Presentation on theme: "Introduction The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (known as Ceylon before 1972) is a tropical island nation off the southeast coast of the Indian."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (known as Ceylon before 1972) is a tropical island nation off the southeast coast of the Indian subcontinent. The island was known in ancient times as Lanka, Lankadeepa (Sanskrit for "resplendent land"), Simoundou, Taprobane (from the Sanskrit Tamaraparni), Serendib (from the Sanskrit Sinhala-dweepa), and Selan. During colonization, the island became known as Ceylon, a name still used on occasion. Its unique shape and proximity to the Indian mainland have led some to refer to the island as India's teardrop.
The History of Sri Lanka is usually taken to begin in the 6th century BC, when the Sinhalese people migrated into the island from India. Before the Sinhalese invasion the island was occupied by a people now known as Veddas,who are believed to be of Malay orgin. Some Vedda people still live in eastern Sri Lanka. The Sinhalese chronicle the Mahavamsa relates the landing of Vijaya, the first Sinhalese king, in 543 BC. The Sinhalese people are believed to have migrated from somewhere in northern India: they are not Dravidian like the peoples of neighbouring south India. The Sinhala language is related to Sanskrit, as is Hindi. The first Sri Lankan kingdom had its capital at Anuradhapura. In the third century BC the Sinhalese converted to Buddhism, and the island became a centre of Buddhist scholarship and missionary work. This set Sri Lanka apart from the Hindu culture of south India. Anuradhapura remained Sri Lanka's royal capital until the 8th century AD, when it was replaced by Polonnaruwa.Tamil people from India began to arrive in Sri Lanka as early as the 3rd century BC, and there were repeated wars between the Sinhalese and Indian invaders, and for much of the first millennium AD the island was controlled by various Tamil princes. The "golden age" of the Sri Lankan kingdom was in the 12th century, when the Sinhalese King Prakrama Bahu defeated the Tamils, united the whole island under his rule, and even invaded India and Burma. In the 15th century the island was attacked by China, and for 30 years the kings paid tribute to the Chinese emperor. Sri Lanka was known to the Greeks and to the Romans, who called it Taprobane. After the Arab conquest of the Middle East Arab traders frequently visited the island, and there has been an Arab community in Sri Lanka since the 10th century.The first Europeans to visit Sri Lanka in modern times were the Portuguese. The Portuguese founded Colombo in 1517 and gradually extended their control over the coastal areas. In 1592 the Sinhalese moved their capital to the inland city of Kandy, In 1602 the Dutch captain Joris Spilberg landed and the king at Kandy appealed to him for help in order to be released from Portuguese Rule.But it was not until 1638 that the Dutch attacked in earnest, and not until 1656 that Colombo fell. By 1660 the Dutch controlled the whole island except the kingdom of Kandy. A mixed Dutch-Sinhalese people known as Burghers are a legacy of Dutch rule. During the Napoleonic Wars the United Kingdom, fearing that French control of the Netherlands might deliver Sri Lanka to the French, occupied the island (which they called Ceylon) with little difficulty in 1796. In 1802 the island was formally ceded to Britain, and became a crown colony. In 1815 Kandy was occupied, finally ending Sri Lankan independence. A treaty in 1818 preserved the Kandyan monarchy as a British dependency. The British found that the uplands of Sri Lanka were very suited to tea, coffee and rubber cultivation, and by the mid 19th century Ceylon tea had become a staple of the British market, bringing great wealth to a small class of white tea planters.
Ecology Sri Lanka is the country with the highest species richness in the world and home to several forest ecoregions, whose flora and fauna is related to that of southern India. The southwest portion of the island, where the influence of the moisture-bearing southwest monsoon is strongest, is home to the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests. At higher elevations they transition to the Sri Lanka montane rain forests. Both these tropical moist forest ecoregions bear strong affinities to those of India's Western Ghats. The northern and eastern portions of the island are considerably drier, lying in the rain shadow of the central highlands.The Sri Lanka dry-zone dry evergreen forests are a tropical dry broadleaf forest ecoregion, which, like the neighboring East Deccan dry evergreen forests of India's Coromandel Coast, is characterized by evergreen trees, rather than the dry-season deciduous trees that predominate in most other tropical dry broadleaf forests. These forests have been largely cleared for agriculture, timber or grazing, and many of the dry evergreen forests have been degraded to thorn scrub, savanna, or thickets. Several preserves have been established to protect some of Sri Lanka's remaining natural areas. The island has three biosphere reserves, Hurulu (established 1977), Sinharaja (established 1978), and Kanneliya- Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya (KDN) (established 2004). Sri Lanka is a centre of bird endemism.
