Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest.
Sri Lanka has a documented history that spans over 3000 years. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II. Sri Lanka is a diverse country home to many religions, ethnicities and languages. It is the land of the Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils, Moors, Indian Tamils, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal Vedda.The country's recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively but controversially ended in a military victory in 2009.
Sri Lanka is a republic and a unitary state governed by a presidential system. The capital, Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, is a suburb of the largest city, Colombo. An important producer of tea, coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber and the native cinnamon, Sri Lanka has been called the tear drop of India because of its shape and location and is known as "the Pearl of the Indian Ocean" because of its natural beauty. It is also known as "the nation of smiling people". The island contains tropical forests and diverse landscapes with high biodiversity.
Shaped like a teardrop at the base of the Indian sub- continent, Srilanka is one of the most beautiful Islands of the world. Srilanka's history goes back to nearly 25 centuries, it is well know as the land of the Ravana, the ten- headed king who abducted Sita. Srilanka is as much famous for its colourful history as it is for its amazing scenic beauty.
It is rocky on its southern part and has plains on its northern part. The highest mountain is the 2524m Mt Pidurutalagala near Nuwara Eliya and the longest river is the Mahaweli. It has many other names like: Ceylon, Serendib, Replendent Isle, Pearl of the Orient and Island of Dharma.
Srilanka has an amazing wild-life, elephants, deer, monkeys, sloth bears, wild boar, cobras, crocodiles, dugong, turtles and leopards make Sri lanka a very attractive tourist destination; large number of bird life is also found here. Beaches, hills, ancient cities and elephant orphanage are part of Srilanka's indelible charm. You can go scuba- diving, snorkeling, surfing or skiing or you could go trekking, each activity has its own experience and Srilanka offers you fun aplenty. Every corner of Srilanka smells of natural beauty, you will see greenery wherever you go. This amiable ambience becomes all the more attractive because of the Srilankans, they are friendly and hospitable people.
No matter where you go in Srilanka, each sound and smell will leave an ineradicable impression on your mind. Then whether it is an early morning train journey from Colombo to Hikkaduwa or a visit to the waterfalls in the rolling hill country, you will cherish the memories of your visit to Srilanka.
Srilanka has two monsoons. The Yala season- May to August and the Maha season October to January. A tropical country Srilanka is both dry and wet. Rainfall is heaviest in the south, south west and central highlands; the northern and north-central regions are very dry. The best time to visit the west, south coast and hill country is between December and March and east coast between May to September! Srilanka is very hot from March to June and cooler from November to January.