Sri Lanka, formerly called Ceylon is an island country lying to India’s south. This tear drop shaped island in the Indian Ocean was aptly described by author Sir Arthur Clarke, as the best place for viewing the universe. This country soaked in 2500 year old history is a veritable tropical paradise inviting tourists from all corners of the globe.
Early inhabitants supposedly migrated from India in 6th century BC as Buddhist settlers. Sri Lanka now is a republic of over twenty million inhabitants spread over 65,610 square kilometers. Apart from Buddhists, that form the predominant religious group, there are Hindus, Christians, and Muslims. Sri Lanka is among the most literate countries of Asia with a literacy rate of 95% for males, and 90% for females.
Tertiary services is the primary economic activity of this island nation with more than 43% of its population engaged in it, followed by agriculture that employs nearly 33% and the remaining 24% engaged in industrial activities. Rice, sugarcane, rubber, coconut, tea, and spices are the chide agriculture products of Sri Lanka. While rubber goods, tea processing and textiles are the main industries; tourism, information technology services, and construction are the vital earners in the services sector.
Tourism in Sri Lanka is a year round activity though the period from October to March is treated as ideal. With a coastline of more than 1300 km and a maritime climate in beach towns Sri Lanka offers a pleasant holiday destination to newly weds, elderly, and family members. Rainfall occurs from June to October and from December to March. The topography of Sri Lanka is in general flat and low lying with rolling plains. South central interiors are however occupied by hills.
Colombo is the capital city as well as the international gateway of Sri Lanka. The other notable cities are Galle, Kandy, Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya, Kurunegala, Ratnapura, and Polonnaruwa.