Sri Lanka at a glance

Sri Lanka is a country lying off the southern tip of India and separated from peninsular India by the Palk Strait. It is located between latitudes 5°55′ and 9°51′ N and longitudes 79°41′ and 81°53′ E and has a maximum length of 432 km and a maximum width of 224 km.

Sri Lanka is known for its stunning natural beauty that attracts hundreds of thousands of travelers every year. Before touching down this paradise island in the tropics, know it at a glance.

Official Name:

SRI LANKA (The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka)

The National Flag

The National Flag symbolizes:

-The lion: the Sinhala race and the strength of the nation.
-The sword in the lion's hand: the sovereignty of the country.
-Curly hair on the lion's head: religious observance, wisdom and meditation.
-The beard of the lion: purity of words.
-The handle of the sword: three elements of water, fire and earth that the country is made with.
-The nose of the lion: intelligence.
-The two front paws of the lion: purity in handling wealth.
-The orange vertical stripe: the Tamil minority race.
-The green vertical stripe: the Muslim minority race.
- The Bo leaves at the four corners: Buddhism and its influence on the nation, and the four virtues of Buddhism: Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Altruistic Joy, and Equanimity.
-The yellow border round the flag: other minority races.
-The maroon coloured portion of the flag: the minor religions

The National Emblem

The emblem features a gold lion passant holding a sword in its right fore paw indicating the Sinhala Race. The centre on a maroon background surrounded by golden petals of a lotus indicates the sanctity of Sri Lanka. This is placed on the top of a vase which indicates the prosperity of the country, sheaves of rice grains that circle the border also reflecting the prosperity. The crest is the Dharmachakra that symbolizes the country's foremost place for Buddhism and the righteousness of the country and its people. The sun and moon at the bottom depict the eternity.

The National Bird

Sri Lanka Junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii)

A very colourful ground bird endemic to Sri Lanka occurring in most large patches of forest in all zones, but is more often heard than seen, Sri Lanka Junglefowl roosts high in trees at night and flies up to tree branches when threatened. It nests in hidden, scraped places on the ground or on pile of vegetation just off the ground.

The National Flower

Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea nouchali)

Blue Water Lily or "Nil Manel" which is found all over the island growing in the shallow water, was declared the National Flower of Sri Lanka on 26th February 1986. Blue water lily that occupies a pre-eminent position in the Buddhist literature, symbolizes virtue, discipline and purity.

The National Tree

"Na" (Mesua nagassarium)

The Ironwood or "Na" Tree was declared the National Tree of Sri Lanka on 26th February 1986.

Originating in Sri Lanka, its utility, historic and cultural importance, exterior posture, wide distribution, colour and nature, ability to draw and sketch it easily have led to select "Na" as the National Tree.

This rainforest tree grows up to about 30m high and is indigenous to the lower wet zone of the island. It has beautiful bright red leaves that finally mature into deep green. Na wood that was used to make bridges in the early times is very hard and durable. Na flower is also used in herbal medicine and preparation of perfumes, cosmetics and soaps. It is believed that Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka was to grove of Na trees at Mahiyangana and also the next Buddha (Maithriya) will attain enlightenment under a "Na" tree.


-Between latitudes 555' & 9o 55' and longitudes 79o 42' & 8152' (880 km north of the equator in the Indian Ocean)

-Maximum Length: 435 km (from Point Pedro to Dondra Head)

-Maximum Width: 225 km (from Colombo to Sangaman Mountain)

-Extent of Land in General: 62,705 km2

-Extent of Inland Waters: 2,905 km2

-Total Extent of Land: 65,610 km2

Legislative Capital:

Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte

Commerical Capital:


Currency (Code):

Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

Administrative Units

9 Provinces | 25 Districts | 160 Electorates | 256 AGA Divisions

Land & Sea Area (km2)

Land Area: 65,525 | Internal Waters: 1,570 | Historic Waters: 12,000 | Territorial Sea: 18,060 | Contiguous Zone: 19,620


04th February 1948


Typically tropical with northeast monsoon (December to March) adn southwest monsoon (June to October).


Annual Average Rainfall: 1675mm | Annual Average Rainy Days: 137 days


  oC (oF) Minimum) Mean oC (oF) Maximum oC (oF)
Low Country 24.40 (75.92) 28.05 (82.49) 31.70 (89.06)
Hill Country 17.10 (62.78) 21.47 (70.64) 26.30 (79.34)


Population:                      Population Density:

20,271,464 (2012)                    323 km2

Ethnic Groups

Sinhala (74.9%) | Sri Lankan Tamil (11.2%) | Indian Tamil (4.2%) | Sri Lankan Moor (9.2%) | Other (0.5%)

Religious Groups

Buddhist (70.2%) | Hindu (12.6%) | Islam (9.7%) | Roman Catholic (6.1%) | Other (1.4%)


Mostly low, flat to rolling plane with mountains in the south-central interior.

Time Zone:

Sri Lanka Standard Time (UTC/GMT + 5:30 Hours)

Mains Electricity:

230 Volts 50 Hertz | Plug/Socket Type: D


On The Left

International Dialling Code:


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