About Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country. It is located in the northeast of the Maldives and southeast of the Republic of India. It is spread over 268 miles in length and 139 miles in width.
The island's existence is due to the merger of many empires present on it during the European colonial rule. That is the reason the island has diversity in culture, languages, and race. Though the major population belongs to the Sinhalese ethnicity, a large number of Tamil minorities had their influence in the history of the island. Recently several people have converted to Christianity and kept the traditional culture of the island. Some of the other established groups of the island consist of Burghers, Moors, Kaffirs, Vedda, and Malays.
At present, there are three major ethnic groups - Tamil, Sinhalese, and Muslim, which contribute to the 99% of the population. Amongst which Sinhalese alone contribute to the 3/4 population of the country. Tamils can be divided into two groups, one is the Sri Lankan Tamils and other is the Indian Tamils, which contribute to the 1/8th of the total population. Muslims contribute to the 7.5% of the population.
History of Sri Lanka
The history of Sri Lanka is more than 3,000 years old as per the documentation. It has evidence for the pre-historic human settlements which were at least 125,000 years old. The island has two major ethnic groups: the Sinhalese and the Tamils. It has two dominant religions Hinduism and Buddhism which came from India only. The art, literature, medicine, music, architecture, and astronomy are highly influenced by India.
Though it's highly influenced by India, Sri Lanka has its own unique identity which separates it from all its neighbours. It also got famed in the traditional Indian Epics Mahabharata and Ramayana and the ruins of the famed bridge can still be seen today
Till 1972, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon from the beginning of British Colonial Rule. In its recent history, a 30-year civil war was recorded where the Sri Lankan Military defeated the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in 2009.
Things to do in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has to offer a lot of things to its tourists. From the tropical sandy beaches to wildlife tours, tour to mystical ancient ruins to adventure tours, it has something for everyone. Include some of the listed things in your Sri Lanka tour. Some Sri Lanka travel packages even include these things in their itinerary. You can also check that out while booking Sri Lanka packages.
- Explore the Beaches - Sri Lanka has approximately 1300 km of picture perfect wide sandy beaches, where you can find sheltered little coves, little bays, sandy beach headland, of various shapes, colors, and sizes. Popular beaches are in the Southwest area which is a bit crowded and best for snorkeling and diving. Whereas the remote, unspoiled beauty of beaches lies in the Deep South and east of Sri Lanka. Some of the beaches are Arugambay Beach, Bentota Beach, Galle Beach, Hikkaduwa Beach (best for surfing), Induruwa beach, Kalpitiya Beach, Kalutara Beach, Mirissa Beach, Nilaveli Beach, Ranna Beach and many more
- Enjoy the Wildlife tours and safaris - Enjoy the wildlife tours here. You will be amazed by seeing the wildlife and tropical birds here. There are a lot of thrilling wildlife safaris you can choose from as per your family or group. Some of the popular wildlife national parks in Sri Lanka are Yala National Park, Udawalawe National Park, Wilpattu National Park, Wasgamuwa National Park, Minneriya National Park, Bundala National Park, Kumana National Park and many more.
- Enjoy the adventurous tours to Kitulgala, Ella and Habarana Jungle.
- For all the hikers, Sri Lanka has a wide range of opportunities. Explore the beauty of Haputale and Diyatalawa from which all the hiking and trekking tours starts crossing the jungles, tea estates and up to the mountains.
- Go for a Whale and Dolphin watching tours as there are 95% chances of spotting Blue Whales and other giant Whales at the Dondra Point.
- Experience the beauty of Sri Lanka from the air by going on a Hot Air Balloon Tour. You will love it for sure and it will be an unforgettable ride for you.
Do’s and Don’ts When you are in Sri Lanka
Every country has its own traditions, values, and culture which might be different from what you are following in your own country. Therefore it's important to know about it before visiting the place. Consider these do's and Don'ts for your Sri Lanka holidays.
What to do?
- Do arrange your passport in advance
- Do visit the tea estates. It will be a different experience for you which you won't get anywhere else. While exploring the place, drink ample amount of tea. It will give you a closer and an authentic Sri Lankan experience
- Do ride on tuk-tuk; it is the cheapest way of traveling in Sri Lanka. It is also the best way to explore the country.
- Do wear appropriate clothes
- Do enjoy the local cuisine which is rice and curry. It will give you the real essence of the country.
- Do take a train ride up to the hills to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. It will go at a slow speed and best for watching the scenic beauty but not considered best for traveling.
- Do climb the Sigiriya
What Not to Do?
- Do not forget to bring insect repellant with you. Due to the humid weather, you might face a lot of insects while exploring the place.
- Don't talk bad about cricket, the local people are quite passionate about it and consider it disrespectful.
- Don't drink tap water, its save to drink bottled water only.
- Don't assume the distance on your own between the main spots in Sri Lanka. The country is not big; still, it takes time to commute between one tourist spot to another.
- Don't try to ride the elephants
- Don't take pictures of local people without their permission
- Don't take your picture with Buddha
Places to visit in Sri Lanka
There are several places to visit in Sri Lanka; some of them are listed below. Include them in your Sri Lanka travel packages.
