The beauty and allure of Sri Lanka, famed for its grace and charm since the beginnings of time, is witnessed by the many names that have been applied to the island over the centuries – ‘Pearl of the Orient’, ‘The Fairest Isle’, even ‘Serenedib’, from which we gain the word serendipity.
This ‘Tear Drop’ of an island lying off the south coast of India rejoices in an abundance of natural beauty, a very diverse landscape, rich agricultural produce, a variety of wildlife in natural parks and ancient Buddhist traditions. Despite the advance of a modern economy in recent years, the ancient Buddhist practises remain firmly in place and continue to be a strong theme throughout daily Sri Lankan life. The island boasts in all an amazing eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
From the tea plantations of the higher hills to the palm-fringed sandy beaches, Sri Lanka is a true tropical paradise. The country is home to a number of National Parks that are not only very picturesque but also rate very highly on the biodiversity scale. Elephant are aplenty and leopard are thriving here too. There is a vast array of wildlife to be found, including numerous tropical birds everywhere.
In the hills of the interior lie the bands of terraced hills where the island’s most famous export, tea, continues to grow in abundance. Lush estates, still worked by hand, sit in perfect climatic conditions, where rain and sunshine are in equal measure. The whole region is connected by a charming train service climbing from the capital Colombo, and passing the lakeside pilgrimage citadel of Kandy. The most scenic part of this journey is certainly up into the highlands of the tea growing region and is a very worthwhile experience and highly atmospheric.
Add to all this fulsome richness a charming, warm and hospitable people and Sri Lanka, Pearl of the Orient, will utterly win you over.
Please contact your Destination Specialist for more information on +44 (0) 1993 824198
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Sri Lanka is a land of many festivals, all governed by the sonar and lunar calendar and therefore it is not possible to determine always exact dates a long time in advance. On Poya (full moon) Days there is always a holiday day and alcohol is not supposed to be served, although in hotels and private accommodation this can be possible for foreigners in a subtle fashion.
January - Galle Fort Literary Festival
January - Duruthu Perahera in Colombo - January Full Moon
January -Thai Pongal - a Hindu winter-harvest festival honouring the sun god Surya
February - Independence Day is celebrated on the 4th February all over the country
March - Navam Perahera in Colombo - held on February Poya Day
March - Hot Air Balloon Festival over Colombo, Sigiriya & Hambantota
February / March - Maha Sivarathri - the Hindu Festival commemorating the marriage of Shiva to Parvati with all-night vigils and more
April - Sinhalese and Tamil New Year Festival with celebrations held throughout the island symbolizing prosperity and ethnic harmony in the country
May - Vesak Poya - celebrating the triple anniversary of Lord Buddha and marking the first month of the Buddhist Calendar
June - Poson Poya - marking the birth of Buddhism in Sri Lanka
July - Hikkaduwa Beach Festival - Fun activities and music on the beach in Hikkaduwa
July or August - Esala Perahera in Kandy and Kataragama’s Esala festivities
July and August - Nallur Festival in Jaffna a Hindu festival which occurs over 25 days
August and September - The peak of the Elephant Gathering in Minneriya National Park
October - European Film Festival in Colombo
October or November - Deepavali - Hindu Festival of Lights
December - Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day celebrating the arrival of the Bo tree sapling in Anuradhapura, brought by Ashoka's daughter, Sangamitta
December - mid April - Adam’s Peak Pilgrimage months
The area known as the Cultural Triangle encompasses Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa...
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