An island country in the Indian Ocean off southeast India. Inhabited originally by the Vedda, the island was later invaded by the Singhalese (6th century b.c.) and the Tamil (11th and 12th centuries a.d.). The lucrative spice trade on the island was controlled successively by Arab, Portuguese, Dutch, and British traders from the 12th century. It became a British colony in 1798 and achieved independence in 1948. In 1972 the island was declared a republic, and it adopted the Singhalese name of Sri Lanka. Colombo is the capital and the largest city. Population: 20,000,000.
Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in thick jungle for a long time, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is once again accessible [Read More...]
The city of Polonnaruwa like any other ancient South Asian city, consisted of a citadel within which the royal precinct was located, a defense wall system and moats, monastic and devale complexes which were the ritual centres and a well laid out market complex. In the periphery of the city were centres of craft production and beyond them the agricultural hinterland. [Read More...]
Nothing in Sri Lanka captures the imagination more than a 200 meter lump of granite that rises starkly above the flat central plains. Sigiriya has it all -- a blood-stained history full of intrigue, astonishing frescos of bare-breasted maidens painted 15 centuries ago, a wall covered in graffiti that is more than 1,000 years old and, to top it all, Asia's oldest surviving landscape garden [Read More...]
Dambulla is about 12 miles south west of Sigiriya, on the Matale-Anuradhapura Road. The largest cave carries some 48 statues of Lord Buddha alone, with statues of some Hindu gods, (Vishnu and Saman). The statues of the Hindu gods date back to the 12th century, when Hinduism took root in Sri Lanka and started influencing the arts. [Read More...]
In 1592 Kandy became the capital city of the last remaining independent kingdom in the island after the coastal regions had been conquered by the Portuguese. Several invasions by the Portuguese and the Dutch (16th, 17th and 18th century) and later by the British (most notably in 1803) were repelled. Portuguese invasions in the 16th century and 17th century were entirely unsuccessful. [Read More...]
The coastal city of Negombo in Gampaha district is the northern bordering city in the Western Province (WP). Only 7km north of Katunayake International Airport, Negombo is linked by road to the Colombo capital and main cities such as Kurunegala and Chilaw. Through the centre of the city runs the Colombo-Chilaw rail road. [Read More...]
Marawila situated 30km north of Negombo is known for its beautiful tranquil beaches, and secluded atmosphere with its amazing natural surroundings. Being a famous hideout for Sri Lankan honeymooners, most hotels and resorts here are housed within vast stretches of coconut estates, offering total privacy. [Read More...]
Trincomalee situated in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, takes pride of place as one of great scenic beauty with picturesque bays, lagoons, wide sandy beaches and rocky terrain tumbling down to the beach. The cultural and scenic resources of Trincomalee’s coastal zone make it a focus of recreational activities and tourist attractions. Its most famous landmark is[Read More...]
The original Sinhala name, Kalantotta was corrupted to Kolambu by Arab traders and then changed to Colombo by the Portuguese that arrived in 1505. They gained a monopoly in the spice and cinnamon trade. By the mid 17th century, the Dutch had taken control of the costal areas of the island. The British made it the capital of their crown colony of Ceylon in 1802 .[Read More...]
Separated from Bentota by just road and rail bridges, Aluthgama is 85 km from Sri Lanka's international airport and 55 km from Colombo. Aluthgama is a scenic beach resort with a small market town. Markets, shops, hotels and guesthouses of all categories and above all these, endless white sandy beaches make it a holiday destination for all budgets. [Read More...]
Beruwala on Sri Lanka's west coast is situated 75km from Sri Lanka's international airport and 45km from Colombo. It is the starting point of the long stretch of the major exciting beach resort area on the western coast and leads to the resorts of Aluthgama and Bentota. A small walk southwards from the town and through the village to the sea brings an unsuspecting visitor to some hotels along the beach. [Read More...]
Wadduwa is 70 km from Sri Lanka's international airport and 40 km from Colombo along the west coast. It is a convenient location placed between Colombo and the beach resort of Beruwala.
