History in Brief: Sri Lanka is an Indian Ocean island stays south east coast of Indian main land. Sri Lanka is known to ancient world as Heladive, Lakdiv and Thambapanni latter as for Greek Taprobana means copper colored land and Serandib as in Arabic to the Arab merchants and to Europeans named Ceilao, Zeilan or latter called Ceylon . The country rich in treasures namely Ivory from tuskers, precious gem stones from virgin lands Sabaragamuwa, Uwa and Central province and central. The traditional crops Cinnamon, cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg many varieties of spices attracted Europeans to established Sri Lanka as their trading port and latter ruled by Portuguse, Dutch and British until 1948.
According to Hindu epic Ramayana A Sri Lanka home to demon king Rawana is connected to Rama and Sita from Baratha a great legend. The first colonies from Northern India the Prince Vijaya landed at Thambapanni seduced the local indigenous called Vedda a Sinhalese grass roots about 543 BC and the decendents called Sinhalese. Latter part the south Indian war loads and immigrants invaded the peninsula from Pandaya, Chola and Dravidians now consists of Tamil as a race (18%) and Hindu as religion (16%).
About 300BC early Anuradapura period led by King Devanampiyatissa the first ruler of the united Sri Lanka happens to introduced Buddhism by Mahinda a Buddhist monk and a son of King Dharmasoka of India during alias Great King Asoka of India . Since many great rulers govern the country from Anuradahapura the main seat of Buddhism until 10 th century and due south Indian invasion the capital was destroyed and the country was in chaos. The powerful Sinhalese kingdom scattered around. Then after decades the country was reunited expelled the Indian war loads and the kingdom was moved to Polonnarua (1073~1215) became the medieval capital of Sri Lanka under King Vijayabahu.Latter part under the rule of King Parakramahbahu (1161~1186) became a great ruler develop the country by building of reservoirs and irrigation work setup monasteries, temples to behest of Buddhism and introduced a new are of architecture, artwork and culture with south Indian influence. Again South Indian Kalingas invasion and destruction Polonnaruwa by 1270 the capital was abandoned.
Then time to time Kingdom was shifted to Dambadeniya (1232~1270), Yapahuwa (1272~1284), Kurunegala (1293~1341), Gampola (1341~1408), Kotte (1411~1597), Kandy (1469~1815) ruled by provincial kings
The arrival of new masters with keen interest on trade and rule policy the Portuguese (1505~1656), Dutch (1656~1796) and British (1815~1948) ruled the Sri Lanka as well as entire Indian sub continent. The Europeans influence the country was adopted Roman Dutch law and missionaries brought the new religion Roman Catholic and church oriented education to the country. Introduced new administration system, planted cash based crops Coffee, Tea and Rubber and introduced railway system, road network, postal service and many more. Sri Lanka was gained independence from British in 1948 after the WW11 within the commonwealth and became Democratic Republic in 1972. In 1978 a new constitution introduced elected executive Presidency rule and parliamentary based proportionally elected legislators.
Administrative Capital : Sri Jayawardhana Pura (Kotte)
Area: 65,525 Sq/km
Population Density: 309 people per Sq/km
Land mass: 430 km North to South/225 km East to West
Ashore Belt: about 1330 km palm fringed yellow and white sand coastline
Highest Peak: Pidurutalagala 2524 meters
Longest River: Mahaweli Ganga 333 km.
People, Language and Religion:
- Population: about 20 million, Sinhalese consists 74%.Tamils 18% and Muslims 7% others Dutch Burger 1%.
- Religion: Buddhist 70%.Hindus 16%, Christian 7% Islam 7%, Language: Sinhala, Tamil as official Language & English is widely spoken in Sri Lanka .
- Lowlands : tropical average 27 Celsius, Central hills: mild with temperature drops 14 degrees Celsius.
- South West monsoon : rain blows from Indian Ocean from May to July with heavy rain at western and southern and central Hills
- North East Monsoon : from December and January blows Bay of Bengal with heavy rains in Northern, Eastern and North eastern region. Inter monsoon rains with heavy rains in the afternoon will occurs during March/April and October/November.
Currency & Banks:
Coins: 25 & 50 cts & 1,2,5 & 10 Rupee coins circulating.
Notes: 10,20,50,100,500,100.500 Ruppee notes are circulating.
Banks are open from 0830 am ~0300 pm, some city banks open on Saturdays from 0900 am~0100 pm. Most of the shops and hotels accept Master, Visa, American Express and JCB cards. You can withdraw money from ATM points at all commercial and government banks using your above International credit cards.
- Visa: All countries required entry Visa by paying applicable fee.
Entry Visa/Tourist Visa for 30 days / can extend to 60 days.
please visit Web site: www.eta.gov.lk
Nature & National Parks
Map of Sri Lanka