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The pear-shaped island republic of Sri Lanka, off the south-east
coast of India, was formerly known as Ceylon.
Adams Peak, Away
From The Beach, Historical Sri Lanka, Kandy, Map of Sri Lanka, Religion and Culture in Sri Lanka, Sinhala, Sri Lanka Background, Sri Lanka News, Sri Lanka Tours,
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Travellers to Sri Lanka do not normally spend too much time in the old
colonial-style capital of Colombo, preferring instead the beaches around Hikkaduwa to the
south, or the cool mountain air of Kandy.
Weather in Sri Lanka
The monsoon season in the south-west is from May to November.
Weather in Asia:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Asia.
It is often said that Sri Lanka is 'like India, without the
English was the official language of Sri Lanka until 1957, and is
still widely spoken today.
A bill was finally passed making Sinhalese the only official language
of the country on December 31, 1960, but the Tamil-speaking minority led mass
demonstrations against it in early 1961.
It wasn't until January 1966, that Tamil become the official
administrative language in the northern and eastern parts of the island. The Tamil Tigers
still want more than that.
According to legend, Rama, an incarnation of the god Vishnu, conquered
Sri Lanka in prehistoric times, to reclaim his stolen wife, Sita.
Visit Colombo, ancient cities, or the hill country.
Popular beach resorts around Sri Lanka.
Compare Hotel Prices in Sri Lanka
What's happening in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka's weekly. The whole paper is crammed into a list of hyperlinks on the front
page. A little confusing, but everything seems to be there.
The Mahavamsa is a comprehensive written history of the country,
compiled by a succession of Buddhist monks.
The epic was started in the 6th century AD, and provides a virtually
unbroken narrative up to 1815; although it can not be taken as gospel because of its
According to the Mahavamsa, a Hindu prince from north-east India,
called Vijaya, conquered the island and the resident Veddas people in 504 BC.
Vijaya married a native princess, and installed himself as ruler of
the entire island, and called it Sinhala.
Buddhism became the national religion in the 3rd century BC,
during which time the Sinhalese produced a highly developed civilisation.
They created vast irrigation projects, and the ancient capital of
During the 4th century AD to the middle of the 12th century, Tamil
kings ruled over Sinhala, and other invaders from southern India
came over for a bit of the action.
Chinese forces occupied Sinhala between 1408 and 1438. Then came the
Portuguese traders in 1517; establishing a fort and trading post at Colombo.
The Dutch gained control of most of the island in 1658, except for the
kingdom of Kandy.
The British came on the scene in 1795, and in 1798 arrogantly made all
the island, except for the kingdom of Kandy, the crown colony of Ceylon and shipped the
tea to England.
The Sri Lanka Tourist Board welcome you to Paradise on Earth.
Most public holidays are based on religious festivals.
Festivals are a part of Sri Lankan culture. They can be either religious or national
festivals and are observed in grand scale.
Things to do away from the beach:
Sri Lanka has a rich and exotic variety of wildlife and a long tradition of conservation
rooted in its 2,230 year old Buddhist civilisation.
A pilgrimage to the top of Adams Peak is considered important to
both Muslims and Buddhists.
To the Muslims
Adam and Eve lived here after leaving the Garden of Eden.
To the Buddhists
A rock on the peak contains one of Buddha's footprints.
The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, is where one of Buddha's teeth
is believed to be enshrined.
The Department of National Archives in Colombo, contains the
official records of the Dutch Administration from 1640 to 1796, the British Administration
from 1796 to 1948, and records of the independent nation from 1948 to the present.
Many archaeological finds, from the Stone Age, have been unearthed
around the Bandarawela region in the south.
If you're booking a tour in Sri Lanka, double check that your tour
company really does have the support of the local people.
Special interest tours around Sri Lanka: trekking, visiting tribal people living in remote
forests, camping and canoeing. Visits also include ruined cities and meeting with local
Lanka Travel Guides -
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