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10 Interesting Facts About Sri Lanka

10 Interesting Facts About Sri Lanka

Quick facts about Sri Lanka:

  • Population: Sri Lanka has a population exceeding 21 million people.
  • Official Languages: Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages of Sri Lanka.
  • Capital: Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka.
  • Government: Sri Lanka operates as a republic with a multi-party political system.
  • Currency: The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR).

1 Fact: Sri Lanka has several other names

Sri Lanka is known by several other names, including “Ceylon,” which was its name during the colonial period. Additionally, it has been historically referred to as “Serendib” and “Taprobane.”

2 Fact: Sri Lanka produces a lot of tea

Sri Lanka is a major tea producer, renowned for its Ceylon tea. The country’s tea plantations, particularly in regions like Nuwara Eliya and Kandy, yield high-quality tea leaves. Sri Lankan tea is celebrated globally for its distinct flavors and varieties, contributing significantly to the country’s agricultural exports.

© Vyacheslav Argenberg / http://www.vascoplanet.com/CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3 Fact: Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country

Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist country, and one of its most revered religious relics is believed to be a tooth of Buddha. This sacred relic is enshrined in the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) in Kandy. The temple holds religious and cultural significance, attracting pilgrims and visitors alike who come to pay homage to this revered relic.

4 Fact: Sri Lanka is an island nation that can be traveled by… scooter

Sri Lanka is an island nation that can be conveniently explored by scooter, and it serves as a primary mode of transportation for many locals. The nimble and fuel-efficient nature of scooters makes them a popular choice for navigating through both urban centers and rural landscapes. Embracing a scooter is not just a means of travel but an integral part of the local lifestyle, providing an authentic way to experience the vibrant culture and scenic beauty of Sri Lanka.

Note: If you are planning to visit Sri Lanka, check here if you need an international driver’s license in Sri Lanka to drive.


5 Fact: The oldest known tree planted by man is in Sri Lanka

The oldest known tree planted by man, a sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa) known as Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, is located in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Planted over 2,300 years ago, it is said to have grown from a sapling brought from the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, India, under which Buddha attained enlightenment.

6 Fact: There are as many as 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka takes pride in its cultural and natural treasures, with an impressive count of 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the sacred city of Kandy, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications, the Central Highlands, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, and the Sacred City of Anuradhapura. Each of these sites showcases the country’s rich history, architectural marvels, and diverse ecosystems, contributing to their global recognition and protection.

Balou46CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

7 Fact: Sri Lanka is a great place to go whale watching

Sri Lanka is a great destination for whale watching. The waters surrounding the island, particularly in locations like Mirissa and Trincomalee, offer fantastic opportunities to observe majestic marine life. Visitors have the chance to witness various whale species, including the impressive blue whale, the largest mammal on Earth. The seasonal migrations and diverse marine ecosystems make Sri Lanka a prime spot for an unforgettable whale-watching experience.

8 Fact: Trains do not close their doors

In Sri Lanka, trains often have open doors and travel at a leisurely pace, creating a unique opportunity for capturing beautiful photos and videos for Instagram. The scenic train routes, especially the iconic Kandy to Ella journey, offer breathtaking views of lush landscapes, tea plantations, and picturesque villages. This leisurely train travel experience has become a popular choice for both locals and tourists seeking to document and share the charm of Sri Lanka’s idyllic scenery on social media.

IBI Productions, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

9 Fact: Sri Lanka hosts the biggest elephant shows in the world

Sri Lanka is home to some of the world’s largest elephant gatherings and shows, particularly in locations like Pinnawala. These events provide a remarkable opportunity for visitors to witness the majestic creatures up close and observe their behavior in a controlled yet natural environment. The elephant shows in Sri Lanka contribute to the country’s reputation as a unique destination for experiencing the grandeur of these gentle giants.

10 Fact: There are hundreds of species of medicinal plants growing in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is blessed with a rich biodiversity that includes hundreds of species of medicinal plants. The island’s diverse ecosystems, ranging from rainforests to dry zones, harbor a vast array of plant life with recognized medicinal properties. Traditional Ayurvedic practices in Sri Lanka often utilize these plants for their healing properties, making the island a valuable source of natural remedies and contributing to its reputation as a hub for traditional medicine and herbal wellness.

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