Country Information

SriLanka a small island, Sri Lanka has many nicknames: Serendib, Ceylon, Teardrop of India, Resplendent Isle, Island of Dharma, Pearl of the Orient. This colorful collection reveals its richness and beauty, and the intensity of the affection it evokes in its visitors. Head for the rolling hills to escape the heat of the plains in the cool of tea plantations. The entire island is teeming with bird life, and exotics like elephants and leopards are not uncommon. To top it all off, the people are friendly, the food is delicious and costs are low.
Marco Polo considered Sri Lanka the finest island of its size in the entire world, and you’ll likely agree after exploring the country’s fabled delights. What takes your fancy? Beaches? The coastal stretch south of Colombo offers palm-lined sandy expanses as far as the eye can see. Culture? Try the Kandyan dances, a procession of elephants or the masked devil dances. Ruins? You’ll find enough ancient and inspiring architecture in the cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to satisfy that inner archaeologist.

Culture:

The culture of Sri Lanka dates back over 2500 years. It is influenced primarily by Buddhism and Hinduism.Sri Lanka is the home to two main traditional cultures: the Sinhalese (centred in the ancient cities of Kandy and Anuradhapura) and the Tamil (centred in the city of Jaffna). In more recent times, the British colonial culture has also influenced the locals. Sri Lanka claims a democratic tradition matched by few other developing countries.

Nature:

Sri Lanka is a Nature’s wonder. A little island 270 km by 140 km in size has everything a nature lover will look for. The highly diversified island differs from city to city, district to district and province to province.
Mountains, Plains, Water Falls, National parks, Sea, Beaches Rocks, Paddy fields, Tea Gardens, Rain Forests, Rivers, Landscapes, Streams all are beautiful. The Sri Lankan nature’s beauty blends in its wild life of elephants, birds, animals, flowers and trees.

Climate:

Sri Lanka climate is tropical and consists of distinct wet and dry seasons. The Yala monsoon brings abundant rainfall to the country’s western and southern regions from May to September; the area experiences its dry season during December through March.
The average yearly temperature in Sri Lanka as a whole ranges from 28 to 32oC. The mean temperature varies from a chilly low of 16ºC in Nuwara – Eliya in the Central Highlands, where even frosting might occur for several days in the winter, to a high of 32oC in Trincomalee on the northeast coast. The coastal areas are cooled by sea breezes.
Lying in the equatorial and tropical zone, Sri Lanka is influenced by the monsoons, allowing four distinct seasons. The difference of elevation also influences temperature variation; it is always hot in the lowland and it gets cooler when reaching the higher altitudes. Bright, sunny warm days are the rule and are common even during the height of the monsoon. As for monsoons north-east monsoon brings rain in the northern and eastern regions in December and January while the western, southern and central regions of the island get rain from May to July due to the south west monsoon.

Current Time & Date:

Monday, ‎May ‎2, ‎2016 (UTC+05:30) Sri Jayewardenepura

Currency:

The local currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee, divided into 100 cents.

Money:

Currency notes are Rs.5,000, Rs2,000, Rs1,000, Rs500, Rs100, Rs50, Rs20 and Rs10.Coins will be in denominations Rs0 .25, Rs.50 , Rs.1, Rs.2, Rs.5 & Rs10.

Languages:

Sri Lanka has two official languages . Sinhala and Tamil – with English as a link language. Most people have some knowledge of English, and signboards are often in English.

Food & Drinks:

Rice is consumed with curries (eggplant, potato, green banana, chicken, fish) that range from delicately-spiced to near-dynamite. There are also hoppers (a pancake-like snack), string hoppers (steamed rice noodles) and pittu (flour and coconut mixture). Lamprais – rice and accompaniments baked in plantain leaves – is a legacy of the Dutch. Fresh fish, prawns, crab, squid and crayfish are readily available. Desserts include buffalo curd topped with palm-honey, and the caramel-like wattalapam. Tasty snacks known as short eats are excellent for trips.Delectable fruit includes the popular mango, pineapple, banana and papaya, and also the lesser-known but distinctive examples such as sapodilla, mangosteen, rambuttan, woodapple, custard apple and beli.Colombo has an impressive range of restaurants specializing in international cuisine.
Sri Lankan ‘Ceylon’ tea is prepared as in the West and coffee too. There are a huge variety of bottled soft drinks, including well-known international brands. Thambili ( king coconut water )is a safe and refreshing option. Local beer and spirits are widely available. Bottled mineral water is available in 5 star hotels. Please note: Alcohol is not sold on Poya (full-moon day of the month) days.

Holidays:

While religious festivals make the majority of the holidays in Sri Lanka, significance is given to Full moon poya days during which the sale of alcoholic beverages, meats and fish is prohibited. Some shops and businesses are also closed on poya days while the New Year festival in mid-April and the two day long holiday for Vesak in May see a general pause in government, mercantile and banking sectors, when the country takes time off to celebrate or to catch a breath. Genrly its advisable not to visit the country between 10th to 20th April as most of the places will be closed in the cities.

Health:

Sri Lankans have a life expectancy of 77.9 years at birth, which is 10% higher than the world average. The infant mortality rate stands at 8.5 per 1,000 births and the maternal mortality rate at 0.39 per 1,000 births, which is on par with figures from the developed countries. The universal “pro-poor”[284] health care system adopted by the country has contributed much towards these figures
The health risks in Sri Lanka are different to those encountered in Europe and North America. Watch out for bowel diseases such as diarrhea and amoebic dysentery, vector borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, and a variety of fungal infections. Sri Lanka’s physicians, though, many of whom have trained in the West, are particularly experienced in dealing with locally occurring diseases.

Visa:

A Sri Lankan visa is an endorsement on a passport or a similar document to facilitate the legal entry of non Sri Lankans into the country and to regulate the period of their stay and the conditions governing such stay.
There are four kinds of visas which permit a person to enter and/or stay in Sri Lanka.

Visit Visa
A Visit Visa is an entry permit signifying the consent of the Sri Lankan Government for the admission of a foreign national to the country. The Visa contains details of the period of time and the condition/s of the stay. There are two sub-categories which come under visit visas – Tourist Visit Visa
A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who want to enter Sri Lanka for sightseeing, excursions, relaxation, visit relatives or yoga training for a short period of time.

Business Visit Visa
A Business Visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka for business purposes for short periods of time. This visa may be issued for single, double or multiple journeys.
Department Of Immigration And Emigration
Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha,
Maradana,
Colombo 10.
Tel: +94-11-5329000 / +94-11-5329316/20/21/25
www.immigration.gov.lk
Visa charges USD 35 per person for NON SAARC countries & USD 20 for SAARC countries (can be obtained directly via the internet pleased vist this site http://www.eta.gov.lk/ The process is very simple payments can be paid online & with the confirmation document print out & code you have to submit passport on arrival only. The passport has to be valid for six months from the day of arrival return air tickets & sufficient funds or reservations for the holiday should be with you. All have to obtain a visit visa except for Singapore & Maldivian passport holders

International Airports:

Bandaranaike International Airport (also known as Colombo International Airport and Katunayake International Airport) is the main international airport is located in a suburb of Negombo, 22 miles (35 km) north of Colombo. It is administered by Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. It is the hub of SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, and Mihin Lanka, the budget airline of Sri Lanka & Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) is an international airport serving southeast Sri Lanka. It is located in the town of Mattala, 18 km (11 mi) from Hambantota. It is the first greenfield airport and the second international airport in the country

Sri Lanka

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Country Stats

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Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo
Dialing code: +94
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee