SRI LANKA

About Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is historically and culturally intertwined with the Indian subcontinent but is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, island country lying in the Indian Ocean and separated from peninsular India by the Palk Strait. It is located between latitudes 5°55′ and 9°51′ N and longitudes 79°41′ and 81°53′ E and has a maximum length of 432 km and a maximum width of 224 km.

At a crossroads of maritime routes traversing the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has also been exposed to cultural influences from other Asian civilizations. Ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobane. Arabs referred to it as Serendib. Later European mapmakers called it Ceylon, a name still used occasionally for trade purposes. It officially became Sri Lanka in 1972.

The pre-history of Sri Lanka goes back 125,000 years and possibly even as far back as 500,000 years. The era spans the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and early Iron Ages. Among the Paleolithic human settlements discovered in Sri Lanka, Pahiyangala (named after the Chinese traveler monk Faxian), which dates back to 37,000 BP, Batadombalena (28,500 BP) and Belilena (12,000 BP) are the most important. In these caves, archaeologists have found the remains of anatomically modern humans which they have named Balangoda Man, and other evidence suggesting that they may have engaged in agriculture and kept domestic dogs for driving game

Sri Lanka has more than 2,550 years of continuous written history by means of the Mahawansha and was also mentioned in several ancient Indian texts. One of the most famous is the Ramayana, in which the island, which was referred to as Lanka, was the island fortress of the king Ravana.

Partially occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century, the coastal parts island was ceded to the British in 1796 and became a British colony in 1802. The entire island was ceded to the British in 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; the name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972.

Since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, you can expect the rain any time of the year in different parts of the country. However, the two major rainy seasons are South-West monsoon (May to July) which predominantly affects the west & south coast of Sri Lanka and North-East monsoon (October to January) predominantly affecting the east coast.

The climate of Sri Lanka changes dramatically from central highlands to the coastal belt. For example, at Nuwara Eliya, in the hills of Central Sri Lanka, has a temperature around 5-20°C throughout the year, whereas Hambanthota, located in the dry zone, has a temperature consistently around 30-34°C.

The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo.

Colombo, which emerged as the main urban center during British rule, remains the executive and judicial capital of Sri Lanka; Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, a Colombo suburb, is the legislative capital. For administrative purposes, the country has been divided into nine provinces and subdivided into 25 districts.

The majority of its people are poor, live in rural areas, and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. A physical environment of wide-ranging diversity makes Sri Lanka one of the world’s most scenic countries. As the home of several ethnic groups, each with its own cultural heritage, Sri Lanka also has a highly varied cultural landscape.

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