The one minute summary on Sri Lanka

This is it: one minute to the best info on Sri Lanka. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Sri Lanka, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced in about the mid-third century B.C., and a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200).

sri lanka photo

Photo by ronsaunders47

In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty established a Tamil kingdom in northern Sri Lanka. The coastal areas of the island were controlled by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was formally united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972.

Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Norway brokering peace negotiations. Violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006, but the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007. By May 2009, the government announced that its military had defeated the remnants of the LTTE. Since the end of the conflict, the government has enacted an ambitious program of economic development projects, many of which are financed by loans from the Government of China.

In addition to efforts to reconstruct its economy, the government has resettled more than 95% of those civilians who were displaced during the final phase of the conflict and released the vast majority of former LTTE combatants captured by Government Security Forces. At the same time, there has been little progress on more contentious and politically difficult issues such as reaching a political settlement with Tamil elected representatives and holding accountable those alleged to have been involved in human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Sri Lanka
  2. Does my current phone work in  Sri Lanka ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Sri Lanka
  3. Local food you should try in  Sri Lanka and No miss drinks in  Sri Lanka

Now, cheers to the most Sri Lanka aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka has more than 3,550 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, who captured the wife of Rama an incarnation of the Hindu God, Vishnu. Legend has it that Hanuman the monkey god flew over to Lanka and destroyed the capital by setting it on fire, while Rama and his remaining troops later crossed over from the mainland by building a land bridge across the sea.

The Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century BC, probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced beginning in about the mid-3rd century BC, and a great civilization developed at such cities as Anuradhapura (kingdom from c.200 BC to c.1000 AD) and Polonnaruwa (c.1070 to 1200). Other notable but relatively more recent kingdoms are Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, Gampola, Kandy and Jaffna Kingdoms. Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century, the island was ceded to the British in 1796, and became a crown colony in 1802. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; the name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. In May, 2009 Sri Lankan military forces defeated the Tamil Tigers’ separatist movement and ended a brutal 26 year-long war that began in 1983, thus opening up a new chapter in its history.

The one minute summary for Sri Lanka geography

Best places to see in Sri Lanka

Please be aware that to get into many of the tourist sites in Sri Lanka, you, as a foreigner will be charged up to x10 more than locals. But still those charges are not so high relative to USD($). For members of SAARC countries, the price is lesser than for “foreigners”. Go to Kandy to see the Sri Dhalada Maligawa and Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Also don’t miss out on the traditional Sri Lanka dance performance held every day at 5.00 pm in the city hall. Go to Matale and climb the Sigiriya Rock , see the ancient frescoes and enjoy a panoramic view of the area.

Go to Raththota,Matale and climb Riverstone, see the Mini Worlds’ End and directly travel to Wasgamuwa. Go to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to see ancient temples,ruins which are very beautiful. Go to Nuwara Eliya to see beautiful villages which look like England. There are many tea estates and Hakgala botanical gardens too. Go to Unawatuna, Galle, Trincomalee(Nilaweli Beach),Pasikuda and north areas to see extremely beautiful beaches. Go to Mirissa and Kalpitiya and watch whales and dolphins with privately operated boat tours. Go to Jaffna to see the Portuguese built Fort (1618) it was later expanded by the Dutch (1795), Nallur Temple, Keerimalai natural fresh water pond just 10 feet from the sea and the islands in the Northern Province (Delft, Kayts, Leyden, Middlburg and many more) to see unexplored Sri Lanka. Go to Yala National Park , Wilpattu , Wasgamuwa for the best wildlife Safari experience. Udawalawe to see elephants and Kumana (Yala East) for birdwatching.

sri lanka photo

Photo by mckaysavage

Go to Kithulgala for white water rafting in the Keliniya River. Go to Dehiwala Zoo. Located in the Colombo district. It will take nearly 8 – 10 hours to view all the animals, Aquarium, butterfly park, elephant Show, sea lion show and the snake farm. You have to purchase entrance ticket. Also has to pay for your camera/video.Ticket prices may vary for foreigners and SARC citizens from the locals. When you get in side the compound follow the guide number posted there, starting 1 and it is nearly 60 routes there. 176 route bus pass this place or on the Galle road, get down at the Dehiwala junction. Agree for Rs 100 and Jump in a Trishaw to get in front of the entrance (10 Km from Colombo Fort).

It is strictly prohibited to take polythene bags with you. Good restaurant available inside the compound. Sundays are crowded day specially on school holidays there may be around 5,000 visitors in a day. Go to Galle Face Terrace. It is located next to Colombo center and next to the old parliament complex on the Galle road near to the sea. It is a place for locals to gather to spend their evening. At the end of the terrace is 150 years old Galle face hotel.

In the morning it is a place for walking and jogging. (0.18Km). In the evening it is a place for to see the fantastic sun setting with different colors. Street vendors sale local food, Coca Cola, Pepsi and mineral water. During season you can view different kinds of kites being flown over there. Also you can purchase one of them and can fly it. There is a viewing stage built in to the ocean you can walk up to the guard railing at the end. Also there is a flag post and in the sun rising and setting time you can watch colorful flag ceremony by the armed force.

it is a nice place to capture different kinds of images. Go to Independence square arcade, Colombo. Fine dining, entertainment and shopping for International brands. Go to Floating market at the Bastian Mawatha (Close to Fort Railway Station), for local products shopping and dining on a floating restaurant.