Sri Lanka is situated in the Indian subcontinent. This island nation of South Asia was called as Ceylon till 1972. The country is encircled by Indian Ocean, Palk Strait, Gulf of Mannar and the country lies near to Maldives and India. Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka is separated by Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar. The human settlements of Paleolithic age have been excavated in plenty of cave sites. According to Anthropologists, certain artifacts and burial rites of the first settlers of Sri Lanka and early settlers of South India have similarities. References of Sri Lanka can be found in Ramayana which is an Indian epic.
Sri Lanka is a socialist democratic republic and government comprises of both parliamentary system and presidential system. President is the head of the state, head of the government and commander-in-chief of Sri Lanka. Prime Minister is the deputy of the president with several executive powers especially in domestic affairs. Prime Minister is the leader of ruling party. Sri Lanka became the plantation economy of 19th century and 20th century and the economy was based on rubber, cinnamon and Ceylon tea. From 1977 onwards, the promotion of private organization, privatization and deregulation started. Even though agricultural products have importance, the country is more dependent on industrialized economy now.
The population of Sri Lanka is 20,238,000 to become the 53rd most populous country of the world. Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka and the density of population is more in capital. The largest ethnicity in the country is Sinhalese people which comprise about 81.9% of the population. The second largest ethnicity of the island nation is the Sri Lankan Tamils. The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhalese language and Tamil. English is also used in scientific, education and commercial purposes. Other languages spoken are Portuguese Creole, Dutch and Malay. Sri Lanka has a multi-religious population in which 70% of the people are following Buddhism. Other religions found are Hinduism, Islam and Zoroastrian.
There are amazing tourist destinations in Sri Lanka such as Buddhist temples, monasteries, Buddhist stupas, Hindu temples, forts, remains of civilizations and ancient dynasties. Some of the popular tourist spots of Sri Lanka are Jaffna, Galle, Kandy, Matara, Galle, Colombo and Beregala. Colombo is the financial center and commercial hub of the nation with places of tourist interests like Fort Clock Tower, Independence Hall, Mt. Lavinia Beach, Gangaramaya Temple, Dehiwala zoo and Dutch Period Museum.
Another great tourist spots of Sri Lanka are the ancient cities such as Mihintale, Dambula, Aluvihara, Sigiriya and Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura is ancient capital of the country and all these ancient cities have several historical buildings and monuments will entertain the tourists as well as provide the knowledge about the history of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan beaches are also famous and you can find innumerable numbers of sandy beaches. Some of the well known beaches of Sri Lanka are Hikkaduwa, Bentota, Beruwela, Mount Lavinia, Negombo, Galle, Arugam Bay and Kalutara. Some of the must see natural spots of Sri Lanka are Kirindi Oya Falls, Diyaluma Falls, Bopath Falls, Devon Falls, Rawana Falls, Laxapana Falls, Nawarathna Falls, Elgin Fall and St. Claire Falls.