Colombo, Sri Lanka’s chief city and sea-port and until recently its capital, is a blend of old and new, east and west. It is a modern city, which has many reminders of its European colonial past. Bustling bazaars, Buddhist and Hindu Temples and Muslim Mosques contrast with high rises, smart modern Shopping Malls and multi- national chain hotels. Sightseeing highlights include the Colombo National and Dutch period museums, old and new parliament houses, the Dehiwala Zoo, Gangarama Buddhist Temple, Town Hall, and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. Apart from excellent shopping, Colombo offers visits to one of the worlds leading tea auctions, an 18 hole Golf Course, seasonal Buddhist and Hindu pageants, international cricket tournaments, plush casinos, enjoyable evening entertainment and excellent restaurants. State-of-the- Art communications and Cyber services are available in the hotels and other outlets. Good road and rail transport links are possible from Colombo to all tourist resorts. A number of cruise lines also call at the Colombo Port. The Pettah area, which is in the heart of the Colombo, is a beehive of activity.
Ahungalla Ahungalla is a small and serene traditional fishing village located on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka. The areas around Ahungalla are untouched by man and abound with fauna, flora and wildlife. Golden beaches stretch northwards up the coastline from Ahungalla, broken only by the mouths of rivers feeding into the sea. A boat ride through the mangrove swamps of Ahungalla is the perfect way to appreciate the local flora and fauna. Ahungalla’s close proximity to the mouth of the river on the shoreline offers locals an abundance of both river and sea fish. So as you would expect, the seafood here is exquisite.
Bentota Bentota lies at the finishing end of “The Golden Mile” which is an hours drive from Colombo. Famous for it’s prime beaches Bentota is today one of Sri Lanka’s most sought after tourist destinations. The town of Bentota actually, sits on an estuary, where the river and the sea meet. This makes the area quite famous for water sports like windsurfing, scuba diving & snorkeling
Beruwela The first recorded Muslim settlement of the island took place at Beruwala in 1024 AD. The Kechimalai Mosque on a headland in the town is said to be built on the site of the landing and is the focus of an annual religiousfeast. The drive down to Beruwala from Colombo is just one hour. The beaches extending from Beruwala to Bentota is known as the “Golden Mile”. The sunny beaches & the cool breeze brings about relaxation and offers leisure and recreational water sports facilities. In the vicinity of Beruwala lies the ancient “Kande Viharaya” which means Temple on the Mountain.
Hikkaduwa Hikkaduwa is a fishing village located 98 km away from Colombo and is the most popular of the beach centers in the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa is blessed with natural attractions of wide and sun kissed beaches and the crystal clear ocean. The attraction in Hikkaduwa is the magnificent coral gardens populated with turtles and exotic fish, snorkeling and scuba diving facilities offering the best to the water sports lovers. For the wildlife enthusiasts, a lake with many varieties of colourful birds is located in Hikkaduwa. Visitors can also take a safari down the Madhu River in Balapitiya, or witness the moon stone mines and cinnamon plantation in Meetiyagoda. Hikkaduwa is also a town of historical value, a short trip inland will bring you to the Gangarama Maha Vihara - a Buddhist temple which consists of many educational paintings
Kalutara Kalutara, 43 kilometers south of Colombo was once an important spice training center controlled by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Kalutara offers a stretch of sunny and pleasant beaches. Today it has a reputation for fine basketware. South of the Kaluganga bridge on the main road is the Gangatilaka Vihara, which has a hollow Dagaba and beautiful interior paintings. Thousands of devotees flock the temple daily & travelers proceeding downsouth never fail to drop in a few coins as an offering to the gods to provide them with journey mercies. Kalutara is also famous for the fleshy & juicy mangosteen fruit. The Kalutara Temple is synonymous with the city.
