Sri Lanka is one of the oldest countries in the world.
According to legend, it was somewhere in these parts that Adam and Eve descended to Earth, and many ancient authors even correlated the location of the Garden of Eden with Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was called until 1972). Out of 130 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, seven are located on this amazing island. In Sri Lanka, there are a lot of “self-most.” Firstly, there is the oldest tree in the world – the Bo tree (Sri Maha Bodhi), which is already more than 2 thousand years old. Here is also the world’s largest collection of Buddha statues, which is located in the cave complex of Dambulla. And finally, the temple painting of Dambulla is also considered the largest in South Asia (the area of the frescoes exceeds 2.3 thousand square meters). And yet, Sri Lanka ranks third in the world in tea production and the first in its export (25% of world production). Sri Lanka is a small universe, and although the island is small in size, it contains so many changes in landscapes, climate, culture. Beautiful beaches, soft warm sand, foggy mountains, tropical forests, generous rivers and magnificent waterfalls unique to this part of the world, tranquility and quiet lagoons, vibrant culture, art, great festivals, exotic cuisine and wonderful hospitable people. Hundreds of kilometers of beaches and a unique underwater world put Sri Lanka among the world’s largest seaside resorts. Therefore, Sri Lanka is a small miracle and a true paradise on earth for tourists.
Sri Lanka Cities and resorts
The official capital is Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, where the parliament and the Supreme Court are located. The actual capital is Colombo (seat of government, residence of the president).
Colombo is the largest industrial and cultural center of the country. Most of the offices of the largest companies in Sri Lanka are located in the business center of Colombo. The chemical, textile, oil refining, glass, cement, woodworking, leather and shoe industries, jewelry production are developed. The port of Colombo is the largest in South Asia. The city has a university, several colleges, an observatory, and a national museum. Many churches, mosques, Buddhist and Hindu temples. On the outskirts of the city are two Buddhist universities. International Airport Solomon Bandaranaike is located 30 km north of Colombo. The city is connected by railways and highways with all the provinces of the country.
Kandy – former until 1815 the capital of Sri Lanka, is still considered the cultural and religious center of the country. The lake occupying the entire central part of the city is extremely picturesque, and the city itself is framed by the waters of the Mahaweli Ganga River with shady banks. On the outskirts of Kandy is the main shrine of the country – the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic “Dalada Maligawa”, allegedly “saved” from the funeral pyre of Buddha by one of the followers of his teachings, and later brought to Sri Lanka by an Indian princess. The majestically decorated temple contains a small stupa decorated with gold and precious stones, in which seven more stupas are sequentially located, the last of which is the national shrine. Millions of believers come here to worship the relics, and in August in her honor the famous procession of the festival “Kandy Esala Perahera” is held. In the suburbs of Kandy Peradeniya there is the largest Royal Botanic Garden in Asia (founded in 1821) with an area of 67 hectares, with one of the richest collections in the world – there are more than 45 thousand species of plants of the tropical and equatorial zones of the planet, including many exotic plants and even historical trees.
In the city of Pinnawela (27 km from Kandy) is located the state elephant nursery Pinnawela, founded in 1975, where elephants left without parents are brought. Here they are taught all the necessary skills (and, of course, shown to tourists), and then some of them go to zoos around the world, while others remain to work in Ceylon.
The coast of Sri Lanka is more than 1000 km of beaches attractive with soft sand, coconut palms, coral reefs with colorful fish. Wrecks are of interest to divers. The lagoons have created a habitat for rare marine animals and birds, as well as excellent conditions for water sports.
Nuwara Eliya is a mountain resort located 180 km from the capital of Sri Lanka, at an altitude of 2 thousand meters above sea level. This is the land of a wonderful climate and the “tea capital of the country”, which has long held the title of one of the best resorts in Asia. Nuwara Eliya has many colonial-style mansions, the residence of President Queens House, beautiful Victoria Park, many old and modern hotels, a beautiful golf club, a hippodrome, Lake Gregory with a trout farm and many opportunities for recreation. There are many waterfalls in the mountainous part of Sri Lanka, but the Nuwara Eliya region is considered the record holder for their number.