Foreign visitors as well as residents, will the suggested wildlife itineraries and the recommended reading useful.
Sri Lanka can claim to be one of the world’s best nature destinations. Some of the key factors are the island’s bio-diversity, the availability of field guide type literature, the presence of specialist guides and specialist tour operators, a mature tourism industry with a broad range of accommodation and other facilities for tourists and a good network of roads and reserves.
Despite its modest size—slightly larger than the state of West Virginia—Sri Lanka has a population of about 20 million people, almost equal to the population of Texas.
The island is rich in natural resources, and has a diverse economy based on agriculture, mining, fishing, manufacturing, and tourism.
Combined with an active nightlife, many tourists come to Hikkaduwa for water sports such as surfing, boogie-boarding, snorkelling and scuba diving.
Kite-surfing and wind-surfing are also growing in popularity.100 km from Bandaranaike International Airport, Hikkaduwa is accessible by train and bus and is central to many of the other wonderful tourist destinations in Sri Lanka.
The Ancient Period About 2600 years ago, migrants from northern India, the ancestors of today’s Sinhalese people, arrived in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist kingdoms of Sri Lanka were related by language and culture to the classic states of northern India, such as the Maurya (324-187 B. One ancient capital, Anuradhapura, was home to some of the largest and most impressive Buddhist temples of southern Asia.
The Sinhalese were among the earliest people outside northern India to adopt the Buddhist religion, which they did around 300 B. The ruler of another Sri Lankan state, King Kasyapa (r.
473-491) made his capital at Sigiriya, a natural rock fortress rising a sheer 500 feet above the surrounding plain, on top of which the king built an elegant city of palaces and gardens.
King Kysapa and other Sri Lankan kings had to deal with occasional invasions from Tamil Nadu, in southern India, which increased in frequency and severity after around 600 C. Sri Lanka struggled, not always successfully, to remain independent of the great Chola Empire that dominated southern India from about 850 to 1279 C. A Tamil kingdom was established on the Jaffa Peninsula, in the northern part of Sri Lanka, by the early 13 th century.