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Dazzling pristine beaches, misty blue hills, magnificent ancient buildings and world-renowned tourist attractions: Sri Lanka is a land that has it all!
“It may well be that each of Ceylon’s attractions is surpassed somewhere on earth; Cambodia may have more impressive ruins, Tahiti livelier beaches, Bali more beautiful landscapes (though I doubt it), Thailand more charming people (ditto) but I find it hard to believe that there is any country which scores so highly in all departments” Arthur C. Clarke 1970.
Sri Lanka, often called “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” boasts of a proud history and a vibrant culture. Archaeological evidence suggests that the island was inhabited since 10,000 B.C., although its documented history dates back only 2000 years. The early inhabitants of the island, known as ‘Vaddas’ can still be found in the remote areas of the country.
Sri Lanka’s past was an amalgamation of the rise and fall of powerful kingdoms and foreign invasions, which shaped the culture of the island while creating rich stories of war, valour and gallantry between the pages of ancient books and the walls of historic monuments.
Strategically located just below India, the island was a prominent hub connecting many trade routes between the Arab states, China, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia. Traders who visited brought more than a few wonders from the Far East as well as Arabia. Their unique lifestyles, cuisine and traditions lent colour to the rich tapestry of the island’s vibrant and diverse population. Islam was brought by the Arabs while the Portuguese, Dutch and British introduced Christianity. The Hindu community grew in Sri Lanka when many south Indians were brought in during the British period as labourers to work on the tea estates that were being converted from rugged forested hills to productive plantations. The three main languages are Sinhalese, Tamil and English.