Country Profile – Sri Lanka

article by
mahesh

(Photo from: http://www.ramsayworldtravel.co.uk/destinations/destinations/sri-lanka.asp)

Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea and flavourful food describe Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has seduced travellers for centuries. Marco Polo described it as the finest island of its size in the world, while successive waves of Indian, Arab and European traders and adventurers flocked to its palm-fringed shores, attracted by reports of rare spices, precious stones and magnificent elephants.

Poised just above the Equator amid the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean, the island’s legendary reputation for natural beauty and plenty has inspired an almost magical regard even in those who have never visited the place. Few places have as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites (eight) packed into such a small area. Sri Lanka's 2000-plus years of culture can be discovered at ancient sites where legendary temples boast beautiful details.

 

Terrain

The island consists mostly of flat to rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising only in the south-central part. The highest point is Pidurutalagala, reaching 2,524 metres (8,281 feet) above sea level. The climate is tropical and warm, due to the moderating effects of ocean winds. Mean temperatures range from 17 °C (62.6 °F) in the central highlands, where frost may occur for several days in the winter, to a maximum of 33 °C (91.4 °F) in other low-altitude areas. Average yearly temperatures range from 28 °C (82.4 °F) to nearly 31 °C (87.8 °F). Day and night temperatures may vary by 14 °C (25.2 °F) to 18 °C (32.4 °F).

(Photo from: http://serendib.btoptions.lk/article.php?issue=6&id=92)

The country has 103 rivers. The longest of these is the Mahaweli River, extending 335 kilometres (208 miles). These waterways give rise to 51 natural waterfalls of 10 meters or more. The highest is Bambarakanda Falls, with a height of 263 metres (863 feet). Sri Lanka's coastline is 1,585 km long.

The coastline and adjacent waters support highly productive marine ecosystems such as fringing coral reefs and shallow beds of coastal and estuarine seagrasses. Sri Lanka has 45 estuaries and 40 lagoons.

 

Tourist Destinations

Sri Lanka offers a really wide range of options for travel. From pristine beaches, lush jungles to archaeological wonders, this island nation has all this and more. Here is a list of attractions that for a traveller to choose from.

Wild Life