Marco Polo considered Srilanka the finest island of its size in all the world. What takes your fancy? Beaches? The coastal stretch south of Colombo offers palm-lined sandy expanses as far as the eye can see. One can find enough ancient and inspiring architecture in the cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa during the holiday in Srilanka. Head for the hill country to escape the heat of the plains, where the coast fades away to reveal gorgeous rolling hills often carpeted with tea plantations. The entire island is teeming with bird life and exotics like elephants and leopards are not uncommon.
Ancient Sanskrit literature refers to Sri Lanka as ‘Sinhaldvipa’ – island of the Sinhalese. The people called by that name have inhabited this island from historical times. Traditions recorded in the historical chronicles of Sri Lanka trace the origin of the Sinhalese to an exiled North Indian prince, Vijaya, and his retinue, who settled down in the island and established the Sinhalese kingdom in the 6th Century B.C.
Srilanka is a tiny island situated in the Indian Ocean. It is best described as an island of paradise. It is the navigational hub of the Orient in the ancient world. It is a resplendent island encompassing within its small area a large number of tourist attractions. With such large number of popular places to go in Srilanka, it sure lives up to its reputation of being an “island of tourist paradise”. This Resplendent island is a tourist paradise with an abundance of tourist attractions like the sun drenched beaches, glorious ancient cities, salubrious hill country, beautiful fauna & flora, engraving temples of Buddha, exquisite handicrafts, world renowned gems, traditional dance & drama, colorful festivals, warm and friendly people and not forgetting the heavenly Srilankan cuisine.
The size and the diversity of Srilanka make it an attractive holiday destination for tourists. From North to South it’s about 425 km, East-West about 225 km, thus all parts of the country can be reached within a couple of hours. Traveling over the island shows a large variety of landscapes and environments, from the busy city life in Colombo to the hills Upcountry, from rainforests to open plains, paddy fields, and beaches. The people are very open, interested to talk to foreigners. Many people in Srilanka speak English, so communication does not require knowledge of the national languages of Sinhala and Tamil.
Srilanka is home to 20 million people. Its palm-fringed beaches and breath-taking beauty belie the challenging history of Srilanka. Numerous attempts at colonization culminated in the establishment of a British colony known as Ceylon until the mid-twentieth century when the country achieved independence. Years later in 1972, the government adopted the name Srilanka, “Resplendent Island.” In the 1980′s, all-out civil war erupted between the Tamil in the north and east and the Sinhalese majority, resulting in the deaths of more than 60,000 people. In 2009, since the end of 30 years civil war, Srilanka has become one of the best holiday destinations in the world.
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