Koggala The southern beach resort of Koggala is located just 05 minutes away from Galle. Koggala is the birthplace of a very famous writer & novelist the late Mr. Martin Wickramasingha. And the most famous novel he wrote is “Madol Duwa” which revolves around a tiny island located in Koggala. It is actually this fact that has really put Koggala on the map. Koggala is also home to an interesting museum of southern folk art & culture, which contains hundreds of exhibits that attracts visitors all year round.
Mount Lavinia The town of Mount Lavinia is situated 30 minutes from the Colombo city limits. The famous landmark is the Mount Lavinia Hotel. The Hotel was originally the weekend abode for the former governor of Sri Lanka, the late Sir Thomas Maitland during Colonial times. It is today considered the most romantic and serene relaxation hotel in Sri Lanka. The hotel overlooks the bay of Mount Lavinia and offers a breath-taking view of the Colombo skyline by night. The Mt. Lavinia beach is probably the most famous beach in Colombo and is a popular place for the Colombo city dwellers to relax and enjoy their evenings and weekends.
Negombo Negombo is a famous village North of Colombo, With Dutch build canal. The canal itself is a hive of activity with fisherman traveling up and down in their gaily-painted boats. On the shores of the canal you will find many homes and many species of birds including spectacular kingfishers. Catamaran trips in the sea and boat trips in canal can be organized. From November to April, Diving facilities are available in this quaint village. The streets on either side of the hotels are dotted with souvenir shops, Restaurants etc. For scuba divers in Negombo is a good place. Diving equipment could be hired with the service of “PADI” dive masters, For diving to beautiful Coral Reefs where beautiful fish is found.
Trincomalee Little visited in recent years, the atmospheric city of Trincomalee is set amongst miles of golden-sand beaches, where visitors are few and a warm welcome is assured. Located on one of the world’s best natural harbors, the city was disputed by Dutch, Portuguese and British powers, and was the headquarters for the Allied forces in World War II. Now it is one of Sri Lanka’s most pristine tourist destinations, with Buddhist and Hindu Temples set alongside churches and mosques. In the agricultural hinterland rice is the major crop while around the coast undeveloped, palm-fringed beaches are perfect for swimming and scuba diving from May to October. Trincomalee can be reached in a few hours from the Cultural Triangle by road via Habarana.
Dunhinda Closer to the end of the Ramboda Range of mountains lies the Mulhalkelle valley, through which the "Kurundu Oya" flows. This stream, which flows across the Kandy - Ragalla Road has given birth to the beautiful Kurundu Oya Falls.
Knuckles The Knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness Area or the Knuckles Mountain Range is a mountain range that covers an area of 155 sq km. The forest contains five major Forest formations and includes a wide variety of uncommon and endemic fauna & flora. The knuckles is a mountain range with fascinating and out of this world mountain scenery. A number of large mammals like Elephants, Leopards, Sambhur, Deer, a large numbers of reptiles, birds and fishes etc. are found in abundance at the knuckles range. Out of the many endemic birds and reptile species, the Blotched Filamented Barb & Martins tine Barb (Fish), Tenant's Horned Lizard, and the Marbled Cliff Frog are endemic to this mountain range.
Nuwara Eliya “The City of Light” was the favorite hill station of the British, a scenic town 2500 m above sea level surrounded by misty mountain ranges, pine forests and tea cultivations. Nuwara Eliya has a much cooler climate, which is in stark contrast to the tropical climate experienced in other parts of the island. This is probably why Nuwara Eliya is also known as ‘Little England’. The areas around Nuwara Eliya also provide the main output of tea in Sri Lanka. A trip to the highlands of Sri Lanka is never complete without witnessing the age-old traditional tea plucking and sipping a cup of “Ceylon Tea”. Visitors to Nuwara Eliya can also taste the freshly plucked strawberries and purchase fresh fruit and vegetables. Nuwara Eliya has a fair assortment of British Country style houses and an 18 hole Golf Course, which is a real beauty with its scenic location considered to be one of the finest in Asia and a picturesque Race Course where horse races are held.
