Sri Lanka Tourism

Immerse yourself in a land of legends, diversity and natural heritage!

Sri Lanka is famous for

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Elephant Camps

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Places of Worship

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Beaches

Review and Ratings (19)

Read 19 Sri Lanka reviews with average rating of 4.2/5

Atul Mohan

8 reviews

Calm place, friendly people

We did a short 5 days trip and Colombo and Bentota. Colombo was a normal modern port city like Mumbai but Bentota was amazing. Hotel staff and generally people were very friendly. The place was neat and clean and the beaches all around were fun. There are lot of scuba places also around.
If visiting around April, please go for whale watching.
Please carry sun block and lots of tissues while roaming around. Try spending more time in places like Galle and Bentota. Commercial cities are everywhere but these cities have good places and a history to share.

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Sumit Nagoriratingratingratingratingratingrating4.6/5

98 reviews

Mesmerizing Destination

Never ever thought Sri Lanka had so much to offer. Our trip to Sri Lanka was wonderful and got us unforgettable moments to pen down in our memory. To explore one side of Sri Lanka you'd need atleast 15 days. Pristine beaches, heritage sites, picturesque locations, scenic mountains, adventure & rejuvenation, you'll find everything in Srilanka. An ideal trip would be of 7-8 days which would cover one of these.
We visited four places:
Kandy - a heritage site and a hill-country
Nuwara Eliya - hill station with wonderful romantic weather, picturesque backdrops and mythological importance (Ramayana). Weather here was around 10°C in the month of June
Bentota - beach destination with clear waters and excellent properties. Water activities are closed during Kinkily hence we couldn't try any of it
Colombo - a metropolitan city with historical monuments and city life, casinos.
Roads of Srilanka are in excellent condition. We were in awe of the cleanliness we found throughout our road trip. We had a mix of everything in our trip- romantic destination, adventure of the beach, night life of the metro city and historical, heritage sightseeings. We just loved each place and each place was unique and different from the other. The people in Srilanka are quite helpful in nature. They don't hesitate to provide you any guidance required.
There isn't much for shopping to fascinate so no extra time required to allocate for shopping. Finding a vegetarian restaurant in Srilanka is a real tough task. There is no veg restaurant in Bentota whereas Kandy and Nuwara Eliya has just one of it. Colombo has plenty of Vegetarian restaurants with south and north indian cuisines on offer.
Tip: If you are a vegetarian carry lots of packed/ready to eat food to ease your trip.

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I am heading to Sri Lanka

Getting to Sri Lanka

visa

Visa: On arrival

Cost: USD 3 (₹193 approx)

View Visa requirement
Transit

Transit time: 3hrs from major cities

Cost ₹7,000 per person

Sri Lanka Overview

Sri Lanka is an island located in South Asia. It is a tropical country which makes it the best place for vacation. It is rich in history and culture. It is one of the top vacation. Read below to find out more about Sri Lanka.

History

The Human and culture of Sri Lanka go way back to about 34000 years ago. It began in the 3rd century. Its location made it important during the World War II. It was known as ‘Ceylon’ until 1972. Sri Lanka has a wide range of culture and religion. The majority of the group of people living in Sri Lanka are the Sri Lankan, Indian Tamils, Malays, Vedda, Moors etc. Sri Lanka follows the Buddhist culture. Sri Lanka along with Maldives is rated the high human development in the Human Development Index.

Sri Lanka is a republic governed by the semi-presidential system. According to the chronicles, Prince Vijaya, named the island ‘Tambapanni’, meaning copper red earth. In the great Hindu mythology, Mahabharat, Sri Lanka was referred as ‘Lanka’. Sri Lanka's history goes back to the Ramayana, one of the ancient Indian mythology, where Sri Lanka is referred as Lanka. It was the home of the King Ravana. Later the Persians and Arabs referred it as Sarandib meaning Serendipity. In 1505, Portuguese called it Ceylon. In 1972, the name was changed to ‘Free, Sovereign and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka’. Later in 1978 it was changed to the ‘Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka’.

The culture of Sri Lanka has a great influence of Buddhism which is passed on by India. A lot of south Indian culture can be seen in the Sri Lankan culture. One important aspect of Sri Lanka is that men and women are treated equally for thousands of years in all fields. There are women who have rules the land with same respect and dignity as men.

