Sri Lanka

Imagine a big Blue Ocean, big grey elephants, big green trees and big Blue Mountains, beautiful hues of Mother Nature and radiant smiles of the charming people. Walk in a land where that imagination is just a way of life, and encloses surprises which are only meant for the delight of the human senses. It is a land like no other... it is Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a diverse country home to many religions, ethnics and languages and is famous for exporting pure Ceylon tea, the world’s best Cinnamon and rubber. With a remarkable history that dates to more than 30,000 years to the past, our country is rich with a royal heritage, nourished by an undeniably beautiful culture and thriving in the path of progress, which led to become the best travel destination in 2013. What is truly amazing about Sri Lanka is that the island has all the essentials covered, to accommodate any type of holiday experience you want. We have the addictive tropics, wide range of beaches with character to suit your mood (and one of them is in the list of top ten surf spots in the world, you may want to look up Arugambay beach for that), a wonderful opportunity to meet both the biggest mammal on earth (Blue whales) and on land (Asian Elephants), chill in the cool hills of the hill country and stumble upon the roots in the virgin forests.

Sri Lanka is a wild and lively piece of heaven, where we invite you to come and dare to experience the difference, and we promise that difference will be the most pleasurable period of your life.

General Facts

Population

As per the 2012 census, the population stands at 20,277,597. The majority Sinhalese constitute 74.88% of the total population. Sri Lankan Tamils follow at 11.2%; Sri Lankan Moors consist of 9.2%. Small ethnic groups, such as the Burghers (who are of mixed European ancestry) and Austronesian peoples from Southeast Asia reside in the island. The original indigenous group, known as the Vedda people inhabits the island too.

Religion

Sri Lanka is an island that is multi-religious. As per the Census of Population and Housing carried out in 2011, 70.19% of the population consists of Theravada Buddhists, 12.61% are Hindus, 9.71% are Muslims, and 7.45% are Christians.

Language

Sinhalese is spoken by the vast majority of Sri Lanka’s inhabitants i.e. the Sinhalese. Tamil and Arabic are largely used by the island’s Tamil and Muslim community. However, English is used mainly for commercial and official purposes, and is the native language of around 74,000 citizens who dwell in urban areas.

Currency

The Rupee is the Sri Lankan currency and is issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. It is written as “LKR” usually, but may also be penned as SLRs. The list of banks that are in operation in Sri Lanka is periodically published by the Central Bank. The Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC and Citibank are fully represented, while the most popular local bank is Commercial Bank. Other banks such as Seylan and Sampath are also well represented. Government banks include NSB and Bank of Ceylon (BOC). When it comes to credit cards, both Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, while, at present, there are over 3,000 ATMs within Sri Lanka with the majority of these ATMs are found in the capital of Colombo.

Culture

With a large melting pot of varied ethnicities and religions playing a large role in Sri Lanka, there is a rich fabric of diversity that is present and embraced within the island. The culture of Sri Lanka dates back over 2,500 years and is influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism. With Arabic traders having settled in Sri Lanka since ancient times, it is interesting to note that they too have become an integral part of this diminutive island nation. Having being colonized by the Dutch, Portuguese and British, Sri Lanka today enjoys a high literacy rate and excellent health standards.

Weather

The weather in Sri Lanka is largely warm and tropical. This is mainly due to the tempering effects of oceanic winds. Temperatures vary from 17 °C (62.6 °F) in the central highlands to a maximum of 33 °C (91.4 °F) in other areas that are of a lower-altitude. It is interesting to note that the average twelve-monthly temperature varies from 28 °C (82.4 °F) to approximately 31 °C (87.8 °F).