Ramboda The "Puna Ela" is one of the principal branches of the mighty Mahaweli River. The Water leap of the Puna Ela is referred to as the Ramboda waterfall. The Ramboda falls is a gigantic waterfall, which is divided into 03 parts.
Ravana Falls Given birth to by the hills of the Uva region, the famous Ravana Falls drops abruptly from the rim of a mountain. Legend has evidence that the mighty King Rawana after capturing Sita the beautiful wife of Prince Rama held her hostage in this area. Sita was supposed to have bathed in the cool and refreshing waters of the pools created by the Ravana Falls.
Attidiya The Attidiya-Bellanwila Bird Sanctuary is a 30 minutes drive from Colombo city limits. The sanctuary features the painted stork, purple coot, black and yellow bitterns, little cormorant, darter, cinnamon, asian openbill, lesser whistling duck, black-headed and glossy ibises, white-breasted waterhen, moorhen, purple swamphen, stork-billed and white- breasted kingfishers, rusty-rumped warbler and many more. In fact, more than 150 species of birds have been spotted here.
Bundala The Bundala National Park is a nature reserve situated in the South East of Sri Lanka. This secluded reserve is renowned for its herds of wild Elephants. The vast jungle areas of the Bundala National Park allow these majestic creatures to roam in their natural surroundings, away from human influence. Hundreds of interesting species of birds, amphibians and reptiles also live within the boundaries of the Bundala National Park an ideal location for nature lovers.
Debara Ara If you wish to explore natures enclosed beauty this is the ideal safari for you. A unique adventurous safari is conducted exclusively by Tasks and only recommended for the physically fit. Your safari begins when you enter Debara Ara jungle by Jeep. You then have to trek by foot deep into the jungle. As you proceed, you will encounter elephants, bear, wild boar, wild buffalo, jackal and numerous exotic birds.
Ella The Ella adventure Park offers exciting opportunities for adventure seekers. At the adventure park you will walk down the main road and hike through a thick forests till you come to a vertical rock face where you will be guided down to the bottom of the rock using a rope. Enjoy a refreshing cup of pure Ceylon tea as you relax by the river. After tea, get lost in a world of your own as you enjoy the evening gazing at the stars. The bird watching trail at the Ella Adventure Park lasts approximately 45 minutes. Another attraction at the Ella Adventure Park includes a hike towards the Diyaluma Falls. You can also enjoy a cool and refreshing river bath at a natural pool or Canoe across to Handapanagala tank to view the elephants.
Gilimale Gilimale Forest is a low-lying wet zone forest that is adjacent with the peak wilderness sanctuary. Bird life enthusiasts visiting the Gilimale forest are bound to see birds such as layards parakeet, ceylon blue magpie, red- faced malkoha, imperial wood pigeon, hanging parrot, chestnut backed owlet, yellow fronted barbet, black capped bulbul, spot winged thrush, brown caped babbler, orange billed babbler, ceylon hill munia, sri lanka myna, white faced starking, legge's flowerpecker and many more species of birds.
Hakgala The 2nd hill country botanic gardens after Peradeniya Gardens. Which was originally a plantation of Cinchona from which the anti-malarial drug quinine was found and later used for experiments in acclimatizing temperate-zone plants to life in the tropics, and were run by the same family for three generations, up to the 1940. Hakgala Botanical Gardens is located 10 km away from the town of Nuwara Eliya. Your trip to Nuwara Eliya is not complete without a visit to the Hakgala Gardens mainly because the site is legendary. It was once the pleasure garden of Ravana of the Ramayana epic and according to many, it was one of the places where the beautiful Sitha was hidden by the demon King Ravana. The present botanic gardens were founded in 1860 by the eminent British botanist Dr. G.H.K. Thwaites who was superintendent of the Peradeniya Gardens. The Garden consists of an outstanding collection of fauna and flora.
