31 Amazing FACTS About Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka is a country in the Indian Ocean. It is also known as the 'Tears of India' as it lies in the shape of teardrops just below India. The earliest written reference to Sri Lanka is in the Ramayana, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India.
1. The Portuguese arrived in the island nation of Sri Lanka in 1505. They called it Ceilao. The name was later changed when it became a British colony. They Westernized it and named it Ceylon. The island gained independence in 1948 and was officially Ceylon until 1972. It later adopted the name, Sri Lanka. The current official name is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 2. The history of Sri Lanka is very diverse. The diversity is reflected in the many religions found on the island. The main religion is Buddhism. But there is also a large percentage of Christians, Muslims, and Hindus. The country is also a center of Buddhist pilgrimage. It is visited by thousands of people every year. This is because the Buddha himself is said to have visited the island on three different occasions.
3. The flag of the Republic of Sri Lanka is based on the golden shape of a lion. It was the symbol of the original flag of Ceylon. The lion holding a sword signifying authority. The flag bears several religious symbols, including four pipul leaves to recognize Buddhists, a green stripe representing Muslims, and an orange stripe representing Hindus. The Maroon background is representative of the Sinhala people. This flag was officially adopted on December 17th, 1978. 4. Although the death penalty has not been used since 1976, the death penalty is still in force in Sri Lanka. The method of Execution is by hanging.
5. The name "Sri Lanka" is from Sanskrit. Many companies still use "Ceylon" in their names. 6. Despite being the 122nd smallest country in the world, Sri Lanka accounts for more than 19% of world tea exports. 7. The Cultural Triangle is a very popular destination for tourists. It is home to three historic Sinhalese capitals of Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, and Kandy. The area has many historical attractions such as cave temples, Buddhist shrines, and the ruins of capitals. 8. One of the earliest exports from Sri Lanka was coffee which thrived in the higher elevations. In the 1870s a disease wiped out entire coffee plantations, forcing the owners to switch to growing tea, for which they became well known worldwide.
9. The literacy rate in Sri Lanka is the highest in South Asia at an impressive 92%. 10. A good rule of thumb when visiting Sri Lanka is to "respect the Buddha". Tourists have been convicted for taking pictures that disrespected the Buddha and for displaying a tattoo of the Buddha. Some tourists have been deported for their disrespectful behavior. 11. Due to its history, Sri Lankan cuisine is an interesting blend of Indian, Dutch, Persian, Arab, British, and Portuguese influences. It is recognized as fragrant food in the world. At the same time, it is healthy and fragrant. 12. Although soccer and cricket are more popular among Sri Lankan citizens, volleyball is the official national sport of Sri Lanka. 13. The currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee. Sri Lanka is a very affordable country to travel to.
14. The east coast of Sri Lanka is a destination for those who love water-related activities. It has beautiful beaches, amazing surfing and great opportunities for sport fishing. 15. Based on the earliest fossils found on the island, it is estimated that there has been a human presence in Sri Lanka for at least 35,000 years. 16. The most famous “footprint” in the world is located in Sri Lanka. Christians and Muslims alike believe that Adam created these footprints after his exile from Aden, while Buddhists claim that the Buddha abandoned him during a voyage to the island. But Tamil Hindus believe that this footprint belongs to Lord Shiva. In the Ramayana, it is believed that this step was taken when Hanuman flew to Sri Lanka to save Goddess Sita.
17. Sri Lanka has been given many nicknames. The most famous of these is the "Pearl of the Indian Ocean" and the "Tears of India" based on the geography of the country. 18. The original cinnamon stick originated in Sri Lanka. Remains of cinnamon sticks from Sri Lanka have been found in a 3,000-year-old flask in Israel. They would travel 3,000 miles to buy cinnamon. 19. In July 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike made history as the first woman Prime Minister of the world in Sri Lanka. 20. The oldest human-planted tree in the world is in Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. It is a sacred fig tree planted around 288 BCE. 21. Minneriya National Park in Sri Lanka is the largest gathering of elephants in Asia every year. In dry weather, elephants come from the surrounding areas to take advantage of the Minneriya Reservoir. Here you can see up to 300 elephants enjoying the park and water during the peak of the gathering.
22. Known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka has a population of over 21 million. 23. The world-famous Lipton Tea originated in Sri Lanka. It has been since Sir Thomas Lipton bought 5500 acres of tea plantation in 1890. 24. The national flower of Sri Lanka is the Nil Mahanel, known to botanists as Nymphaea Stellata. It is known in English as the beautiful Water Lily. 25. Tea, rubber, and coconut-based products are still the major exports from Sri Lanka but there is a booming market for garments produced in Sri Lanka. 26. Marriages within different ethnic groups are still, for the most part, arranged by the couple's family, but it is becoming more common for couples to arrange their marriage in Sri Lanka.
27. In the majority of countries, the act of nodding your head means “yes” and shaking your head from side-to-side means “no”. In Sri Lanka, it works just the opposite. 28. For reasons, only the Sri Lankans may know, when online, they Google the word “Sex” more than any other country except for Bangladesh. 29. A tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 killed more than 30,000 Sri Lankans and left more than 500,000 people homeless. 30. To join the Sri Lanka Army, a person must be between 18 and 22 years of age. There is no conscription, so all service is voluntary and there is a 12-year service obligation. 31. Rubies, sapphires, and other precious gems are mined in Sri Lanka. The town of Ratnapura is known as The Gem Capital of Sri Lanka.
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