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Home > Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka – The Island of a Thousand Treasures

Capital city : Colombo
Total Population : 20 million
Language spoken : Sinhala Language & Tamil Language
Climate : tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)
Currency : Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Time zone : (GMT+05:30) Sri Jayawardenepura
Electricity : Type D (Old British 3-pin) Type G (Irish/British 3-pin)
Dialing code : +94

Sri Lanka is an island country that lies in the northern Indian Ocean, off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Originally known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has an impressive historical and cultural background which is still intact despite the modernization efforts. It has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest. Blessed with natural beauty, Sri Lanka is full of discoveries and wonderful experiences for tourists at every step. As a tourist spot, Sri Lanka has attracted innumerable tourists from all over the world from the ancient times.

People, Lifestyle & Culture of Sri Lanka

Though much smaller in size as compared to its neighboring country, India, Sri Lanka has a diverse topography and landscape. Sri Lanka is the land of multi-ethnic groups distinctively divided by two main characteristics: language and religion which consequently intersect to create four principal ethnic groups. A major portion of the population isformed by the Sinhalese (around 74%) who occupy southern, western and central region. The second largest group is Tamils (around 18%) which is further divided in 2 sub groups: the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Indian Tamils. The Sri Lankan Tamils concentrate in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka while the Indian Tamils are settled in the south central part of the country. The other two groups are Moors (who are again divided into Sri Lankan, Indian and Malays) and the Burghers who are the descendants of the Portuguese and the Dutch. Contrary to popular perception, the people of Sri Lanka are educated (a staggering 92% literacy rate as per 2003 estimate) and mostly prefer nuclear families. A vast portion of the people depend upon agriculture for their subsistence (especially in rural areas), though other occupations are also fast gaining prominence (especially in urban areas).

The culture of Sri Lanka has been influenced by many factors, but has managed to retain much of its ancient aspects. Mostly it has been influenced by its long history and its Buddhist heritage. People mainly follow the Buddhism with numerous Buddhist stupas spread throughout the country and several festivals being celebrated on important events in and around Buddha's life. The festival is a celebration of Lord Buddha's visit to the country. Sri Lankan culture is best known abroad for its cricket, food, holistic medicine, religious icons like the Buddhist flag, and cultural exports such as tea, cinnamon and gems.

Sri Lankan culture is diverse, as it varies from region to region; however the basic culture remains throughout the country. A tourist on a visit to this country will come across a variety that is typical of the Indian subcontinent region. Sri Lanka is in brief, a place that will be best understood when experienced.

Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is blessed with a tropical climate, with temperatures remaining in the high 20c throughout most of the year. Best time to visit Sri Lanka is from December to March during the dry seasons. The rest of the time it's the monsoon season, so expect rain during this time.

Shopping

Shopping in Sri Lanka has something for everyone at a relatively low cost. It is difficult to leave Sri Lanka without a backpack full of mementos. The country is known for its vibrant fabrics, fragrant spices, stunning silver jewelry.

Things to buy in Sri Lanka


1. Handicrafts

Although handicrafts are available all over the country but Kandy is one of the best places to buy a lot of genuine handicrafts made by traditional artisans. Laksala is one of the state owned handicraft shop known for its genuine handicrafts as there are mostly fake products available with the most of the tourist shops.

2. Spices

Sri Lanka has long been renowned for its spices and home to multitude of plantations and spice gardens. Even some of the world’s best spices come from Sri Lanka.  Here you can buy cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, cloves, turmeric etc. to take home a taste of Sri Lanka with you.

3. Gem Stones

Sri Lanka’s gem industry has a very long and colorful history. If you are looking for a low cost gemstone, Sri Lanka is a top place to pick up a stone at great price. We advise you to always buy from a licensed gem store to guarantee authenticity.

Transportation

Getting there - The only international airport of Sri Lanka is ‘Bandaranaike International Airport' situated about 32kms from the capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo. Bandaranaike International Airport is the only international airport of Sri Lanka for tourists who want to reach the country by flight option. Sea route is also available, though not much preferred now. Getting around - For getting around in different places within Sri Lanka, cars, buses and trains are the best option available as domestic airports are very few. You can also use your own vehicle, provided to you by Welcome Journeys have proper permission and documents for the same.