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Travel Notes: Asia: Sri Lanka Travel Notes

Sri Lanka Travel Notes

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Sri Lanka Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Find Sri Lanka Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to Sri Lanka.

About Sri Lanka

The pear-shaped island republic of Sri Lanka, off the south-east coast of India, was formerly known as Ceylon.

Travel to Sri Lanka

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.

Map of Sri Lanka

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.

Sri Lanka Background

It is often said that Sri Lanka is 'like India, without the hassle'.

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.

Sri Lanka Attractions:
Visit Colombo, ancient cities, or the hill country.

Sri Lankan Beaches:
Popular beach resorts around Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka News

Tamil News:
What's happening in Sri Lanka.

Sunday Times:
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

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 biases.

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 Anuradhapura.

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.

Sri Lanka Tourism:
The Sri Lanka Tourist Board welcome you to Paradise on Earth.

Religion and Culture in Sri Lanka

Most public holidays are based on religious festivals.

Festivals and Holidays:
Festivals are a part of Sri Lankan culture. They can be either religious or national festivals and are observed in grand scale.

Away From The Beach

Things to do away from the beach:

National Parks:
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.

Adams Peak

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.

Historical Sri Lanka

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.

Sri Lanka Tours

If you're booking a tour in Sri Lanka, double check that your tour company really does have the support of the local people.

Tours Lanka:
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 communities.

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