A Quick Overview of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
Picture by Yotut

Sri Lanka, this small tropical island just off the south-eastern coast of India, is a jewel of a destination with divine beaches, beautifully preserved nature and wildlife, ancient ruins and monuments, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and a modern cosmopolitan capital. Generally a bit more expensive than India, Sri Lanka holidays can accommodate a variety of budgets, from the cheap backpacker scene to the luxurious world of spa resorts.

During the winter time, after the monsoon, the weather is pleasantly warm and sunny (. The beaches attract a lot of tourists. Bentota, a coastal city on the southern end of the island, is famous all over the world for its pristine white-sand beaches. The underwater wildlife also makes it an attractive spot for diving and seeing corals. In the same general area, Galle and Hikkaduwa beaches are also much appreciated.

With over 13% of the territory of the island protected under parks and nature preserves, there are lots of jungle areas and animals to see. An abundant diversity of mammals live in the fifty-two preserves, including leopards, elephants and monkeys. A trip to the Pinnawela elephant orphanage is also a good way to appreciate these impressive animals up close. The many waterfalls of Nuwara Eliya and the surrounding tea plantations are also a big attraction for nature lovers.

Sri Lanka has a rich history of ancient Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms. Kandy was the capital of the last king of the country and is replete with ancient structures of interest. Among them is the sacred Temple of Tooth – a Buddhist temple dating from the 17th century. A good time to go is during the month of August when festivities take places. On your way to Kandy, consider making a stop in Sigiriya to contemplate some of the most impressive architecture of ancient Sri Lanka.

Finally, the capital of the country, Colombo, is a mixture of the old and the new. There are many interesting buildings here that date from the colonial period. It has all the kinds of attractions one would expect from a big city: a vibrant nightlife, fine restaurants and entertainment facilities like movie theatres. But the city is not all about shopping and clubbing, its many temples and active religious life confers a sacred ambiance to a city that has seen centuries come and go.

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