SRI LANKA: THE PEARL OF THE INDIAN OCEAN
Pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear blue seas, a reserved culture, rich history and welcoming locals – this is the picture that is painted when Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is mentioned.
However, this was not always the case for this teardrop-shaped island. For almost 30 years, it was plagued by civil war between the majority Sinhalese population and the minority Tamil population, which brought about a crippling effect on Sri Lanka’s tourism industry as numerous travel advisories were issued for travellers. But finally, in May 2009, the conflict ended, thus ushering in a ore peaceful era for this island paradise. The country is beginning to rebuild itself and has begun to try to boost its tourism industry.
As the popular saying goes, “seeing is believing”. Such words could not be truer when one tries to describe Sri Lanka’s ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. These cities, which have been dubbed the Cultural Triangle, rival even the magnificent Pyramids of Egypt. With a documented history of over 2,000 years, Sri Lanka holds seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites within her beautiful coastline. Six of these seven sites are surviving remnants of a culture so grand that even the historical pages of ancient Greece, Rome and China spoke of them.
The sacred and magical city of Anuradhapura, established in the 4th century B. C., rose to great importance with the introduction of Buddhism to the country. The city of Polonnaruwa,
on the other hand, showcases a history that one could only read about in fairy tales. The remains of the splendid Royal Palace and Council Chambers will have one’s imagination running back to the 12th century A. D., when kings and queens lived in lavish splendour.
The city of Dambull is home to cave temples, which feature remarkable masterpieces of Buddhist art. Murals depicting various scenes from Buddha’s life adorn the walls of these temples, and gilded statues of Buddha in various poses may also be found. The cave temples – the biggest of which spans over 50 metres in length – exude great spiritual energy and artistic splendour.
Sigiriya is located just north of Dambulla. This once great palace stronghold is considered by some to be one of the oldest tourist attractions in the world. Entering Sigiriya, one is greeted by a fresco of 21 bare-breasted damsels, who are said to represent celestial nymphs. About halfway in, giant lion’s paws are the only remnants of the original entrance, where visitors had to pass through the open mouth of the lion.
Aside from Sri Lanka’s rich history, tourists may soak up the sun at one of its many beaches along the coastline. From the beach resort of Negombo to the popular scuba diving location of Unawatuna, travellers will not run out of activities to do on this island. Tourists may also enjoy wildlife at its best at one of the many wildlife parks in the country, like Yala National Park.
Sri Lanka is a country where words do it no justice. One has to go there and experience the country in all its glory. Equipped with a stellar combination of scenery, culture, history and hospitable people, the country is opening its doors to tourists, and plans to keep it that way.
Look Asia Holidays saw the potential in developing Sri Lanka into a tourist market for its tourists from Russia and the CIS countries, in view of its tropical climate, the many natural resources it has to offer and its favourable currency exchange.
Over the many years that the CEO of Look Asia Holidays, Mr. Anwar Hussain, has been in the Russian and CIS markets, he has noted that his tourists favour destinations with a warm climate and peaceful beaches in which to relax, as well as those that are rich in culture and history. Having opened offices in Bali and Malaysia to provide tourists with what they want, Mr. Hussain decided to make the bold move of opening an office in Sri Lanka, which is headed by bright young minds, Yaseen Khan and Zabrin Zameer, both locals with a clear vision of putting Sri Lanka on the map as the destination to visit.
For more detail travel packages to Sri Lanka call or email to:
Look Asia Holidays Lanka Pvd Ltd
Telephone: (9411) 2584035
Fax: (9411) 2584045
Yaseen Khan – Managing Director
Oxana Kovalchuk – Russian Business Manager