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Sri Lanka ( / s r iː ˈ l ɑː ŋ k ə , - ˈ l æ ŋ k ə / or / ʃ r iː -/ ( listen ) ; [9] [10] Sinhala : ශ්‍රී ලංකා Śrī Laṃkā , Tamil : இலங்கை Ilaṅkai ), officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka , is an island country in South Asia , located southeast of India and northeast of the Maldives.

The island is home to many cultures, languages and ethnicities. The majority of the population is from the Sinhalese ethnicity , while a large minority of Tamils have also played an influential role in the island's history; Christians in both groups are recent converts who have kept the traditional culture. Moors , Burghers , Malays , Chinese , and the aboriginal Vedda are also established groups on the island. [11]

Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. [12] It has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon , date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. [13] [14] Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road [15] through to the modern Maritime Silk Road. [16] [17]

Fa Hien Cave is a cave in the district of Kalutara, Western Province, Sri Lanka, named after the Buddhist monk Faxian (Wade-Giles: Fa Hien). The cave is important for the Late Pleistocene human skeletal remains discovered there in the 1960s and 1980s. The first human burials in the cave were uncovered in 1968 by Dr Siran U. Deraniyagala (the Sri Lankan government department of archaeology), and he returned with an assistant, W. H. Wijepala, in 1988. The main finds consisted of microliths, the remains of ancient fires, and the remains of plants and human beings. Radiocarbon dating indicated that the cave had been occipied from about 33,000 to 4,750 years ago — from the Late Pleistocene to the Middle Holocene. The human remains from the different levels were taken to the Human Biology Laboratory at Cornell University, where they were studied by Dr Kenneth A. R. Kennedy and one of his graduate students, Joanne L. Zahorsky. The oldest fragments of human bone came from a young child, two older children, a juvenile, and two adults, and showed evidence of being secondary burials: that is, after death, the bodies were exposed, and after decomposition and the predations of scavengers, the bones were placed in graves. The later remains included those of a young child, about 6,850 years old, and a young woman (nicknamed Kalu-Menika by the archaeologists), about 5,400 years old. Both were also secondary burials. The discoveries were important to archaeologists and palaeontologists because the earliest of the people buried in Fa Hien Cave lived at the same time as European Cro-Magnon man and other hominids of the Late Pleistocene around the world. Studies of the teeth found in the cave indicate that the population of Sri Lanka ground nuts, seeds, and grains in stone querns in the preparation of food, and that they continued to live as hunter-gatherers until about the 8th century BCE. Sri Lanka has yielded the earliest known microliths, which didn t appear in Europe until the Early Holocene. Other important Sri Lankan prehistoric sites at which human remains have been found include two other caves – Batadombalena (about 28,500 years old) and Belilena Kitulgala (about 12,000 years old) – and an open-air site, Bellanbandi Palassa (about 6,000 years old).

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

Sri Lanka , formerly known as Ceylon , is in Southern Asia. It is an island country in the Indian Ocean , south of India.

Sri Lanka has more than 2,550 years of continuous written history by means of the Mahawansha, and was also mentioned in several ancient Indian texts. One of the most famous is the Ramayana , in which the island, which was referred to as Lanka, was the island fortress of the king Ravana. And over many centuries Sri Lanka has had many names.

The Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century BC, probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced beginning in about the mid-3rd century BC, and a great civilization developed at such cities as Anuradhapura (kingdom from c. 200 BC to c. 1000 AD) and Polonnaruwa (c. 1070 to 1200). Other notable but relatively more recent kingdoms are Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, Gampola, Kandy and Jaffna Kingdoms.

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Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. It has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon , date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road.

Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as Ceylon ( / s ɪ ˈ l ɒ n , s eɪ -, s iː -/ ). Its recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively ended when the Sri Lankan military defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.

The country has had a long history of international engagement, as a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and a member of the United Nations , the Commonwealth of Nations , the G77 , and the Non-Aligned Movement. Along with the Maldives , Sri Lanka is one of only two South Asian countries rated "high" on the Human Development Index (HDI), with its HDI rating and per capita income the highest among South Asian nations.

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This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Report for Sri Lanka. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most recent information available on travel to this country.

SRI LANKA has often been described as a tropical paradise. The vegetation of the coastal belt is lush and dramatic, and the mountainous areas of the interior are spectacular. Pleasant sea breezes temper the coast's tropical climate through most of the year; the hills and mountains in the island's center are cool at night. Arab traders of long ago knew the island as Serendib, which is the origin of the word serendipity, reflecting the unexpected pleasures of the land.

Sri Lanka, once known as the British Crown Colony of Ceylon, became independent in 1948, although it remained under dominion status. Its 1972 constitution proclaimed it an independent republic, and changed the country's name. Finally, in 1978, a new constitution officially declared the island the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Analgesics, anti-spasmodics, anti-diahorreals, antibiotics and antacids.Mosquite repellants, water purification tablets or portable water filter. Take light, cotton clothes since the weather there will usually be warm and often humid. Most medications listed above are usually available without a prescription in Sri Lanka and come from India. However, finding your brand or a pharmacy can be difficult in certain areas of that country. Mosquitos are rampant in rural Sri Lanka. Also carry some sun-screen or sun-block lotion of SPF-8 or above, depending upon your skin type. A Swiss knife can be helpful if you ll visit many rural areas.