About Sri Lanka

Yes, It's The Pearl Of The Indian Ocean!

Sri Lanka is an island that is captivating both by its name - that means Land of Splendour - and by what it actually offers to the visitor. The attractions of Sri Lanka - known to the world by several names from ancient days - have been known through the centuries. While legend has it that this is the Lanka of the Ramayana, it is the name by which it has always been known to its own people

By far the biggest attraction of Sri Lanka is its people. The Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims are all friendly by nature and the country has an unsullied record of hospitality over the centuries. It is a land of smiles and a warm welcome, observed by Anton Chekov, Bernard Shaw and Sir Arthur C. Clarke who has made Sri Lanka his home, and the inspiration for at least two of his books. It is known as a land of tolerance that has been tempered over the years by the teachings of the Buddha. Its overall Buddhist culture, with a lasting blend of Hindu influence has been the source of an ancient civilization, with masterpieces of sculpture, construction, and irrigation that have lasted to this day in the several ancient and medieval cities that bear testimony to Sri Lanka's historic splendour. The huge irrigation tanks that dammed rivers and also harnessed the rain from the 1st Century BC are known as marvels of a unique hydraulic civilization and still provide the water for the rice field of today. At the beginning of a new millennium, Sri Lanka that has known much of history, still beckons as a land of splendour far beyond the limits of a tropical island.



GEOGRAPHY & POPULATION

Sri Lanka is an island situated at the southern tip of India in the Indian Ocean. From North to South - 432 km From East to West - 224 km Total area - 65, 525 sq. km. The majority of Sri Lankans are Singhalese and Buddhists, but the total population is a mixture of Tamil, Moor, Burgher.

HEALTH

It is safer not to drink water from the tap though water in major towns are treated. Boiled water, bottled water and water at reputed hotels are safe. Government run hospitals and a number of private hospitals are available in the event of an emergency. Reputed hotels have a Doctor on call.

TIME & CLIMATE

Sri Lanka is +5 ½ Greenwich Mean Time. The south-west monsoon brings rain from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon occurs in December & January. The weather is finest in the coastal regions and hill country from October to March. Average temperature : Lowlands - 27C˚ Kandy - 20C˚ Nuwara Eliya - below 15C˚.

CURRENCY

The currency in Sri Lanka is the Rupee. The value fluctuates with world market rates. All commercial banks are authorized to exchange money and so are most tourist class hotels. American Express, Master Card and Visa Card are also widely accepted.

CLOTHING

Lightweight clothing is highly recommended. It is a good idea to be conservatively dressed on the streets and shorts are not permitted in places of worship. Footwear off in temples. A light sweater is recommended in the hill country.

TELEPHONES

Card operated telephone booths and cyber cafes can be found in most towns. Top-Up Cards or Reloards can be obtained at the nearest shop or kiosk. Mobile telephone rentals are also freely available. Free Wi-Fi connections can be found near public places.

VISAS

Nationals of most countries may obtain visas on arrival, at the airport. It is best to check with your nearest Sri Lankan diplomatic consulate.

SHOPPING

Sri Lanka offers good bargains in quality tea, spices, ceramics, garments, leather goods, gems and stones, handcrafts etc.

ELECTRICITY

210-240 volts with 50Hz, Alternating Current / Plug sockets take round pins. Square pin plug sockets also available.