Sri Lanka

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  1. Sri Lanka is known as both the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’ and the ‘teardrop of India’ due to its shape.
  2. In Sri Lanka, when someone shakes their head from side to side with a slight wiggle, it actually means “yes.”
  3. Although cricket is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka, the national sport of the country is in fact volleyball.
  4. Sri Lanka is one of the world’s largest tea exporters.
  5. Adam’s Peak is the most sacred mountain in the country. Pilgrims from all over climb to its peak by candlelight to stand in what they believe to be the footsteps of Buddha.
  6. Because the country has lots of waterfalls, most of Sri Lanka’s electricity is powered by hydro-powered energy.
  7. The spice cinnamon originated in Sri Lanka and was discovered by the Egyptians.
  8. There are eleven universities in Sri Lanka.
  9. 92% of people living in the country are literate which means that they boast the highest literacy rate in the whole of South Asia.
  10. Sri Lanka’s national flag is said to be one of the oldest flags in the world.
  11. Sri Lanka may be the tea capital of the world, but tea was introduced to it only in 1867.
  12. Before Sri Lanka became famous for tea, it was famous for coffee – but the coffee fields of Sri Lanka were wiped out by leaf blight in the 1870s.
  13. Sri Lankans had known about tea for nine years before they saw rubber for the first time, in 1876.
  14. When Sri Lankans say yes, they don’t nod their heads up and down but rather waggle it from side to side, so it looks as if they are saying no instead.
  15. At meals, Sri Lankan women usually serve the children and the men first before they themselves settle down to eat.
  16. The very first female prime minister in the world is Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka. She first served in 1960 and held three terms: 1960–1965, 1970–1977, and 1994–2000.
  17. Bandaranaike’s daughter, Chandrika Kumaratunga, was the first female president elected in Sri Lanka. She served for two consecutive terms.
  18. Sri Lanka is mentioned in the famous ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana.
  19. Sri Lanka achieved its independence from Britain in 1948 – the same year when Gandhi began his final fast, the Republic of Ireland was declared, and the country of Israel was formed.
  20. Sri Lanka was called Ceylon until 1972. Until today, some organizations in Sri Lanka still have “Ceylon” in their names.
  21. Sri Lanka has also been called “Teardrop of India” because of its proximity to India and because it is teardrop-shaped. In the very beginning, when Pangea existed, India and Sri Lanka were joined to the island of Madagascar; aftwerwards they drifted northwards and collide against Asia: this is how the Himalayas were born.
  22. , the term that indicates the happiness that you feel when you discover something unsought and unexpected while looking for something else, comes from the Persian name for Sri Lanka, “Serendib”, which means “island of gems”.
  23. Torn by a civil war from 1983 to 2009 and by the tsunami in 2004, Sri Lanka has been very little happy and peaceful in recent decades. Today, the conflict is finally over, the tourism industry is receiving new investments and prices are still cheap. Sri Lanka is among the cheapest destinations in the world.
  24. island is predominantly Buddhist. Buddhism was introduced in the country in the 3rd century B.C. Today Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural country. Singhalese and Tamils peacefully live together with Muslims, Malaysians and Chinese. Adam’s Peak, the highest mountain in the country, is a sacred place for pilgrims of 4 different religions.
  25. It is said that, in the 6th century B.C, Prince Vijaya was driven away from his reign in India, sailed to Sri Lanka and became Sri Lanka’s first king, forefather of the Singhalese people. It is said that he was a follower of the Ayurveda school and then introduced this medical system also here. By the way, Sri Lanka is a great place for enjoying ayurvedic massages.
  26. Sri Lanka is an ideal destination all year round because the monsoons that occur twice a year affect different parts of the island at different times. The rainy monsoon occurs between May and July in the south-west of the island, between December and January in the nort-east. Average temperature is between 27 and 30 °C.
  27. Elephant is the symbol of Sri Lanka, but this is not just the land of elephants. This is one of the best places in the world to spot leopards (it is said that in the Yala National Park there is the highest concentration of leopards in the world). With 92 species of mammals and nearly 500 of birds (many of which endemic), the wildife here is incredible. It also includes: labiated bears, deer, macaques, gray langurs, whales, dolphins and sea turtles.
  28. By Peter van der Sluijs, via Wikimedia Commons
  29. Sri Lanka there are 1,330 km of coastline, with white-sand coasts bordered by palm trees, jagged strokes, lagoons and bays. Arugam Bay is one of the favourite by surfers and Unawatuna beach was ranked among the most beautiful in the world by Discovery Channel.
  30. The underwater world is a true kaleidoscope of fish and corals, also with remains of ancient shipwrecks, ideal of diving and snorkeling lovers. Diving is possible all year round. Among the activities one can enjoy there is surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, whale-watching, trekking and safari. In Sri Lanka there are 12 national parks and 52 protected areas.
  31. There are 7 UNESCO World heritage sites and some of of the most revered places in the Buddhist world. Like the city of Anuradhapura, which houses the Sri Maha Bodhi Bo-tree, grown from the original tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment; the fortress in Sigiriya, on which was built the royal palace, covered with frescoes. Polonnaruwa is characterized by huge pagodas and statues of Buddha. Dalada Maligawa is the temple of Kandy which houses one of the teeth of the Buddha.
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