Why You Should Visit

Sri Lanka is one of the top visited vacation places, there are various reasons why people love visiting Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has a very good climate. As it is a tropical country, it rains during many times of the year.

The valleys and mountains are filled with tea plantations which are a great sight.

Sri Lanka is rich in wildlife, it has a range of National Park and you can also watch the Dolphins swim. Some of the animals you can visit are Leopards, Elephants, sloth bears, peacocks etc

It has a wide range of waterfalls and hills with a great view.

As Sri Lanka is an island it makes it a place for some delicious sea foods, which is a must try.

Sri Lanka also has a lot of Temples which holds great history.

Sri Lanka has festivals celebrated all throughout the year, which involves a lot of cultural dance and celebrations. Kandyan dance is one such dance.

Tourist Hotspots

Sri Lanka has many tourist attractions. Its heritage and culture makes it an amazing tourist spot.

The great kingdoms, rich in heritage such as Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Mihintale etc hosts a lot of places to visit.

There are many hills such as Ella, Pidurangala rock etc, where you can enjoy the view on top of the mountain.

There is the great Golden Temple, Bodhi tree temple, the tooth temple and golden cave temple. All of these places are considered very sacred in Sri Lanka.

You can stroll in the evening with a great view of the clean water and the blue sky in the beach as Sri Lanka has a lot of beaches which are a great tourist spot.

Local Attractions

Adam’s peak is a mountain, of 2243 meters high. The rock formation of the mountain is said to be the footprint of the Buddha for Buddhist, Adams for Muslims and Christians and Shiva for Hindus. It has thousands of steps along the path. It takes two-three hours to reach the top. Many Sri Lankans climb this hill several times as a significance of pilgrim.

Sigiriya is one another place to visit, which is famous for its palace, which is on top of a 200 meters high rock. The rock is a residue from a Volcano. You can view a lot of SriLankan paintings and heritage.

Ella is the beautiful hub of the Sri Lankan countryside. You can spot various tea plantations, forests, valleys, and hills. It is a nice relaxing place to be.

Anuradhapura is famous for its heritage. It has the Bodhi tree temple, which is one of the sacred places in Sri Lanka. This Bodhi tree temple has the cutting of the same Bodhi tree where Buddha was enlightened, making it the busiest place in Sri Lanka. You can spot a lot of monks here. There is also a moonstone which has great carvings. There are various monasteries as well.

Kandy is Sri Lanka's second largest city. It was declared as world heritage by UNESCO. The Temple of the tooth is the tooth relic of Buddha. The tooth is within a casket which can be seen twice a day. There is also a penniwara Elephant Orphanage, which has about 70 elephants which roam in this sanctuary. There is a Royal botanical garden, which is ancient. There is a banyan tree, bridges, and orchid house. There is also a tea museum.

Yala National Park has some dense forests and wildlife. There are about 215 bird species, among which few are found only in Sri Lanka such as Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Sri Lanka Wood-pigeon, Black-capped Bulbul, and Brown-capped Babbler. You can also spot rare species water birds such Purple Heron, Purple Swamphen, Night herons and Oriental Darter. It also has about 44 mammals like the sloth bear, Elephants, leopards etc.

Polonnaruwa is an ancient kingdom from the Chola times. There are many palaces’ and temples like the Royal palace, Gal Vihara Temple, Demala Maha Seya etc.

Mirissa is a fishing village in Sri Lanka. It is the homes for surfers. You can spot a lot of whale and dolphins. There is also a lot of water sports.

Trincomalee calledTrinco has a lot of beaches. It also has a dutch fort, a pigeon island park, and temple.

Favorite Local Foods

Sri Lankan cuisine is been influenced by its culture and history and also a bit of it is influenced by Keralan cuisine. It mainly consists of steamed rice with some fish, vegetables or chicken.

Hoppers are mainly made of rice flour and coconut milk. It is steamed or fried. The batter is fermented with yeast. It can be sweet or spicy. Few such are milk hoppers, egg hoppers, string hoppers etc. String hoppers are made from wheat or rice flour. They are steamed to perfection.

Kottu is a roti bread stuffed with spicy stir fried vegetables. They may include cheese, meat, and eggs

Lamprais is unique rice boiled with meatballs mixed with curry which is wrapped in banana leaf which is baked. This is made for special occasions in Sri Lanka. It is cooked twice.

