Located off the southern tip of India is a tropical paradise, held in the eternal embrace of the Indian Ocean. It is an Island blessed with natures abundance, an exquisite Jewel, awaiting discovery .It is ringed by over 2500 kms of golden beach and secluded coves! It has a climate that ranges from a cool 14 degrees in the central highlands, to a warm 25 degrees around its coastal plains. It is covered with lush vegetation, and has a wide variety of Fauna and flora with mountains cloaked in mist, magnificent waterfalls tumbling down precipitous gorges, into the many rivers, that run through the length and breadth of the land, carrying vital nutrients that feed a bountiful ocean and its many lagoons protected by mangrove, provide excellent breeding grounds for the delectable crabs and shrimp, which add to the delicious seafood, this country is famous for.
Its pleasant countryside is a delight to the sight seer. Breathtaking vistas of hills terraced with cultivation and sea of paddy field greet the viewer, Its towns and villages, are bustling with people famous for their friendliness and hospitality .The visitor is always welcomed with the hands clasped together with the greeting of “Ayubowan”, which means long life And all this is set in just 400 kms by length & 250 kms wide!
Sri Lanka has an ancient history, first recorded in the Ramayana, the epic tale of Hindu god Rama and Sita his concubine. It has a civilisation that spans 25 centuries, that began with the first Indo Aryan settlers who established the world’s oldest uninterrupted Monarchy, that lasted 2300 years and ended with the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom to the British in the 19th century.
Its ancient Architecture gigantic stupas and vast reservoirs and irrigation schemes that still serve their original purpose is ample testimony to the wisdom and engineering genius of great kings of the past and an advanced agricultural civilisation.
Buddhism is the primary religion and was introduced in the 3rd century BC and accepted by the Sinhala Royalty, with the arrival of Arahat Mahinda, the son of the great Indian Emperor Asoka, who brought with him a sapling of the Bo tree under which Prince Gautama attained Enlightenment and is today the world’s oldest historically recorded tree!
Over the centuries, the island was visited by sailors and adventurers driven by the trade winds and searching for the Islands renowned gems, aromatic spices, and Elephants. In the 7th century AD, the Arabs, who brought Islam called it paradise, the land bequeathed to Adam and Eve and mentioned in the tales of Sinbad the sailor in the Arabian nights.
Visited by Columbus in the 15th century, the famous Portuguese navigator after whom the old capital City of Colombo is named ,Sri Lanka had earlier names of ‘Thaproban, Serendib and Ceylon .Followed by the Dutch and then the British, Sri Lanka went through 5 hundred years of European colonization, which brought the advent of Christianity.
Sri Lanka regained its independence in 1947 and is a thriving democracy!
Today Sri Lanka is a thriving cultural melting pot, and is home to the world’s four major Religions.
Beset by the trade winds and bisected by a Central mountain range Sri Lanka is blessed with two seasons, with tropical rains in between .From November to March, there is fair weather in the South-West parts of the Island ,and from April till September, the weather shifts to the North-Eastern parts.