SRI LANKA -Sri Lanka is famous for its unique Buddhism culture. Buddhism is the main religion of Sri Lanka where it was officially introduced in the third century B.C. during the reign of King Devanam Piyatissa by Venerable Mahinda who was son of Emperor Asoka of India.
The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a free, independent and sovereign nation. Sri Lanka, an island in the Indian Ocean is located to the south of the Indian subcontinent. encompasse beautiful tropical beaches, verdant vegetation, ancient monuments and a thousand delights to please all tastes. The relief features of the island consist of a mountainous mass somewhat south of the centre, with height exceeding 2,500 metres, surrounded by broad plains. Palm fringed beaches surround the island and the sea temperature rarely falls below 27OC. Climate & Seasons In the lowlands the climate is typically tropical with an average temperature of 27OC in Colombo. In the higher elevations it can be quite cool with temperatures going down to 16OC at an altitude of nearly 2,000 metres.
Bright, sunny warm days are the rule and are common even during the height of the monsoon - climatically Sri Lanka has no off season. The south west monsoon brings rain mainly from May to July to the western, southern and central regions of the island, while the north-east monsoon rains occur in the northern and eastern regions in December and January. Economy Sri Lanka is mainly an agricultural country. The chief crop is rice with which the country is almost self sufficient. Tea, rubber and coconut are also important agricultural crops, with tea being a major foreign exchange earner. In addition, other crops of importance are cocoa and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper and cloves.
In the last three decades tourism industry is emerge as an important industry in Sri Lanka. There has also been a rapid growth in manufacturing industries which offer a wide range of export goods such as petroleum products, leather goods, ready made garments and electronic equipment.
Sri Lanka's capital upto recent times, Colombo, is a fascinating city, not only for a comfortable blend of east and west, but also for a cosy mixture of the past and present. It is still the commercial centre of the country. Situated 34 km. from the International Airport, Colombo has been a flourishing seaport for centuries. Today the bustle of the harbour mingles with the activity of its busy commercial, banking and shopping areas. The original trading settlers - the Portuguese, Dutch and the British have all left in their wake churches and monuments, names and religions, costumes and food and smatterings of their languages which have been absorbed into the speech of the Sri Lankans. Colombo, with its population of over half a million is divided into fifteen zones.
While in Colombo attractions worth seeing are:- Buddhists temples, Hindu temples, Mosques, Christian churches, Parliament building, Parks, Zoo, Museums and Art Galleries. A half day tour covering 40 km. and including visits to a Buddhist Temple, Hindu Temple, the Zoo and the residential areas will cost around US $ 18 for a car with a chauffeur guide