Horton Plains The Horton plains form an undulating plateau over 2000 meters high, which consists mainly of grasslands interspersed with patches of forest, with some unusual high-altitude vegetation. The plains are more often than not, visible only before 10.00am due to the heavy mist, which engulfs the area. The most unique feature of the Horton Plains is the "World's End". This is a sheer 1,000 feet vertical escarpment which visitors throng to see. The Horton Plains was once the hunting ground for Mr. Farr, a former British Governor which is today home to rare species of fauna and flora.
Kalametiya The Kalametiya Bird Park is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest Bird Sanctuaries. The sanctuary is a wetland with two salty lagoons, mangrove swamps and open areas with pockets of scrub jungles. The Park is a very important site for migrant shorebird and is quite famous for its flamingoes, Black Capped Purple Kingfisher and many other migratory birds. Birds such as the Asian Open Bill, Eurasian Spoonbill, Purple Swamp Hen Glossy Ibis, Common Snipe, and Black Winged Stilt are also quite frequently seen at the Kalametiya Bird Park.
Kithulgala Kelani Valley Forest Reserve (Kitulgala) is an ideal venue for Bird watching. Watch out for the ceylon blue magpie, racket tailed drongo, stork billed kingfisher, white breasted, king fisher, three toed kingfisher, green billed coucal, ceylon gray horn bill, red-faced malkoha, yellow fronted barbet, and the ceylon spur fowl which are a few of the birds that feature at the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve.
Maduru Oya Maduru Oya is rich in ancient ruins, which have been found in different places, and its southern area provides the Veddha tribes their living environment. Endemic purple monkey is among the important animal species that can be seen in addition to Sambhur, a member of the cat family etc. There is some endemic avifauna also found within this Park.
Minneriya The Muthurajawela marshes is situated approximately 40 minutes away from Colombo on the Colombo- Negombo highway which is rich in plant and animal life. The area is home to around 40% of the vertebrae species of Sri Lanka and mammals such as the Fruit Bat, Slender Lorris, Otter, Fishing Cat and Mouse Deer. Hundreds of beautiful butterflies and multi- colored dragonflies abound here making it a nature lover's delight. The Muthurajawela Wetland Conservation Project Visitors' Center is the place to visit in order to experience the delights that the marshy land has to offer. A boat trip conducted by this center is the ideal way of exploring the marshes. A well-informed guide employed and trained by the center accompanies each boat ride.
Muthurajawela Situated in the Polonnaruwa district in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka the Minneriya National Park covers an area of 8,889 hectares. Hundreds of animal and plant species are found in the Minneriya National Park. This includes Deer, Sambhurs, Donkeys, Monkeys, Mongoose, Leopard, Bats and reptiles like Crocodiles, Pythons, and Monitors. Around 160 species of birds, 09 amphibians, 25 reptile species, 26 fish species and more than 78 butterfly species have been found in the Minneriya National Park. The Minneriya National Park also consists of wet lands, which have global significance.
Peradeniya The Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya is 06 kms from Kandy, the magnificent river girdled 57 hectare laid out in 1832 are among the finest in the world. Its treasures of tropical flora include fine collections of orchids, aromatic spices, medicinal herbs, palms and rare endangered plant species. These gardens were the naturally camouflaged operations headquarters of SEAC Supreme Allied Commander, Lord Louis Mountbatten during the 2nd World War.
Pinnawela Near Kegalle on the Colombo Kandy road is the Pinnawela Elephant orphanage, a riverside sanctuary which cares for elephants displaced from wild habitats. The orphanage is home to hundreds of abandoned or injured elephants who are looked after with warmth, love and affection. The elephants at the orphanage are bathed daily in a river located nearby.
Sepala Wewa There's nothing better for bird life enthusiasts than taking the early morning nature hike to Sepala Wewa. The bird watching is done through a typical Sri Lankan native village. This enables the guest to have a first class experience and taste the true flavor of Sri Lankan village life as well. All this happens simultaneously, as they feast their eyes on colorful tropical bird life. This is a one off experience, which can only be viewed at Sepala Wewa.
