About Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a beautiful and astonishing island situated next to Southern tip of India in the Indian Ocean. This small island is highly recommended as a one of the best tourist attractions in the world because she gives you so much in so little space.

Experience the astonishing diversity which prompted Marco Polo to describe Sri Lanka as "The finest island for its size in the entire world". Scientist sir Arthur C Clarke stated, "The island of Sri Lanka is a small universe, it contains as many variations of culture, society and climate as some countries a dozen times its size."

Sri Lanka blessed by many fascinating attractions that no other country offers to their visitors and this is a land like no other. Sri Lanka is enriched with charming natural beauty, endless golden sandy beaches, rich and proud heritage and culture which goes back to more than 2000 years, eight UNESCO world heritage sites, wild life and maritime parks, bird sanctuaries, national museums, art galleries, colour full festivals, world famous Ceylon tea, gems and jewellery, water and other sports, tasty and spicy food, magical climate diversity, unmatched hospitality with a warm welcome make Sri Lanka a great tourist destination and a paradise.

Visitors touring in Sri Lanka do not need to travel great distances to experience climate diversity. A five hour journey by road will take the visitor from sunny beaches to fascinating hill country or from tropical wild life parks to cool hill country wild life parks. Experience the summer and winter within five hours. This is the secret in this small island which would worth to feel it.

Sri Lanka has always been a country with exotic beauty and a great place to enjoy a holiday without a doubt. But she was kept away from tourists hot spots and many holiday itineraries due to the civil war which dragged for almost thirty years and tsunami hit in year 2004. Since May 2009 with the war over and peace in the country, the tourism is booming. Most countries, including Britain, removed travel warnings and declared that it is safe to travel to this beautiful country.

If you are still having doubts about visiting and enjoying its beauty, consider that Sri Lanka is chosen as one of the top 31 places to visit by New York Times, and chosen as second best travel destination by National Geographic channel and finally it was nominated as number one destination in the world to visit in year 2013 by the world’s most renowned and largest travel guide book and digital media publisher –“The Lonely Planet.”

COLONIAL ERA AND INDEPENDENCE

In the 16th century, the Capital of Sri Lanka was in Srijayawardana Pura (Kotte) while the coastal areas were occupied by Portuguese. The Portuguese were followed by Dutch in the 17th century and during both Portuguese and Dutch ruled the coastal area and the interior hill country remained independent with its capital the city of Kandy under the king Sriwikra Rajasinghe 2. Great Britain replaced the Dutch in 1796 and coastal area became crown colony in 1802. The entire island became part of the British Empire in 1815. When the British were ruling the country it was named as Ceylon and after many years it became an independent state in 1948. In 1972 name was changed to Sri Lanka and in1978 the legislative and judicial capital was moved from Colombo to Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte. The national flag was changed and added orange and green vertical bars to represent Tamil and Muslim minority population.

PEACE AND TOURIST BOOM IN SRI LANKA

Nearly three decades conflict between Sri Lankan government forces and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) ended in May 2009 leaving peace and harmony for Sri Lanka and now the country is heading towards prosperity as a United Nation. People all over the country are enjoying the peace and freedom with smiling faces.
The economy and the infra structure throughout the country are booming up, which was earlier under the threat and fear of terrorism. The old colonial buildings in the city have been renovated and turning in to restaurants and pubs, shopping malls, pop music centres and many more. The Colombo city is under major development project lead by the ministry of defence and urban development authority and translating in to a modern city with all the facilities to accommodate all aspects of visitors and getting ready to welcome them all.

After the end of the civil war in the country, a record number of tourists (800,000) visited in 2011 and this is a great increase compare to previous year and Sri Lankans believe that this is just a start.
New guest houses and star class hotels are being built in the places where tourists love to spend their holidays on beaches such as Nilaweli, Uppuvi, Kalkuda, Vakarai, Arugambe in the East coast and the famous Southwest coast, close proximity to nature parks, and cultural and heritage sites.

SO MUCH IN SO LITTLE

It is not needed to drive more distances in Sri Lanka to find wild life parks, maritime parks, bird sanctuaries and strict nature reserves. Freely roaming elephants, leopards, sloth bear, spotted deer and other wild animals commonly can be seen at these parks. Beautiful peacocks displaying vibrant colours of their tails, as well as many species of parrots, fishing eagles, colourful kingfishers, woodpeckers and unique tailor birds and they are a few out of these species. The warm tropical climate in Sri Lanka invites a large number of immigrant birds to escape from the winter in the cold weather from far away such as Siberia. Siberian Flemings are the most beautiful out of them. The foreign birds add more colour to the island along with about 150 species of indigenous birds.

15 GOOD REASONS TO VISIT SRI LANKA

  1. Bio Diversity
  2. Rich Culture and Heritage
  3. Eight UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  4. Amazing wild life elephants, leopards and bird sanctuaries
  5. Magnificent sea life blue whales and dolphin
  6. Adventure and sports
  7. World famous Ceylon tea
  8. Spicy and tasty food
  9. Star class hotels and guest houses
  10. Ayurveda (Indigenous Medicine) and Spa
  11. Place to learn Buddhism and meditation for peace of mind.
  12. Colourful festivals
  13. Shopping
  14. Budget prices
  15. Outstanding hospitality

SO MUCH IN SO LITTLE
Enjoy them all, in style.