Hidden most unsuspectingly between lush coconut plantations and facing an un-crowded beach, Wadduwa makes an ideal destination for those looking for a luxurious, tropical hideaway. . [Read More...]
Mount Lavinia on the immediate suburbs of Colombo has been famous for its beach since colonial times. The sea provides a safe and popular bathing spot with calm and clear water and the soft sandy beach is scattered with recreating tourists and local families especially in the evenings. The town is mostly a middle class and residential suburb and has [Read More...]
The Sinharaja Forest reserve, a World Heritage Site, is the last remaining primary tropical rainforest in the wet zone of Sri Lanka which the country can boast of. It spans over an area of 11,250 hectares of forest land. The elevation of the forest expands from 90 to 1170 meters from sea level, presenting a large diversity of. [Read More...]
Yala National Park covers an area of 979km², although only 141km² are open to the public. It is at a distance of 309km along the coastline south of Colombo, on the southeast of the island. One can reach the Park passing through the town of Tissamaharama in Hambantota District of the Southern Province. [Read More...]
A drive towards the south east through Hambantota takes you to the rural town of Tissamaharama known in ancient times as Mahagama. The road to the Yala National Park and Kataragama passes through this town. There are several archaeological ruins and temples that mark Tissamaharama certainly worth a visit. The town is bounded by a vast and beautiful expanse of lush paddy fields. In the midst of . [Read More...]
Situated 170 km southeast of Colombo, the Uda Walawe National Park which is a wildlife reserve covers an area of approximately 30,821 hectares in the dry zone where the long dry season is characteristic feature. This park lies within the Ratnapura and Moneragala districts. In the centre of the park is the great [Read More...]
Nuwara Eliya town founded by Sir Samuel Baker in 1847 was the favourite hill station of the British. With its temperate climate and English-style houses, beautiful green lawns and gardens, little wonder it was called "Little England”. The 18-hole Golf Course at the base of Mount Pidurutalagala, the island's highest point at 2,518m, is the pride of the city. One can look out for [Read More...]
Galle, the business center of the South of Sri Lanka situated along the south western coast of Sri Lanka rose to prominence with colonial rulers realizing its importance as a commercial port. Under Portuguese rule (1507-1640) it became Sri Lanka's chief port, the capital of Sri Lanka under the Dutch (1640-56) and developed as a [Read More...]
In the early 1960s, Hikkaduwa, a small fishing village was transformed into an unbievable hub of international tourism becoming Sri Lanka’s most sought after holiday destination along the western coast. Easy to reach within a short drive from Colombo, the beautiful white sandy beaches, colourful coral reefs and excellent surf attract people the world over. [Read More...]
Less than two hours drive south from Colombo, either along the coastal road or by train, will take you to Balapitiya, a small, picturesque village with golden soft beaches.
While Balapitiya still seems "untouched" by mass tourism it’s only a short drive beyond Bentota, one of Sri Lanka's major beach resorts. To the [Read More...]
Induruwa with a beautiful, un-crowded beach stretch offers the sight of a scenic village life at a comfortable distance from Colombo. It is fast becoming a major tourist hotspot along Sri Lanka’s west coast. Induruwa provides an ideal quiet location away from the hustle and bustle of crowded cities and is a prime destination [Read More...]
Facing the Indian Ocean, a vast tropical lagoon and a major river, Bentota offers water sports possibilities nowhere else to be found. It is 90 km from Sri Lanka's international airport and 60 km from Colombo.
Apart from swimming, body-surfing [Read More...]
Adam’s Peak is popularly known today as Sri Pada rising up to 7,360ft above sea level. It is one of Sri Lanka’s most important religious pilgrimage sites for over a thousand years. There are various interpretations to the presence of the large footprint at the top of the mountain. To Buddhists, Sri Pada, meaning Sacred Footprint is the place [Read More...]
Travelling south along the east coast of Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay is the last town one comes across south east of the island. It is one of the ten most popular surfing spots in the world and is found on one of the most beautiful tropical coasts in the world.
Unlike other busy coastal towns frequented by tourists, Arugam Bay will offer you with [Read More...]