Sinharaja Sri Lanka's tropical rain forest the Sinharaja is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. The Sinharaja forest, which is situated 30 km from Galle, covers an area of 8900 hectares, and is in fact one of the few virgin forests left in the world. The forest covers a series of mountains and ridges rising abruptly from 90m to 1170m above mean sea level. The Sinharaja forest includes streams, springs, rivers, waterfalls, and is home to leopards, deer, monkeys, butterflies and a variety of trees, shrubs and medicinal herbs are also found within the forest. The Sinharaja forest is unique because it is the only location in Sri Lanka where the altitude changes within one kilometer in an area measuring 01 km from east to west. This factor has contributed to the amazing variety of species of fauna and flora. The largest mammal inhabiting the Sinharaja forest is the Leopard, which is very rarely spotted, also very rarely spotted are the rusty spotted and wild fishing cats. Sambhur, Deer, Wild Boar and Langur Monkeys are much more commonly seen at the Sinharaja forest with 20 species of birds and 45 species of reptiles.
Udawalawe The Uda-Walawe National Park is situated in & around the Uda-Walawe Reservoir in South central Sri Lanka. Herds of wild elephants roam the banks of the reservoir while small game like deer or barking deer are spotted regularly as well.
Udawattekele The Udawattekele Sanctuary is an area of rainforest rich in species that have still been protected. The sanctuary consists of 160 acres of tropical rain forest and provides home for flora, fauna, birds and monkeys. Some of the birds that inhabit the Udawattekele Sanctuary are the Layards Parakeet, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Yellow Fronted and Ceylon Small Barbets, Black Capped Bul Bul, Brown Capped Babbler, Emerald Dove and many more.
Vavulpane Vavulpane is renowned for the magnificent cavern which lies secluded in the Ratnapura district about 280 meters above sea level. This geological phenomenon consists of 12 caves of different sizes, streams and a waterfall. The water within this cavern is believed to cure the skin ailments of anyone who bathes in it since it contains a high percentage of Calcium Carbonate and Iron Hydroxide. The main cave at Vavulpane is about 457 meters in length, 09 meters in breadth and 4.2 meters in height. The crystallized limestone formations in these caves, which have been formed by sea creatures proving that these formations were once part of a prehistoric sea bed. In fact, Vavulpane is the only place in the world where mince and crystallized formations are found in close to each other. After careful studying, scientists have confirmed the age of these caverns to be more than 500 million years old. These caves at Vavulpane are also home to 25 species of Bats.
Wanawagawa The zone jungles of Wanawagawa provide all adventure seekers a Night Safari not to be missed. You can climb a rock outcrop and sit around a bonfire enjoying a drink while dinner/snacks are prepared on the rock itself. Wanawagawa is a place of unbelievable tranquility and beauty. If you are lucky enough you just might be able to see a few creatures of the night gently walking beneath the rock and drinking water from the natural pools in the rock itself.
Wasgamuwa WASGAMUWA NATIONAL PARK located in the districts of Matale and Polonnaruwa and bordered by the 'Mahaweli' and 'Amban' rivers, stretches an impressive 36,948 hectares. It was declared a National park in 1984, making it the only one in the Central Province. Home to a huge variety of flora and fauna (23 species of mammal - including elephants and bears, 143 birds, 8 amphibians, 17 fresh water fishes, 17 reptiles, 50 butterflies and 150 plants), this park is truly a paradise for the nature lover. With many small scale ancient tanks and several other ruins and ancient religious sites the park also has significant historical importance. For keen hikers, it is also home to the 'Sudu Kanda' mountain range (about 470m above sea level).
Wirawila The Wirawila Bird Sanctuary is located about 10 miles beyond Bundala. The Sanctuary comprises of two tanks Wirawila and Tissa. Many aquatic species of birds and several jungle types including hornbills make their homes here.
Yala The Yala National Park is situated in the South East of Sri Lanka and offers wildlife enthusiasts an approach of lifetime to see wild boar, deer, leopards, crocodiles, monkeys in their natural surroundings. But the Yala National Park is renowned more for its elephant safaris than anything else. Visitors flock to see the herds & herds of these majestic creatures moving around freely, totally ignorant to the happenings of the outside world.