Destinations in Sri Lanka

Welcome to SRI LANKA!

Ayubowan - You may live long

Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian sub-continent in South Asia. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest across the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait, and the Maldives to the southwest.

As a result of its location in the path of major sea routes, Sri Lanka is a strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia. It was an important stop on the ancient Silk Road. Sri Lanka has also been a center of the Buddhist religion and culture from ancient times, being the nation where the Buddhist teachings were first written down as well as the oldest continually Buddhist country. Sri Lanka boasts a diverse range of cultures, languages and religions. The Sinhalese people from the majority of the population; Tamils, who are concentrated in the north and east of the island, form the largest ethnic minority. Other communities include Moors, Burghers, Kaffirs, Malays and the aboriginal Vedda people.

Sri Lanka is a republic and a unitary state which is governed by a semi-presidential system with its official seat of government in Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, the capital. The country is famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber and cinnamon, the last of which is native to the country. Sri Lanka has been called The Pearl of the Indian Ocean. The island contains tropical forests, and diverse landscapes with high biodiversity.

Sri Lanka At Glance

Official Name

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka




Latitude 5° 55. To 9° 50. North, longitude 79° 42. To 81° 52


430km North to South, 225 km East to West


1,340 km

Land Area

65,525 km


Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)


4 February 1948

Administrative Capital

Sri Jayawardenapura

Commercial Capital


Administrative Divisions

9 provinces, Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western & Eastern Province


Typically tropical with a northeast monsoon (December to March) bringing unsettled Weather to the north and east, and a southwest monsoon (June to October) bringing Weather to the south and west.


Mostly low, flat to rolling plain, mountains in south-central interior

Highest Mountain

Pidurutalagala – 2,524 m

Highest waterfall

Bambarakanda 263m

National Flower

The Blue Water Lily (Nymphea Stellata)

National parks & nature Reserves area

8,000sq km



Population growth rate


Population Density

309 people per sq km

Literacy rate

Female 87.9 , Male 92.5

Ethnic groups

Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%,other 0.5%,unspecified 10% (2001 census)

Ethnic groups languages

Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (National language) 18%, other 8% Note: English (a link language commonly) is used in government and spoken competently by about 10% of the population


Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)

Time Zone

Sri Lanka Standard Rime is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe)

International dialing



230. 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer


Sri Lanka’s most dynamic sectors are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, port construction, telecommunications and insurance and banking. In 2006, plantations crops made up only 15% of exports (90% in1970), while textiles and garments accounted for more than 60%. About 800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% of them in the Middle East. They send home more than US$ billion a year.

Labour force

34.3% of the labour population is employed in agriculture, 25.3% in industry and 40.4% in services. 40.4% (30 June 2006 est.) The unemployment rate is 5.7% (2007 est)

Agriculture & products

Rice, sugarcane, grains, oilseed, pulses, spices, tea, rubber, coconut, milk, eggs, beef, fish


Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities, telecommunications, insurance, banking, clothing, textiles, cement Petroleum, refining.


Textiles and apparel; tea and spices, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, coconut products, rubber manufacture, fish


Main import commodities are textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation, equipment: $10.61 billion f.o .b(2007 est).

Percentage of main commodities from main import partners

India 19.6%. China 10.5%, Singapore 8.8%, Iran 5.7%, Malaysia 5.1%, Hong Kong 4.2%, Japan 4.1% (2006 est)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Purchasing power parity : $81.29 billion (2007 est). Official exchange rate : $30.01 billion (2007 est). Real growth rate 6.3% (2007 est)

Per capita

$4,100 (2007) composition by sector: Agriculture 16.5%,Industry 26.9 %

Gross National Product (GNP)

Sri Lanka is placed in 76th place in GNP figures of the world’s nations with $22.8 billion (2005)