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Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (known as Ceylon before 1952) is a predominantly Buddhist island nation in South Asia, located about 31 kilometres (18 mi) off the southern coast of India. It is often popularly referred to as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. It is home to more than 20 million people.

A strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia, Sri Lanka has been an ancient centre of Buddhist religion and culture. Significant numbers of people also adhere to Hindu, Christianity, Islam and indigenous religions. Sinhalese people form a majority of the population (74%), which also consists of smaller communities of Tamil, Muslims, Burghers and indigenous peoples. Famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, rubber and coconuts, Sri Lanka also boasts a progressive and modern industrial economy. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka's tropical forests, beaches and landscape and rich cultural heritage make it a famous destination for tourists worldwide.

After over a thousand years of rule by independent kingdoms, Sri Lanka was colonised by Portugal and the Dutch before passing to the control of the British Empire.During World War II it served as an important base in the fight against the Japanese. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century to obtain political independence, which was granted in 1948. Although it enjoyed a stable period of democracy and economic progress, the nation has been torn by a bloody civil war between the Sinhalese-dominated government and Tamil separatists led by the LTTE who demand an independent Tamil state in northeastern Sri Lanka. Tsunamis caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake devastated the southern and north-eastern part of the nation, causing the deaths and displacement of a large segment of the population.

The island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean, to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. It is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. According to Hindu mythology, a land bridge to the Indian mainland, known as Rama's Bridge, was constructed during the time of Rama by the vanara architect Nala. Often referred to as Adam's Bridge, it now amounts to only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level. According to temple records, this natural causeway was formerly complete, but was breached by a violent storm (probably a cyclone) in 1480. The width of the Palk Strait is small enough for the coast of Sri Lanka to be visible from the furthest point near the Indian town of Rameswaram. The pear-shaped island consists mostly of flat-to-rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising only in the south-central part. Amongst these are Sri Pada and the highest point Pidurutalagala (also known as Mt Pedro), at 2,524 meters (8,281 ft). The Mahaweli ganga (Mahaweli river) and other major rivers provide fresh water.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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eBookers - Cheap Flights, Hotels, Airline Tickets, Car Hire and Holiday Packages in Sri Lanka
Hayes and Jarvis - Hayes & Jarvis has been creating award-winning specialist long haul holidays for travellers for more than 50 years. It now operates to more than 50 worldwide destinations ATOL (No 1275), ABTA (No V1464)
Thomas Cook - Cheap Family holidays & last minute deals
Kuoni Travel - Kuoni Travel are Britain's best known longhaul luxury holiday tour operator offering a wide range of tailormade holiday types in over 65 countries. From 3* to luxury, cruises to safaris, scuba diving to skiing and luxury spas to escorted tours.
Expedia - Book cheap package holidays, luxury holidays and last minute holidays today.
British Airways Holidays - For individual, couples or family holidays.
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Singapore Airlines - One of the world's leading carriers in Asia and Sri Lanka.

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