Sri Lanka is an island destination of diversity like no other.
Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. It has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pali Canon, date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC.
Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road.
Despite its small size Sri Lanka boasts of one of the highest rates of biological endemism in the world whether in plants or animals and is included among the top five biodiversity hot-spots in the world. Of the ninety-one species of mammals found in Sri Lanka Asian elephants, sloth bear, leopards, sambar and wild buffaloes engages the majority of the attention of wildlife enthusiast. Yet the rarest mammals of Sri Lanka are the red slender Loris, Toque Macaque, and Purple-faced Langur, who according to IUCN clarifications are endangered due to habitat loss.
Meanwhile the ocean around Sri Lanka is home to large families of cetaceans including the mighty blue whales, sperm whales and lively dolphins. Altogether 26 species of cetaceans rule the waters surrounding the country, making it one of the best locations for whale and dolphin watching.
Despite the mighty elephants and rare amphibians found in the country birds are the glory of the Sri Lanka’s wildlife. Boasting nearly 433 bird species of which 233 are resident Sri Lanka holds 20 endemic species while another 80 species have developed distinct Sri Lankan races, compared to their cousins in Indian mainland.
Although less celebrated, Sri Lanka has one of the richest diversity of amphibians in the world, containing over 106 species of amphibians of over 90 of which are endemic. The country has long claimed to have the highest amphibian species density in the world with a high concentration in the Sinharaja rain-forest.
With nearly 1600 km of of palm fringed Coastline baked to perfection surrounding the country. Sri Lanka is the ideal destination for beach bums worldwide. May it be windsurfing, kayaking, yachting, water skiing, scuba diving or just lazing around for the perfect tan, Sri Lanka offers it all.
The two monsoon winds providing rain to the two corners of the country at various periods, makes Sri Lanka’s beach holiday a year round prospect. The north east winds make the south western coast sunny and the sea calm from November to March. The South West winds make the East Coast waters quiet with the constant sun shine happily in agreement.
Although Sri Lanka’s southern beaches has been long discovered by the international traveller the east coast is yet to be fully discovered. The most known among the Eastern beaches is the Arugam Bay, the high church of surfing enthusiasts’ in the region. Once a mere rumour, Uppuveli beach is also open to the sun seekers after a three decade long civil war.
On the Western corner of the country to the north of Colombo is the Negambo lagoon. Its beaches, an old favourite with local and foreign visitors and lagoon famed for lobster harvesting.
With a history expanding over 3000 years, Sri Lanka holds some of world’s ancient cities including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Digamadulla; their once glorious townships, palaces, temples, monasteries, hospitals and theaters intricately carved and modeled out of stone lay and abandoned and forgotten with time amidst the soaring jungles.
Of all the ancient cities of Lanka, the most famed and most exquisite is the Kingdom of Anuradhapura. Sri Lanka’s third and the longest serving capital and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world is also one of the most sacred cities of World Buddhists. It was the capital of Sri Lanka from the Fourth Century BC up to the turn of the eleventh Century and was one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia.
Sigiriya, a fifth century AD fortress and a water garden displays some of the most futuristic elements of landscaping and some of the oldest murals recorded in the country.
Polonnaruwa, the second most ancient kingdom of the country boasts of Irrigation systems that are far superior to those of the and they still provide irrigation water to the farmers in and around Polonnaruwa.Digamadulla, the Eastern kingdom of Sri Lanka was the agricultural and spiritual capital of the country during the Anuradhapura kingdom.
Sri Lanka’s last kingdom the Kingdome of Kandy is a testament to the Sri Lankan’s ability to pick up and rise from ashes. After being burned and ravaged more than thrice by the invading Portuguese the Kandyan Kingdom still holds beautifully carved and built houses, palaces and temple preserved for nearly 500 years.
The central highlands of the island are filled with pictures of stirring mountains carpeted with lush green tea gardens, roaring waterfalls mingling with the clouds and landscapes shimmering in sunlight and disappearing under the rising mist. Travelling towards the top of the country to the North Central Valley of the Kings, mountains covered with lush tropical forests disappears under the glare of the sun giving way to acres of light green carpets of paddy dotted with towering ancient white stupas and fed with oceans like reservoirs locally known as wewa.
With varying climates and Geography packed into a small island Sri Lanka offers a range of adventures from the top of the mountains to the depths of the oceans.
Other than taking a dip in the oceans or snorkelling, scuba diving and surfing are the most popular beach sports in the country. Scuba diving has long history in the country. Today the oceans filled with coral gardens, multitude of exotic fishes and ancient wrecks. Sri Lanka offers one of the best diving experiences in the world. Although comparatively new to the country surfing too has made its mark in the Southern and Eastern coasts of the island for the last twenty five years. The sea around Sri Lanka is also one of the most challenging marine game fishing locations while white water rafting, Kayaking and canoeing are some of the relatively new water sports practiced in the country.
With multitude of roads winding through expanding mountains, lush green forests, paddy fields, parks and sleepy villages, Sri Lanka also offers many opportunities to keen hikers and trekkers. Trail blazing through the tracks and paths on horse or elephant back too is a novel experience introduced recently.
Experience the thrills of crumbling rocks beneath the feet, head spinning heights and the earth expanding beneath when conquering many mountains of Sri Lanka or take over waterfall climbing with exciting climbs like the rock face of Bambarakanda waterfall, the tallest in the country.
With many an adventures packed within few miles of each other Sri Lanka is an adventure itself waiting to happen.
Sri Lanka is world known for Theravada Buddhism.Theravada (pronounced — more or less — "terra-VAH-dah"), the "Doctrine of the Elders," is the school of Buddhism that draws its scriptural inspiration from the Tipitaka, or Pali canon, which scholars generally agree contains the earliest surviving record of the Buddha's teachings. One of the core pillers of Buddhism is "Bhavana" Meditation. Meditation can help you to lead a more productive, satisfying, healthy and comfortable life. Scientific studies reveal that relaxation, concentration and maintenance of a self-observing attitude help alter metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and brain chemistry.
"Ayurveda" an ancient system of medicine developed in our part of the world, long before the “father of medicine”, Hippocrates, was even born. The name comes from two conjoined Sanskrit words “Ayuh” (life) and “Veda” (science or knowledge). Since ancient times, man has engaged in the pursuit of achieving and maintaining an optimum state of health. Way back in 600 BC, Ayurveda emerged in South Asia as the natural way of healing. Today, Ayurveda has evolved into a scientific system of holistic healing that has gained recognition across the globe.
Aurveda treatment and Bhavana can provide the healing required to refresh and rehash ones soul and body for a healthier and active lifestyle