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Colombo has an approximate population of around 752,993 people and you can typically expect to pay around £1.38p for an equivalent pint of lager or beer.
Colombo is a port town on the east coast of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. It shares its international airport with the Indian Air Force. It is also an important seaport and harbor by sea and is a major international gateway. It is a significant political and economic hub of Sri Lanka, being the commercial heart of the country.
In the recent past Colombo was one of the most thriving towns in Sri Lanka, but now it is struggling to maintain its status as a leading commercial center. The reasons are many but the major ones are the lack of inward investors, high taxes for exports, and low remittance rates from the local population. However, despite all the hardship the city is home to some of the finest natural sights, beaches, and shopping spots in the country. It is Sri Lanka's most developed city, receiving good investments from the international community as well as local businessmen. For all its commercial benefits colombo has excellent public transport system that connects all major towns and cities. The most popular modes of travel are mass transit buses, trucks, cars, and motorcycle taxis.
A Sri Lankan tour can be a memorable journey as there are many interesting destinations to see and explore on your way. Sri Lanka is famous for its natural beauty and beautiful landscapes. You can opt for nature walks in which you can get close to the wildlife and see the flora and fauna of Sri Lanka. Colombo Bay is one of the most popular destinations of the beach, where there is a wide array of restaurants, hotels, shops, and other attractions. There are many travel influencers in Sri Lanka who have put up Sri Lanka travel guide websites, which give information about the best places to visit and explore on your way to Sri Lanka.
Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to Sri Lanka are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.
For up to date information around safety and security in Sri Lanka read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office latest information for Sri Lanka.
The best time to visit the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September.
There are four main religions in Sri Lanka, and 25 public holidays are celebrated throughout the year. Because the island is home to a diverse population, the calendar is one of the busiest in the world. Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim festivals are held on different days, and most follow lunar calendars. In order to keep Muslim festival days in sync with the solar calendar, an extra month is added every few years. The following are some popular Sri Lankan festivals.
Maha Shivarathri: This festival celebrates the Hindu god Shiva, and is celebrated in Hindu temples around the island. Thousands of devotees gather at dawn to take a purification bath, chanting the Panchakshara mantra (Om Nama Shivaya) in a prayer. During the festival, Shiva statues are covered in vermilion, and dance and music performances are held in honour of the god.
A festival of celebration and worship is the Luminaria Festival, which takes place in January and is celebrated by the Sinhala and Tamil communities. It marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In contrast, Vesak Poya commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Lord Buddha. Both of these festivals are held on December 25th, and are celebrated with loud firework displays and Avurudu music.
Easter is celebrated with great spirit and food. There are food stalls that offer free snacks. Locals exchange milk-rice, known as Kiribath, and a holy ceremony. People also exchange herbal oils with the elderly and bless children with special oils. Various religious activities take place during this holy time. The elderly are given new clothes in honor of the occasion. The festive atmosphere is accompanied by colorful costumes and music.
In addition to the above-mentioned festivals, there are also many traditional celebrations. In the Sinhalese community, the Easter festival is celebrated in April and the Tamils celebrate the festival in January. The celebrations are marked by the singing and dancing of a sacred relic. This is also the Hindu New Year. It is an important religious holiday, and the celebrations of this festival include the worship of the Buddha.
On the third day of the Chinese New Year, people celebrate the Chinese New Year. During this festival, families wear new clothes and exchange gifts with each other. There are many other activities that occur during this festival, including spectacular firework displays and homemade sweets. All of these activities make the event an unforgettable experience for visitors. The Easter celebrations in Sri Lanka are full of cultural events and are well worth planning. They give you the chance to experience the country's traditional culture.
The Sinhala and Tamil New Years are important anniversary dates that are celebrated by the local population. The new year is also the beginning of spring in the country, and the locals celebrate this important day in their lives. There are numerous festivals in Sri Lanka, so it is important to understand them before you visit the country. There are also several celebrations of the Buddha. In April, the Buddhists celebrate Deepavali and the Hindus celebrate Esala Perahera.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya is one of the most famous historical sites in Sri Lanka. Built by the ambitious King Kashyapa during the 5th century CE, Sigiriya is a rock fortress that is over 200 metres high. Its top plateau provides a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside. The king's palace is located on the upper plateau of the citadel. You can visit the remains of the palace and the fascinating frescoes.
The Polonnaruwa Kingdom was one of the most ancient and prosperous kingdoms in Sri Lanka. It ruled the island from the 10th century and built an elaborate capital and many monuments, especially in Buddhist architecture. Although Polonnaruwa was abandoned by the kingdom during the 17th century, the city's historical significance has not diminished. Today, the site is one of the most popular destinations for foreign tourists and is considered one of the most important historical sites in Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress is another historical site in Sri Lanka. It is said that the ancient king of the country spent 14 years at the site while the south Indians were invading the island. The rock fortress features incredibly detailed paintings, which still remain today. The walls were painted with natural colours and preserved in this state for future generations to see. The building is now a Buddhist temple. It is an important attraction for both local and foreign tourists.
The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in Sri Lanka you can grab amazing Sri Lankan Rupee deals via Wise.com (GBP to LKR).
The Sri Lankan elephant is one of the three types of Asian elephants. Sri Lankan leopards. Peacocks. Sri Lankan junglefowl. Grey hornbill. Sambar deer. Spotted deer. Water buffalo.
Tamil food? Sri Lanka's national dish is definitely rice and curry. Every meal that includes rice and curry is a hit to the senses and it can be different each time.
Several languages are spoken in Sri Lanka within the Indo-European, Dravidian and Austronesian families. Sri Lanka accords official status to Sinhala and Tamil. The languages spoken on the island nation are deeply influenced by the languages of neighbouring India, the Maldives and Malaysia. You can learn some basic Tamil before you travel to Sri Lanka and really impress the locals!
The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (Tipping is generally expected in Sri Lanka in all of the circumstances one might usually tip. In temples, you should leave money in donation boxes, particularly if you have been taken on a tour by a resident monk.).
What is the time difference?
The GMT time difference is 5.5 hours