Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) has been poetically described as “a teardrop off the southern tip of India.” Its diverse landscapes range from rainforest and arid plains to lush highlands and beaches. The country is famed for its ancient Buddhist ruins, including the 5th century citadel Sigiriya. For such a small country, it’s amazing that it boasts eight World Heritage sites!

Sigiriya Sri Lanka
Temple of the Tooth in Kandy Sri Lanka
Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
Jetavanaramaya Dagoba, Anuradhapura Sri Lanka
Jetavanaramaya Dagoba, Anuradhapura
Pilgrims in Anuradhapura Sri Lanka
Pilgrims in Anuradhapura
Hatadage in Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka
Hatadage in Polonnaruwa
Fishermen in Galle Sri Lanka
Fishermen in Galle

This island nation has an amazing diversity of endemic birds and mammals, including 34 bird species and 16 mammal species! And Sri Lanka’s endangered elephants are one of three distinct subspecies of the Asian elephant.

Sri Lanka Elephant
Sri Lanka Elephant

Indian Peafowl Sri Lanka
Indian Peafowl
Grey Languer Sri Lanka
Grey Languer
Malabar Pied Hornbills Sri Lanka
Malabar Pied Hornbills

It is a land of festivals, virtually all are religious in nature and following the lunar calendar. Many Buddhist festivals take place during the days of the full moon—poya days—which are official public holidays. These days are celebrated with enormous peraheras (parades) featuring elaborately clad elephants, drummers, traditionally costumed dancers, fire ball dancers, acrobats, and more.

—Photos and text by WT adventurer Susan Harris, Sri Lanka.

Write A Comment