If you've read the book "Sinbad the Sailor", you may have come across the chapter where Sinbad visits an island called "Serendib". If you've seen the Ptolemy's world map, you may have wondered what the big island on the center was, which the Greeks called as "Taprobane". And now you'll know about that island. Sri Lanka or Ceylon is world famous for it's tea(Ceylon Tea), wildlife and for gems. One of the biggest misconceptions about Sri Lanka is that it is a part of India; no, SL is not a part of India, it is an independent country.
The island of Sri Lanka is situated in the Indian ocean and is also known as the "pearl of Indian ocean". Neighboring countries are India, Maldives and Bangladesh. The capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte and Colombo is the commercial capital and the largest city of the country. It is a multiracial country including Sinhalese(majority), Tamils, Muslims, Burgher and Farsi. Religions include Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Monetary unit is Sri Lankan rupee. Unlike some south Asian countries, SL is way cleaner and safe for tourists to spend time.
(Colombo city at night)
In the past many nationalities like Arabs, Greeks, South Indians, Malays etc. traded with Ceylon and the main exports were spices, pearls, gems and elephants. Later the island was captured by Portuguese, Dutch and British in order. On the 4th of February 1948 the country gained independence from the British.
This is a great place for the ones who love the beach and getting a tan skin; what do you like? The island offers you to do windsurfing, kayaking, yachting, water skiing, scuba diving or jut lazing around for the perfect tan. Tangalla, Beruwala, Mirissa, Bentota and Unawatun are the perfect beaches for tourists with varying options including chic boutique hotels, glowing coral reefs, gentle sandbars etc. If you're a surf enthusiast don't forget the beach of Arugam Bay.
Something you should not forget when you come here is whale watching. The Southern seas are the best for whale watching and Mirissa beach is the perfect place for this activity. If you don't like whales, never mind you can go dolphin watching too.
The island has a long history with bandits, invaders, spice merchants, navigators and do you think the deep sea has nothing to tell you about those memories? The crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean with a visibility of 20 meters (65ft) provide perfect conditions for diving. With wrecks as dated as the 18th Century dotting the seas, deep reefs and reef walls provide enthralling explorations for scuba divers. For the less adventurous on-shore coral reefs are ideal for snorkeling.
For the ones who are adventurous and love hiking on to the top of mounts, this is for you. When you visit the center of the island you get the hill country guarded by mountains and cold climate with tea cultivation everywhere accompanied by rivers, waterfalls and wildlife. The shadows of the clouds will shelter you. Visit the Knuckles Range in Matale where you can catch sight of rare birds and orchids along with spice cultivation. As the sun goes down and you reach the top of the mountains you'll be surrounded by thick mist with howling wind which whirls around you. To the far, the sight of the Knuckles Range will be lost as the mist begin to cover it.
Other places for those who love hilly areas are The Horton Plains, Kandy, Ohiya, Ella, Haputale and more. For those who want to see a picture of the Knuckles Range, here it is,
For wild life enthusiasts, you can visit Wasgamuwa, Yala National Park, Kumana Bird Sanctuary. You can snap some awesome pics of Asian elephants, sloth bear, leopards, sambar and wild buffaloes and rare birds. 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.
Despite the great elephants and rare amphibians found in the country birds are the glory of the Sri Lanka’s wildlife. 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 known, 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 rainforest, (another place you must not forget). The Sinharaja rainforest is a UNESCO world heritage.
And, to get the beautiful scenery of the landscapes from the skies , get a hot air balloon ride.
So guys, these were just a few things you can do in SL, and I'm willing to write the rest on another myTake. In the next myTake I'm hoping to cover some more topics. And I hope you guys enjoyed the myTake and will be willing to come here :) You can read about the Sri Lankan cuisine from this link - Sri Lankan Cuisine.
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