Sri Lanka Commonwealth Walkway

Sri Lanka / Asia

SRI LANKA Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean, separated from India by the narrow Palk Strait.  It was called Ceylon until 1972.  It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.  There is evidence of prehistoric human settlements dating back 125,000 years and its documented history dates back 3,000 years.  Sri Lanka’s distinctive civilisation that dates back to the 6th century BCE, has cultural interaction with India, Asia and Ancient Greece.  The inclusion of all these cultures makes this island unique.  It has had a number of different names.  The Portuguese called it Ceilão in 1505.  This became Ceylon when it was a British Crown Colony.  It became independent as the Dominion of Ceylon in 1948, after nearly 150 years of British rule.  Ceylon (as it then was) became an independent country and was admitted to the United Nations seven years later. The country is a member of the Commonwealth and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.  Capital The current capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.  In the past, the national capital has been in many other locations.  Since independence in 1948, the capital has remained Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, which is located in the southwestern part of the country, about 5 miles southeast of the commercial capital of Colombo, of which it was once a suburb.  An urban council governs Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and the neighbouring town of Nugegoda.  Despite the city’s urban character, it contains a number of rice paddies and plantations. Fun Facts
  • Sri Lanka has two names by which it is known. The first is ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’, said to be named after its incredible beauty and varied biodiversity.  The second, the ‘teardrop of India’, due to its perfect teardrop shape and being off the coast of India.
  • It is common for people to ‘waggle’ their heads from side to side. This means yes.
  • Adam’s Peak is the most sacred mountain in the country. Pilgrims from all over the world climb to its peak by candlelight to stand in the famous footprint left there. Buddhists believe that it is the footprint of Buddha when he visited Sri Lanka. 
  • Cricket is not the national sport of Sri Lanka.  Volleyball is.

8.2 miles / 13.2 kilometres

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