Sri Lanka Country Profile
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Travel Advice: Sri Lanka Travel Advice
Visas: Sri Lanka Visa Information
Vaccinations: Sri Lanka Vaccination Information
The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island country located at South Asia in the Indian Ocean.
The country recorded a population of 21.67 million in 2018 and covers an area of 65,610 km2.
It has two capitals; Colombo, which is the executive and judicial capital and Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, which is the legislative capital.
Colombo is the main point in the country on the Indian Ocean. It is the largest city in the country and the main financial centre.
Town hall in Colombo.
The Portuguese occupied Colombo between 1505 and 1833 after which the Island unified under the British rule under the name Ceylon.
Ceylon became independent in 1948. And later changed its name to Sri Lanka in 1972.
Its culture is mixed with a traditional touch and the modern touch. It is greatly based on Theravada Buddhism culture.
The major crops in the country are rice, tea, rubber and coconut. The popular foods are dhal curry, sour fish curry, hoppers and kothu.
The main wildlife animals in the country include the Asian elephant, leopard, turtle, sloth bear, sambar, the blue whale and water buffalo.
Dalada Maligava (“Temple of the Tooth”), where a tooth of the Buddha is believed to be preserved, Kandy.
Annual events/ celebrations/ festivals
Duruthu Pahera Festival is a Buddhist festival held during the full moon in Kelaniya Temple.
Thai Pongal festival is held at the beginning of the month of Tai by people of Tamil community.
Esala Perahera festival is held either in July or August to honour the tooth relic of Buddha at the streets of Kandy city.
Things to see
Ratnapura city is a traditional city where tourists visit to buy commodities such as gems, leather products, jewellery, reproduction antiques and precious stones.
Sri Dalada Maligawa is a Buddhist Temple at the city of Kandy in the royal palace of the historic Kingdom of Kandy which houses the tooth relic of Lord Buddha.
Yala National Park, Minneriya National Park and Wilpattu are parks where a variety of wildlife is preserved. There is also an elephant orphanage Pinnawala.
Sigiriya Fortress is a historical and archaeological site that is 200m high in Dambulla town.
Tea plantation in Nuwara Eliya
It is the third-largest tea producers in the world after China and Kenya.
The country is known for the production of Ceylon tea grown at the highlands of Sri Lanka with a unique flavour and high antioxidant content.
It is also called the treasure box of Indian Ocean since it is one of the world’s largest producers of gems and precious stones.
The country’s official languages are Tamil and Sinhala.
Theravada Buddhism is the state religion.
Sri Lanka has a maritime border with Maldives and India. It is at the southwest of Bay of Bengal and southeast of Arabian Sea on the Indian Ocean.
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