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Sri Lanka Travel Guide

Culture | Places of Interest | Wild Life | Sri Lankan Food | Sri Lankan Beaches | Sri Lankan Mountains

How to travel in Sri Lanka, important information about cities, beaches history culture of Sri Lnka

About Sri Lanka

LOCATION
Sri Lanka is a teardrop shaped island in the Indian Ocean just below the Sourthern most tip of India and lying North of the equator.

CLIMATE
Sir Lanka enjoys a tropical climate. There are no seasonal variations. The bi-annual monsoon rains provide the only seasons. Colombo and the South West get rains from April to May and September to October. The East coast gets its share of rainfall from November to January. Being close to the equator, the temperature is high throughout the year. The average temperature in Colombo is 27 degrees centigrade
(80 degrees Fahrenheit). This is accompanied with high levels of humidity. However, in the different parts of the island, the temperature and the climate vary according to the terrain. The higher up you go, the cooler it gets. In the mountainous regions of Nuwara Eliya, the temperature averages 16 degrees centigrade (61 degrees Fahrenheit).

HISTORY
The chronicled history of Sri Lanka dates back over 2,500 years. It had established trade and cultural links with many ancient civilizations. Throughout history it has been known by different names. To the Greeks it was Taprobane, to the Arabs it was Serendib, to the Portuguese it was Ceilao, to the Dutch it was Zeylan, and to the British it was Ceylon. Sri Lanka was the ancient name meaning "The Resplendent Isle".

PEOPLE
The population is approximately 18 million. This multi-ethnic population comprises:

Sinhalese - 72%
Tamils - 19%
Muslims - 8%
. Burghers (descendants of Dutch and Portuguese) - 1%

RELIGION
The four major religions are:

Buddhism - followed by 69% of the population
Hinduism - followed by 13% of the population
Islam - followed by 8% of the population
Christianity - followed by 7% of the population

LANGUAGES
The official languages are Sinhala, Tamil and English.

CURRENCY
The Sri Lankan Rupee (Rs.) is divided into 100 cents. The coins and notes fall into the following denominations:

Coins                Notes
1 cen                10 Rupees
2 cents             20 Rupees
5 cents             50 Rupees
10 cents           100 Rupees
25 cents            500 Rupees
50 cents            1,000 Rupees
1 Rupee
2 Rupees
5 Rupees
10 Rupees

Please note that 1 cent, 2 cents and 5 cents are barely in circulation today.

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