Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to more than 2500 years. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.

Few places in the world can offer the traveller such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location. Within a mere area of 65,610 square kilometres lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres of coastline - much of it pristine beach - 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.

This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!


Official Name Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Government Type Republic
Location Latitude 5° 55. to 9° 50. North, Longitude 79° 42. to 81° 52., 650km     north of the equator
Dimensions 430km North to South, 225km East to West
Coastline 1,340km
Area 65, sqkm
Currency (code) Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Independence 4 February 1948
Administrative Capital Sri Jayewardenepura
Commercial Capital Colombo
Administrative Divisions Typically tropical, with a northeast monsoon (December to March) bringing unsettled weather to the north and east, and a southwest monsoon (June to October) bringing bad weather to the south and west
Terrain Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central
Highest Mountain Piduruthalagala
Highest Waterfall Bambarakanda, 263m
National Flower The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata)
National Parks and Nature Reserves Area 8,
Population 21,128,773
Population Growth Rate 1.3%
Population Density 309 people per sq km
Life Expectancy at Birth 74 female, 64 male
Literacy Rate Female 87.9 Male 92.5
Ethnic Groups Sinhalese 74.9%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.2%, Indian Tamil 4.2%, Sri  Lankan Tamil 11.2%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2012 census)
Languages Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language)  18%, other 8% Note: English (a link language commonly) is used in  government and spoken competently by about 10% of the population
Religion  Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified   10% 
Time Zone Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT.  (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)
International Dialing +94
Economy Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors are food processing, textiles and apparel,  food and beverages, port construction, telecommunications, insurance and  banking. In 2006, plantation crops made up only 15% of exports (90% in  1970), while textiles and garments accounted for more than 60%. About  800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% of them in the Middle East. They  send home more than US$1 billion a year.
Labour Force 34.3% of the labour population is employed in agriculture, 25.3% in  industry and 40.4% in services: 40.4% (30 June 2006 est.) The unemployment  rate is 5.7% (2007 est.)
Agriculture & Products Rice, Sugarcane, Grains, Pulses, Oilseed, Spices, Tea, Rubber,  Coconuts, milk, Eggs, Hides, Fish
Industries Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural  commodities, telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles,  cement, petroleum refining.
Exports Textiles and apparel; tea and spices; Gems, emeralds, rubies; coconut  products, rubber products, fish
Imports  Main import commodities are textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment. Percentage of main commodities from main import partners: India, China, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Purchasing power parity: $260.6 billion (2016 est.) Official exchange rate: $82.62 billion (2016 est.)
Real growth rate 4.3% (2016 est.)
Per capita $12,300 (2016 est.)
composition by sector
agriculture: 8.5%
industry: 30.9%
services: 60.6% (2016 est.)