About Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka (Ceylon) has been described as a dewdrop on the stem of the Indian lotus. Somewhat over-heated poetically, but geographically the description fits Sri Lanka well, as this island, only four percent larger than the state of West Virginia, hangs from the southern tip of the huge Indian sub-continent like a droplet about to plunge into the waters of the Indian Ocean.
In many ways, however, the description is apt as this is a lush and handsome country with a culture that stretches back over 2,500 years; amazing archaeological monuments that are now declared World Heritage Sites; unspoiled wildlife reserves; outstandingly pure beaches; excellent accommodations in five-star hotels, elegant beach resorts, and ecologically designed lodges; Ayurveda spas; superior diving opportunities; noted golf courses; exotic festivals; friendly people; and the heritage of years under British, Dutch and Portuguese occupations evident everywhere.!!
Colombo, Is the Capital of Sri Lanka
Arrive in Colombo and spend the next few nights in Colombo , comfortable and located along elegant Galle Face Drive next door to the Presidential Secretariat and not far from the Portuguese Fort overlooking the harbor. This is a free day for exploration of Colombo, the country’s capital city, cosmopolitan and filled with many-starred international hotels, shopping centers, Zoological Gardens, and surprisingly westernized, yet with its own unmistakable Sri Lankan character.
You will notice that almost all shops and business establishments are named in English. Shopping possibilities are many. The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Exchange is a place for fine gemstones, and the Sri Lanka Handicraft Board stores are good for all kinds of metal, fabric and woodcrafts of high quality.
Kandy, Second Largest City
Spend the night in Kandy. Then, it’s on to Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second largest city, and home of the Dalada Maligawa, one of Buddhism’s most sacred temple grounds containing the palace of Sri Lanka’s former king and the holy of holies, the repository of an actual tooth relic of the Lord Buddha. It is said that in all the world there are three of the Buddha’s teeth–one in India, one in Thailand and this one in Sri Lanka. All are Buddhism’s most sacred relics. The Dalada Maligawa houses the tooth in a carefully guarded shrine, behind a gilded altar and inside a series of nesting golden and bejeweled caskets. The caskets are brought out once a year for the crowds that gather at that time.
Esala Perahera (July/August) is the seasons of festivals in Sri Lanka and the full moon day of Esala is the climax of some of the festivals. The most magnificent of these festivals is the Kandy Esala Perahera. A spectacular medieval day pageant is held for 10 nights climaxing with the Kandyan dancers and drummers in colourful traditional costumes. Kandyan Chieftains in medieval court dress, more than one hundred caparisoned elephants whip crackers, torch bearers etc., make it an unforgettable experience.
Climate : Low Lands – tropical, average 27C
Central Hills – cooler, with temperatures dropping to 14C. The south-west monsoon brings rain to the western, southern and central regions from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon occurs in the north and east in December and January. Sri Lanka has a good climate for holiday-makers throughout the year
Sri Lanka Beaches
The most beautiful, wide and sandy beaches can be found in Sri Lanka. Most beach hotels have luxury facilities such as air-conditioning, in-house restaurants and bars, recreation areas, etc