How does Sri Lanka look like

Travel information about Sri Lanka

Statistical facts

Capital: Colombo, Sri Jayewardenepura
Form of government: republic
Residents: 20,877,000 (as of 2017)
Languages: Sinhala, Tamil

The Republic of Sri Lanka (Ceylon Island) lies in the Indian Ocean and is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar. Area: 65,628 kmĀ². Administrative structure: 9 provinces (Central, North Central, North, Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western).

Sinhalese settled in the fifth century BC. in Sri Lanka (in German: the magnificent country) and operated a highly developed agriculture. Their masterfully designed irrigation systems still inspire visitors today. The liberal form of government of the time spurred cultural progress; the island still feeds on both today. Middle of the third century BC. the capital Anuradhapura was known to the Mediterranean. A Sinhalese trade delegation went to Rome and visited Caesar. Roman politicians received them with reverence. Sri Lanka's natural wealth and strategic location often made it a target for conquerors. Under their pressure, the capital Anuradhapura was abandoned after ten centuries. The new capital became Polonnaruwa, then Kurunegala in the rocky forest, then Kotte near Colombo and finally Kandy on the Kandy Hill. The Sinhalese kingdom had its last seat there. The Portuguese occupied the coastal areas in the 16th century until the Dutch came in the 17th century. In 1796 the English invaded. The previously independent kingship of Kandy only yielded in 1815. With this, however, the island became a British crown colony, which bore the name "Ceylon". Sri Lanka gained independence status in 1948. Sri Lanka became a self-governing democracy within the British Commonwealth. The country has been a Socialist Presidential Republic since 1978.

Agriculture is the main occupation of the population, rice is their main source of food. Tea, rubber and coconuts are the main export products. The main role is played by the tea, which can be grown up to a height of 2,250 m. The industry is still at the beginning of its development. The main focus is on the oil refinery, steel and tire production.

Sri Lanka is a country full of natural riches. There are valuable timber such as ebony, teak and satin, calamander, mahogany or tamarind trees. The Sinhalese were aware of how important the preservation of forests is for ecology even before the turn of the century. Huge parts of the wilderness were protected as reserves to store rainwater. Some of the old reserves such as the Udawattekele Park in Kandy or the Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve still exist today. Numerous trees begin to bloom from March to May. You can see exquisite orchids including rare endemic species such as the light purple Vesak, yellow daffodil, primrose and Anuradhapura orchids. For botanists, Sri Lanka is a land of wealth, where the Bodhi tree, the oldest historically documented tree in the world, has been venerated for over two millennia. And in which many plants are valued and collected for local medicine for their healing powers. Sri Lanka is also famous for its spices - cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, vanilla and citronella, all of which grow abundantly in the wetlands of the plains and mountainous areas.

The Buddhist teachings, which preach a friendly and compassionate treatment of all living beings, led to the creation of the world's first wildlife and nature reserve on the island. It goes back to the 3rd century BC. BC back. Today Sri Lanka has two large national parks: Wilpattu (north of Colombo) and Ruhunu (south of Colombo). Both elephants, leopards, bears, buffalos, porcupines, anteaters, civets, jackals, mongooses and many species of monkeys as well as herds of deer and wild boar live in both. Although the number of elephants has been greatly reduced due to the ongoing destruction of their habitats, large herds can still be observed in the national parks. A (somewhat difficult to reach) sanctuary, famous for its many elephants, is Gal Oya. The bird life is very diverse. Many birds can be found both in the national parks and in the bird sanctuaries in Wirawila (near Yala) and Kumana (near Gal Oya). There are over 400 different types of birds, including small birds of prey such as ospreys and brahmin vultures. The black-headed oriole, the swallow-winged lapwing, the bronze-winged dove, the purple coot and the long-tailed jacana are also common. Sri Lanka is home to 242 species of butterflies, most of which can be found at the foot of the mountains. Six of these families even live at an altitude of over 1,200 m.