GEOGRAPHY

Sri Lanka is an island situated in the Indian Ocean next to the Southern tip of India between East longitude 79 to 82 and North latitude 5 and 10. Length of the island is 432km and width is 224km and area is 65525sq mms.

POPULATION

Population of the country approximate 20 million consisting of majority of Sinhala and minority of Tamil, Muslim, Burgher communities and few other minor ethnic groups. Majority of community are Buddhist and then respectively Christian, Islam and Hindu. Sinhala is the official language and the Tamil is the Second language of the country. English is commonly used throughout the country.

TIME

Sri Lanka time zone is plus 5 1/2hours from the Greenwich Mean Time. (GMT)

CLIMATE

Sri Lanka is a tropical country with the a stage temperature between 25 to 35 Celsius at low country and coastal areas and the temperature falls down with the altitude and the mid country like Kandy average temperature about 20 Celsius and hill country like Nuwara Eliya is average 10 to 15 Celsius. Sri Lanka has two raining monsoons and one is Southwest from May to July in Southern and central regions and the other one is Northeast monsoon from November to January in the Eastern parts and extending towards the central parts of the country.

CLOTHING

Sri Lanka is a warm country and ideal to wear light weight cotton clothes in low country and light jackets and sweaters for hill country. There are some dress restrictions at sacred places where people worship and not allowed to wear shorts or partly open tops and need to remove foot wear before enter the place.

TELEPHONE

A Land line telephone, telephone booths and mobile telephone networks available throughout the country with international dialling facility and international code is 0094. Mobile phone rentals with SIM cards are available with pay as you go plan and monthly plan. Cyber cafes can be found in all towns and free WI-FI is available in the airport and the reputed hotels.

HEALTH

It is recommended to drink bottled mineral water or boiled water. Water and ice from reputed hotels are safe. Government hospitals and private hospitals are available in the major cities of the country to attend any emergencies and they provide specialist assistance 24/7 with modern medical facilities. On call doctors are available in reputed hotels.

ELECTRICITY

210 - 230V and 50 Hz Alternating Current (AC) available in Sri Lanka and round pins plugs are commonly used. It is advisable to carry a travel adaptor with you.

CURRENCY

Sri Lankan currency is Rupee and the value is fluctuating as per current world market rate. Main commercial banks are available at the arrival lounge of the airport and the major cities of the country where you can change the money. Star class hotels also have this facility. American express, Master cards and Visa cards are also widely accepted.

VISA

Sri Lanka has introduced an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) since 01 January 2012 and who intend to visit Sri Lanka needs to complete ETA prior to arrival at the airport. You need to provide details as per the passport that you travelling with and it is advisable to have a copy with your ETA when you present passport to the immigration officer at the airport. If you want to stay longer than 30 days you need to apply visa From Immigration and Emigration Department. To apply ETA please visit Sri Lanka Visa.

Address of passport control:
Department of immigration and Emigration
Amanda Rajakaruna Mawatha
Maradana
Colombo 10
Tel - 0094 11 5359000
0094 11 5329316 /20/31/25
For more information please visit www.immigration.gov.lk

Custom Procedure

IMPORTS

Foreign passport holders are allowed to bring three 1.5 litres of spirits and two bottles of wine. Perfume and jewellery for personal use not exceeding US Dollar 250/=. Personal equipment like laptops, cameras are allowed but must be declared at arrival. Import of illegal drugs of any form is strictly prohibited and is a criminal offence. Please visit www.customs.gov.lk for more information.

EXPORTS

It is allowed to take 10kg of tea without duty. No antiques are allowed which means that any item more than 50 years old with historical and cultural value. Permission need to be obtained from following authorities to export above items:

Director
National Archives,
7 Reid Avenue,
Colombo 7.
Tel: +94-11-2694523, +94-11-2696917
www.archives.gov.lk
Director General
Department of Archaeology,
Sir Marcus Fernando Mw,
Colombo
+94 11 2692840/1 Tel: +94-11-2694727,
+94-11-2667155
www.archaeology.gov.lk

Purchase and export of any animal, bird or reptile, dead or alive also parts of animals, birds, or reptiles such as skins, horns, tethers are prohibited. It is prohibited to export coral or any other maritime products. Approval to export fauna to be obtained from the

Director
Department of Wild Life Conservation
382, New Kandy road, Malambe
Tel- 0094 11 25060380
www.dwic.lk

For flora
Director
Forest Department
82 Rajamwatta Road
Battaramulla
Tel: 0094 11 2866616
0094 2866632
www.environmentlanka.com

SHOPPING

Sri Lanka is an ideal place for shopping famous Sri Lankan Gem and jewellery, garments, ceramics, spice, leather products, handicrafts, handloom, batiks and famous Ceylon tea.

VISIT THE KINGDOMS OF SRI LANKA

5 DAYS TOUR - Day 1

Leave the office and set off to explore the remnants of the ancient civilizations and Cultural Heritage of Sri Lanka Anuradapura which is an UNESCO world Heritage site and the First Kingdom ....

BEST WEEK IN SRI LANKA

7 DAYS TOUR - Day 1

Leave the office and set off to explore the remnants of the ancient civilizations and Cultural Heritage of Sri Lanka Leave for Sigiriya via Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage the world's biggest h ....

HERITAGE, HILLTOPS AND COAST TOUR

10 DAYS TOUR - Day 1

Commence your journey towards Sigiriya via Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage the world's biggest herd of domestic elephants about 90 in all ages including baby elephants and this is a very exciti ....

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