Sri Lanka is a small island with nicknames like Ceylon, Serendib, Teardrop of India, Island of Dharma, Pearl of the Orient, Resplendent Isle. Sri Lanka achieved its independence in 1948 from UK. Sri Lanka’s classical architecture, sculpture and painting are mostly Buddhist. There are several large Buddhas sculptures and stupas. The country is mainly renowned for its gems and Ratnapura is the centre of gem trade. Woodcarving, weaving, pottery and metalwork are all highly developed crafts. The major events held in the country includes various festivals of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim.

The Kandy Esala Perahera in July/ August celebrated with 10 days of torch-bearers, whip-crackers, dancers, drummers and elephants lit up like giant birthday cakes. Duruthu Perahera in January celebrates a visit by Buddha to Sri Lanka. National Day in February celebrated with parades, dances and national games, New Year in March/ April is celebrated with elephant races, coconut games and pillow fights, Vesak in May — a sacred full moon festival commemorating the birth, death and enlightenment of Buddha, the Hindu Vel festival in July/ August where the ceremonial chariot of Skanda, the God of War, is hauled between two temples and the Hindu Kataragama festival in July/ August where devotees put themselves through the whole gamut of ritual masochism.

The major attraction of the country is the National Museum which has a collection of Historical works and the Art Gallery which exhibits the portraits of the mosques of the city. Buddhist temples and Hindu temples are other major attractions. The Thuparama Dagoba — the oldest temple in Anuradhapura which is believed to contain the right collar-bone of Buddha. Dalada Maligawa — Temple of the Tooth which houses the sacred tooth of Buddha. The rock fortress of Sigiriya — a rock art gallery built in the fifth century AD is situated at 656ft high rock. There are water gardens, fifth century rock paintings, a 1000-year-old graffiti wall and a couple of enormous stone lion paws.

The cuisine of Sri Lanka is mainly rice and curry and usually include side dishes like vegetables, meat and fish. Sri Lankan snacks Hoppers are similar to a pancake which is served with egg or honey and yoghurt. Indian curries such as Kool — a boiled, fried and dried in the sun vegetable combo are also available. Plenty of tropical fruits, tea and beer are also available.