monarch in an Asian country, Queen Anula (47–42 BC). "

First female monarch in an Asian country, Queen Anula (47–42 BC).

"Sri Lanka has the longest period of continuous multi-party democracy by a non-western country (1931–present). "

Sri Lanka Fact File

"Sri Lanka is the World's leading exporter of tea; Ceylon tea is famed to be one of the best teas in the world. "

Sri Lanka is the World's leading exporter of tea

"Sri Lanka is the World's leading exporter of cinnamon; exported to Egypt as early as 1400 BC . "

Sri Lanka is the World's leading exporter of cinnamon

"Sri Lanka is the First country in South Asia to start radio broadcasting with Radio Ceylon — celebrated 80 years in Broadcasting on December 16, 2005"

Sri Lanka is the First country in South Asia to start radio broadcasting with Radio Ceylon

"Sri Lanka is the First country in Asia to fly the Airbus A340. "

Sri Lanka is the First country in Asia to fly the Airbus A340

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sri Lanka Tour Packages  

Jetawana Stupa situated in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka is still the highest brick structure in the world.Its height is 400 ft. It was built in the 3rd Century AD.The compound of the stupa is 8 acres. The stupa at the time has housed over 3000 Buddhist monks. One side of the stupa is 576 feet in depth. The 4 flight of steps at the four sides is 28 feet in depth. The doorpost to the shrine which is situated at the courtyard is 27 feet in height. It is a feet underground.

"Ayu Bhuvan" - Welcome to Sri Lanka

The island presently known as 'Sri Lanka' was originally known as 'Sinhale' or 'Heladiva' ('the island of the Hela people' Comprising of naga, yaksha, deva & raksha tribes) for over 30 millennia.

Sri Lanka the "pearl of the tropics," has many nicknames: Serendib (used by Arab Navigators), Ceylon (by the Britishers), Teardrop of India, Resplendent Isle, Island of Dharma, Pearl of the Orient and Sri Lanka is mostly recognised with the popular slogan "The Pearl of the Indian Ocean" . This colourful collection reveals its richness and beauty, and the intensity of the affection it evokes in its visitors.

The Island of Sri Lanka is a tourist's paradise. Marco Polo described it as "the finest island of its size in the world". Wonderful pristine beaches, lush-green hills, majestic waterfalls, corals, wild life, heritage sites, pilgrimage sites, exotic cuisine-Sri Lanka has everything that a tourist can imagine. It has something to offer to everyone.

Sri Lanka offers you endless miles of perfect golden sand, fringed by swaying coconut palms. Favourite beach resorts on the West, South and East Coast are everyone's idea of a tropical paradise with temperatures in the middle 80oF virtually all year round. Sri Lanka inspires a beautiful lethargy.

Factoid: "The world's oldest documented tree, and first generation of the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment - the Sri Maha Bodhi - still grows in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. " Read More Facts about Maldives Island

 

 

Sri Lanka Tours

History of Sri Lanka: The earliest inhabitants of the island now known as Sri Lanka were probably the ancestors of the Veddas, an aboriginal people now numbering around 3,000 and living in remote mountain areas. One of the first written references to the island is found in the Indian epic Ramayana. The main written accounts of the country's history are the Buddhist chronicles of Mahavansa and Dipavansa.

Buddhism arrived from the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century BC. The Bhikkhu Mahinda, said to have been a son or brother of Buddhist Indian Emperor Ashoka, was sent to Sri Lanka as a missionary; he is said to have converted the Sinhalese King Devanampiyatissa at Mihintale. The Sinhalese population at large subsequently became Buddhists.

In 1505 the Portuguese arrived on the island, and colonial rule began. Dutch arrived in the 17th century. During Portuguese and Dutch rule of coastal areas, the interior, hilly region of the island remained independent, with its capital in Kandy. Great Britain replaced the Dutch in 1796, and the coastal areas became a crown colony in 1802.

A struggle for independence started in the 1930s, when the Youth Leagues opposed the 'Ministers' Memorandum'. After the crucial role played by Ceylon in World War II, the pressure for independence intensified, and under the name of Ceylon, it became a Commonwealth realm in 1948.

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Fact File - Sri Lanka

Country:

Conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Conventional short form: Sri Lanka
Former: Serendib, Ceylon

Independence:

4 February 1948 (from UK)

Flag description: Sri Lanka Flag - Sri Lanka Independence is on 4 February 1948 (from UK)

Yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other panel is a large dark red rectangle with a yellow lion holding a sword, and there is a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and extends between the two panels

Geography:

Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India

Map References: 

Asia

Area:

total: 65,610 sq km land: 64,740 sq km water: 870 sq km

Capital:

Colombo; Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital

Ethnic groups:

Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)

Language:

Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
Note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population

Religion:

Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)

Climate:

Low Lands – tropical, average 270C
Central Hills – cooler, with temperatures dropping to 140C. The south-west monsoon brings rain to the western, southern and central regions from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon occurs in the north and east in December and January. Sri Lanka has a good climate for holiday-makers throughout the year.

Currency:

Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) Click here to find out Current Exchange Rate

Time:

GMT/UTC +5.30

Check Current Time in Maldives

Electricity:

230V 50HzHz

Calling Code:

+94

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When to Go

Sri Lanka is round-the-year destination-there is always a good time to visit at least some part of the country. Sri Lanka is a typically tropical country with distinct dry and wet seasons subject to two monsoons: the Yala season (May to August), when the southwest monsoon brings rain to the southern, western and central regions; and the Maha season (October to January), when the northeast monsoon brings rain to the north and east of the island. The best time to visit the west, south coast and hill country is between December and March. May to September is best on the east coast.

