Sri Lanka - The Pearl of the Indian Ocean
The name of the island derives from the ancient Sanskrit language and means Srí (venerable) and Lanká (island). The island used to be known by various names in the past –Indians knew it as Lanka or Sinhala, ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobane, Arabs referred to it as Serendib, the Portuguese colonised it as Ceiläo and the English named it Ceylon. Nowadays, the official name of the island is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is known for export of tea, gemstones, coconuts, natural rubber and cinnamon. The most prevalent religion is Buddhism. The Sinhalese people are the majority population of the island.
The history of the island begins in 543 BC, so it offers an abundance of historic landmarks and sights – Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kandy, Dambulla, Colombo and Galle among others.
Lovers of wildlife and natur scenery will certainly enjoy Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Sri Pada (Adam's Peak), Bambarakanda Falls, Ramboda Falls, Knuckles Range, Haputale and dozens of national parks (Yala, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe, Wilpattu, Minneriya, etc.).
Those who prefer swimming in the sea can choose from infinite number of beautiful beaches, bays and creeks such as Kalkudah, Nilaveli, Payagala, Bentota, Induruwa, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Mirissa, etc.