Kool is a broth of seafood made from crab, prawns, and various fish. It may also contain few vegetables.

Some of the sweets are authentic Sri Lankan such as Kevum is a sweet cake made from rice flour and treacle. They are also made in other forms. Bibikkan is cake sweet made from coconut and wheat. Kokis is a biscuit made from coconut milk and rice flour. Pushnambu is yet another cake like sweet made from wheat flour and coconut with some cumin and cardamom. Kalu dodol is a toffee made from coconut milk and rice flour which is thickened with jaggery. Watalappam is a pudding made withcoconut milk,eggs, and jaggery which is steamed. This is one of the staple desserts of Sri Lanka.

A drink called Thambilli made from the king coconut is sold at the streets.

A very popular drink called the toddy is made from a palm tree.

Favorite Local Things to Buy

Sri Lankan craftsman has a vibrant history. Few of the crafts have a modern influence on them.

Handicraft souvenirs such as masks which are worn during the Sri Lankan dances like kolam. Many of the masks resemble demon like. These masks are available at the Ariyapala and sons masks museum. These masks are bright colored and come in various size which is easy for you to carry back home. There are also Elephant carvings, which have some intricate detailed work on wood. Batiks are also famous in Sri Lanka, which is dyed.

You can also find Sri Lankan lace. These are the handmade lace.

Marine products and gems are famous in Sri Lanka. Products like shells, coral etc. Gems like sapphire, ruby, star stones, moon stones etc are found.

There are religious items like Buddha carvings and posters.

Tea and spices can be purchased. Ceylon tea is famous in Sri Lanka.

Things to do in Sri Lanka

There are many activities that one can do in Sri Lanka.

For those who are animal lovers, there are many national parks, an elephant sanctuary and turtle hatchery in Sri Lanka. You can see the elephants roam around freely and learn about different species of turtles.

You can visit the tea estates and learn how tea is processed. You can also taste them.

There are many marine activities in all of Sri Lanka. You can surf or swim with the dolphins.

Sri Lanka is known for the amazing seafood. There is also a street food place to try on some local delicacies.

You can also try the hot air balloon, scuba diving, surfing etc

Ideal Tour Package

A tour of Sri Lanka would take seven-day package where you can visit Colombo, Kandy, Mirissa, Bentota. All cities are well connected by bus and there is also rickshaws called ‘Tuk Tuks’ which are widely used to travel in cities in towns.

VISA and Travel

People with tattoos of Buddha or any religious significance are deported from Sri Lanka, it is advised to cover any such tattoos. It is also a smoking free country.

You can apply for Electronic travel authorization which is valid for three months. It allows you to enter the country twice during the three months’ time. In each entry, one can stay a maximum of 30 days. If one wishes to stay more than 30 days, one should apply for an extension. It can also be applied at Colombo airport. Visa charges are $15. Tourist VISA can opt at High Commission of India. This will be a six-months VISA which will take about 5 days to process. It can also be taken at Kandy.

From February 15, immigration authorities have made it strict to have the correct passport numbers on the ETA. If any mistake is found at Colombo airport you will have to get a new VISA. The number should be the same as the machine readable one on your passport.

A VISA extension can be taken by paying at Colombo which gives you 3 more months’ extension. You will have to download a form from the website where you got the ETA and go to the passport office in Colombo for an extension. Your documents will be reviewed, with your passport and the ticket. The whole process takes about an hour or so.

You can travel to Sri Lanka by various means like plane, cruise etc. Flights are available from Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Trivandrum. Few of the flights to name are Emirates, Qatar, Air Asia, Spice jet, Singapore airlines etc. There is a cruise that goes from Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka. But the service is currently suspended due to civil war.

Best Time to Visit

Sri Lanka being the tropical country, it can rain anytime during the year. It is expected to rain during October to January and May to July. So the ideal time to visit will be between August, September, and February to April. The climate tends to change throughout the country, much like India. The tropical country will let you enjoy your stay irrespective of the climate.

Sri Lankan has a Tamil New year which is celebrated grandly. This happens in April where people dress in traditional attire and involve in celebrations. This would be the best time to experience Sri Lanka.


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