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What to Pack

We have compiled a “what to pack” list specifically made for the needs of a traveler in the Sri Lanka. Staying in hotels in Sri Lanka minimizes the list as they provide most everything. There are also shops located in Hotels where you should find your basic needs.

  • Sunscreen with high SPF (Sun Protection Factor)

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat or Cap for shade from the sun

  • Light cotton clothing

  • Lotion (Aloe Vera)

  • Insect Repellent

  • Bathing Suits

  • Credit Card (Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Diners Club, and Eurocard are accepted)

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What to Wear

Light cotton dresses of the drip-dry wash-and-wear variety and light weight suits are the most comfortable year-round attire. A wide-brimmed beach hat and sun glasses are recommended as well as comfortable shoes or sandals. Medium weight slacks and pullovers will be necessary in the hill country where the temperature can go down as low as 10’C. *Nudism is prohibited

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Health Care and Safety

Sri Lanka is a healthy country and with common sense there is no reason why you should become unwell during your visit. It is essential, however, that your take out adequate health insurance for the duration of your stay and you seek proper medical advice in advance. Most people ensure that they are immunized for tetanus, diphtheria, polio, typhoid, and hepatitis A and B. You may also wish to consider anti-malaria pills.

There is a continuing conflict in Sri Lanka but this is largely restricted to the North and East of the country. It is not recommended that you attempt to visit these areas. Tourists are not targets of the LTTE (aka Tamil Tigers) and, other than military road checks, you are very unlikely to be made aware of the conflict. As a precaution, get an update from your Government’s information services in advance of travelling.

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People of Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka is home to more than 20 million people. A strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia, Sri Lanka has been a centre of Buddhist religion and culture from ancient times, though a fifth of the population follow other faiths - notably Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and indigenous religions. Sinhalese people form a majority of the population (74%). The second largest community, concentrated in the north east of the island, are the Sri Lankan Tamils. Other communities include the Muslim Sri Lankan Moors and Malays as well as Burghers and indigenous Veddah peoples.

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Festivals & Culture of Sri Lanka

The island is the home of two main traditional cultures: the Sinhalese (centered in the ancient cities of Kandy and Anuradhapura) and the Tamil (centered in the city of Jaffna). In more recent times a British colonial culture was added, and lately Sri Lanka, particularly in the urban areas, has experienced a dramatic makeover in the western mold. Religion plays an important part in the life and culture of Sri Lankans.

Approximately 68% of Sri Lankan peoples are adherents of Buddhism.

Duruthu Perahera (January):  Celebrates a visit by Buddha to Sri Lanka.

National Day (February): Celebrated with parades, dances and national games

New Year (March/April): Celebrated with elephant races, coconut games and pillow fights.

Vesak (May): Commemorates the birth, death and enlightenment of Buddha.

Vel:(July/August): Must see : the ceremonial chariot of Skanda, the God of War hauled between two temples;

Kataragama (July/August): Devotees put themselves through the whole gamut of ritual masochism.

Kandy Esala Perahera (July/August): Most important and spectacular pageant, with 10 days of torch-bearers, whip-crackers, dancers, drummers and elephants.  Climaxes in great procession honouring the Sacred Tooth Relic of Kandy.
 

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Shopping in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is indeed a shopper’s paradise with a wide range of handicrafts at really reasonable prices. In addition it is famous for gems & silverware. All tastes are catered for and it pays the discerning shopper to hunt in bazaars for unusual souvenirs.

Contemporary paintings, dolls, ebony work, brassware, rush & ready- ware, ac work (a distinctive form of traditional lacquer work on wood) drums etc., and many more traditional crafts offer the tourists some unusual souvenirs of their stay in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has several shopping malls, including Majestic City, Liberty Plaza, Crescat Boulevard, Odel Unlimited and JAIC Oberoi. Some 5-star hotels in Colombo also have shopping arcades.

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Entry Formalities to Sri Lanka:

Immigration Basics

- Passport valid for at least six months from date of entry required by all.
- Sufficient funds for maintenance
- An outward or return ticket, or foreign exchange to purchase an outward ticket

Visas

Nationals of the following countries coming to Sri Lanka as bona-fide tourists, do not require entry visas for a period of thirty days: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, West Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Qatar, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, U.A.E., U.S.A., U.K., Yugoslavia, Turkey, 15 New States of The Former Soviet Union, 5 New States of Former Yugoslavia.

Such tourists should, however, have a visa for the country to which they are proceeding from Sri Lanka if the law of that country requires it. Nationals of the above countries require visit visa to enter Sri Lanka if they are not coming as Bona-fide tourists.

Visit Visas are issued by Sri Lanka diplomatic missions abroad free of charge for a period of 30 days on arrival at Colombo Airport (for tourist visits only). Visitors overstaying their visas are liable for action taken against them by the Government of Sri Lanka..

Nationals of all countries not included in the above list require a visa for entry into Sri Lanka.

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Disclaimer: We've tried to make the information on this page as accurate as possible, but it is provided 'as is' and we accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information. You should verify critical information (like visas, health and safety, customs and transportation) with the relevant authorities before you travel.

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