- Sigiriya: You will witness the ruins of the 5th-century city which is anchored by a towering rock fortress. It can be accessed by steep stairs
- Horton Plains National Park: Best place for backpacking, hiking, and camping. Enjoy the wildlife here with your loved ones.
- Adam's Peak: It is 2,243 m tall and is located in the center of Sri Lanka. It is known as Sri Pada which means Sacred Footprint.
- Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage: It's an orphanage for adult and baby elephants.
- Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara: It is another historic sacred temple which is said to be visited by the Buddha. It has several paintings made by a renowned artist.
- Kandy Lake: Also known as the Sea of Milk or Kiri Muhuda is an artificial lake situated in the heart of the hill city, Kandy. It was built by King Sri Wickrama in 1807.
- St. Clairs Falls: You can witness the widest multi-level waterfall here.
National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka: It is one of the largest, long running-zoo with beautifully landscaped gardens and home to several species. Have an aquarium and separate buttery garden.
Best time to visit Sri Lanka
One can visit is throughout the year. Though it has two monsoons, it's better to check out the rainfalls before choosing any Sri Lanka packages. The best time to visit the west and south coasts, as well as the hilly areas, is from December to March. So if you are interested in hiking, camping, and beaches, you choose your Sri Lanka travel packages accordingly. To visit the east coast the best time to visit is from April or May to September. Those who are interested in witnessing the beauty of the east coast can select the Sri Lanka holiday packages accordingly.
Food to try
Sri Lanka tour is not complete without tasting the food people have to offer here. Some of them are listed below:
- Fish Ambul Thiyal: Seafood plays a major role in the Sri Lankan food. In this cuisine, the fish is cut into cubes and then sautéed with a blend of spices including cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, pandan leaves, garlic and curry leaves. Also, dried goraka is added in it to add sour flavor. It is a dry curry dish and you will love it.
- Kottu: It is Sri Lanka's Hamburger and every fast food lover will love it. It resembles fried rice but instead of using rice they use godamba roti and is served with spicy curry sauce.
- Kukul mas curry: It is common and simple chicken curry dish. As per the region, the taste might vary but you will definitely cherish it.
- Parippu: It is another common and quite popular dish of Sri Lanka. It is made up of masoor dhal and goes with everything. It is perfect dipping gravy for paratha or roti.
- Lamprais: It is a perfect mix of rice, meat and sambol chili sauce. It is then wrapped into a banana leaf packet and then steamed. It is something different but will be cherished by your taste buds. It is mainly inspired by the Dutch Burgher Community.
While enjoying your Sri Lanka holidays, enjoy the local cuisines and add more flavor to your trip.
Some of the historical monuments here are listed below. Try to include as many as you can in your Sri Lanka holiday packages.
- Temple of the Tooth: Witness the Sacred Tooth Relic in the large temple featuring rituals and ceremonies around it. It is the canine tooth of Buddha.
- Dambulla Cave Temple: You will witness temples build within 5 caves, under an overhanging rock. They are full of statues, wall murals, and paintings.
- Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple: It is one of the historic Buddhist temples having a large collection of artifacts and statues. It also provides vocational training.
- Thuparamaya: It is another Buddhist sacred place located in Anuradhapura. It is a dagoba and is famous for its architecture and related history.
- Isurumuniya: It has four carvings in the Vihara which has special meaning and interests the tourists. It is another Buddhist Temple located in the Tissa Wewa in Anuradhapura.
- Gal Vihara: It is an ancient Sinhalese rock temple. It has 4 Buddha statues amongst which two are seated, 1 is reclining and the last one is standing.
There are several other places which you can visit to know the history of Sri Lanka. Include them in your Sri Lanka travel packages itinerary.
Plan a Trip to Sri Lanka
It's easy to reach Sri Lanka by air through SriLankan Airlines, Etihad Airways, Air Asia, Emirates Airlines, Oman Airways and other airlines from and to Sri Lanka. There is no road route to reach Sri Lanka as it's an island in the Indian Ocean. There are cruises as well to reach Sri Lanka but they are time-consuming and are not considered as the best way to travel.
Though there are various tour and travels which offer Sri Lanka travel packages but to avail the best experience you should book Sri Lanka packages with Musafir. Musafir is one of the trustworthy travel agency which offers best price and amazing services. We are known for providing exclusive services to the tourists when it comes to Sri Lanka holiday packages. From the start of the journey, till it ends, you will have fun with Musafir. The list of services we provide includes:
- Hotel booking facilities
- Flight bookings/cruise bookings
- Visa Assistance for Sri Lanka Tours
- Best prices with exclusive features for Sri Lanka travel packages
- Customer Support 24/7
- Instant solution in case any problem arise during the travel.
Sri Lanka is an island country, known for providing something to every tourist from beauty to adventure. Explore the historical places, hilly areas, mouth-watering dishes, beautiful architecture, beaches, wildlife and much more. Choose the best Sri Lanka packages from Musafir as per your convenience and enjoy it.