Ermak Travel Guide

 

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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Destinations Travel Guide

 

 

 

Flag of Sri Lanka

Language: Sinhala, Tamil

Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

Calling Code: 94

 

 

 

Sri Lanka is an island sovereign country of Asia, located in the Bay of Bengal, whose form of government is the semi-presidential republic. Its territory is organized into nine provinces and twenty-four districts. The island was known in antiquity as "Lanka", "Lankadvīpa", "Simoundou", "Taprobane", "Serendib" and "Selan", becoming popularly known as the "island of a thousand names". During its colonization, the island took the name of «Ceylon», which continued to be used later. Its particular shape and its proximity to India caused it to be called "The Tear of India."

Due to its location on the road of the main sea routes, Sri Lanka is a strategic naval link between western Asia and Southeast Asia, and has been a center of Buddhist religion and culture of antiquity. Today it is a multireligious and multi-ethnic country, in which almost a third of the population is a follower of religions other than Buddhism, especially Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. The Sinhalese community is the majority. The Tamils, who are concentrated in the north and east of the island, constitute the most important ethnic minority. Other communities include Arab Muslims, Malays and burghers.

Famous for the production and export of cinnamon, tea, coffee, rubber and coconut, Sri Lanka has a progressive and modern industrial economy and the highest income per capita in South Asia. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka in its tropical forests, beaches and landscape, as well as its rich cultural heritage, make it a world-famous tourist destination.

After more than two thousand years of local governments by kingdoms, parts of Sri Lanka were colonized by Portugal and the Netherlands from the sixteenth century, before control of the entire country was ceded to the British Empire in 1815. During the Second World War, Sri Lanka served as an important base for the allied forces in the fight against the Japanese Empire. A nationalist political movement emerged in the country at the beginning of the 20th century, in order to obtain political independence, which was finally granted by the British after the peace negotiations in 1948.

The history of Sri Lanka has been marked for more than two decades by an ethnic conflict between the national government and the insurgent movement of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. In early 2002, the two sides in conflict agreed on a ceasefire, which was repeatedly broken on both sides. In early 2009, the national government launched an offensive against the Tigers, which lasted several months and resulted in the annihilation of the guerrillas and the death of their high command, but at a very high cost of civilian lives.

 

Travel Destination in Sri Lanka

 

Anuradhapura

 

Anuradhapura in North Central Procvince is famous for its religious complex as well as many smaller temples, shrines and other monuments.

Bundala National Park

 

Bundala National Park located in a Southern Province of Sri Lanka and contains several biospheres within its borders.

Dambulla Cave Temple

 

Dambulla Cave Temple is an ancient and medieval religious complex that is located in over 80 natural caves of which five are especially magnificent.

Horton Plains National Park

 

Horton Plains National Park is located in a Central Province of the Southern Sri Lanka.

Kaudulla National Park

 

Kaudulla National Park is a wild life reserve in North Central Province in North- East Sri Lanka.

Minneriya National Park

 

Minneriya National Park is nature preserve that protects elephans, buffaloes and other animals.

Sigiriya

 

Sigiriya is a pleasure palace and a fortress constructed by king Kashyapa who desperately feared the return of rightfull prince of Sri Lanka.

Udawalawe National Park

 

Uduwalawe National Park is located in Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka.

Wasgamuwa National Park

Wasgamuwa National Park is located in Central and North Central Provinces of Sri Lanka and covers an area of 39,322 ha.
Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is located in North Western and North Central provinces of Sri Lanka.
Yala National Park

Yala National Park is located in Southern and Uva Provinces of the Sri Lanka. It is most visited reserve in the country.
 

 

 

Geography of Sri Lanka

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lank is an island nation in South Asia. Until 1972 it was called Ceylon. Most of the island is a plain with outcrops of rocks and mesas. The Southern part of the island is occupied by low mountains. The highest point on the island is Mount Pidurutalagala (2524 m).

Weather in Sri Lanka

The climate on the island is tropical. The best time to visit the country is from October to April. Monsoon season usually from May to July. In November and December rains are possible. The water temperature is at average of 26 degrees Celsius.

National traditions of Sri Lanka

You can not enter the territory of the temple in shorts or short skirt. Exposing back and shoulders is also not recommended. At the entrance to the temple you must remove your shoes and headgear. You might want to get several pairs of socks. After you leave the temple you can also disinfect the soles of your feet. Furthermore it is not advisable to take pictures or shoot video without permission of the local residents. Turning your back toward statue of Buddha might also be viewed as offensive to local believes. Pointing fingers, grabbing something with the left hand, showing soles of feet or footwear to people are also viewed as offensive gestures. Many animals are considered sacred. Hindus for example consider a cow sacred. Another problems are monkeys. They are sacred and feel that way. They often steal possessions of the tourists and hitting them might give you more troubles with the locals.

Emergency numbers in Sri Lanka

Ambulance 144

Police 133

Fire 122

Emergency service 120

Politics in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a Democratic Socialist Republic that is part of the Commonwealth of the former British Empire. The head of the state and government is the president who has wide powers comparing to other countries. The legislature is a single chambered parliament, the National State Assembly.

Language in Sri Lanka

The official language in the country is Sinhala. Although most of population also speaks English.

Religion in Sri Lanka

Buddhists make up the majority of the country at 69%, Hindus take second place with 15%. Additionally 8% of the country are Christians and another 8% are Muslims.

Safety in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical country with hot moist climate so it is full of unexpected and unpleasant surprises and hygiene concerns. It is not recommended to drink tap water or buy ice from the streets. They are often infected. Drink bottled water and use plenty of soap before you eat. Do not let the seller cut the fruit with his knife. This is a generally common area of malaria, Japanese encephalitis, Hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, Bengali, diphtheria, tetanus, rabies, dengue fever and etc. It is advisable to check if all of your vaccinations are in check.