Sri Lanka officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest across the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait, and the Maldives to the southwest.
Sri Lanka's total population is approximately 21.5 million. Nearly three-quarters, 73.8%, are ethnic Sinhalese. Sri Lankan Tamils, whose ancestors came to the island from southern India centuries ago, make up about 12% of the population, while more recent Indian Tamil immigrants, brought in as agricultural labor by the British colonial government, represent 5%.
Another 7% of Sri Lankans are the Malays and Moors, descendants of Arab and Southeast Asian traders who plied the Indian Ocean monsoon winds for more than a thousand years. There are also tiny numbers of Dutch and British settlers, and aboriginal Veddahs, whose ancestors arrived at least 18,000 years ago.
The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhala. Both Sinhala and Tamil are considered national languages; only about 18% of the population speaks Tamil as the mother tongue, however. Other minority languages are spoken by about 8% of Sri Lankans. In addition, English is a common language of trade, and approximately 10% of the population is conversant in English as a foreign language.
Sri Lanka has a complex religious landscape. Almost 70% of the population are Theravada Buddhists (mainly the ethnic Sinhalese), while most Tamils are Hindus, representing 15% of Sri Lankans. Another 7.6% are Muslims, particularly the Malay and Moor communities, belonging primarily to the Shafi'i school within Sunni Islam. Finally, about 6.2% of Sri Lankans are Christians; of those, 88% are Catholic and 12% are Protestant.
Sri Lanka is a teardrop-shaped island in the Indian Ocean, southeast of India. It has an area of 65,610 square kilometers (25,332 square
Sri Lanka sits
Sri Lanka has a maritime tropical climate, meaning that it is warm and humid throughout the year. Average temperature ranges from 16 °C (60.8 °F) in the central highlands to 32°C (89.6 ° F) along the northeast coast. High temperatures in Trincomalee, in the northeast, can top 38 °C (100 °F). The entire island generally has humidity levels between 60 and 90% year-round, with the higher levels during the two long monsoonal rainy seasons (May to October and December to March).
Sri Lanka's economy today is mainly based on the service and industrial sector;
Tap water is not safe to drink, and boiling and filtering
When you flop onto the beach or poolside lounger for a spot of sunbathing, always remember to apply a sunscreen product with a sun protection factor of at least 15.
The local currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee, divided into 100 cents (you rarely come across
Banks are open from 0900 hrs to 1300 hrs Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 1500 hrs, while some are open on Saturday mornings. It is easy to withdraw money
Most hotels, restaurants and shopping
Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for
230 . 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer.
Sri Lanka has two official languages. Sinhala and Tamil, with English as a link language. Most people have some knowledge of English, and signboards are often in English.
Buses are the principal mode of public transport. Bus services are provided by the state-run Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and by privately run buses. Colombo has an extensive public transport system based on buses. The Central Bus Stand in Pettah functions as the primary hub for bus transport in Colombo.
Train services can be used as another mode of transport. The main railway lines cover hill country, coastal area and the northern part of the country. Special Service for tourists and others is being provided by Sri Lanka Railways by introducing a special coach to intercity and other express trains. This air-conditioned coach consists of very comfortable seats with television and Wi-Fi as services. Catering too has been included.
Cabs/taxis and three-wheelers (