Sri Lanka


Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte




Sinhala, Tamil

Time Zone:


Dialing Code:




Unitary presidential


65,610 km2

largest city:


Currency :

Sri Lankan rupee

ISO 3166 code:


Sri Lanka Flag

Basic Info

Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest.

Sri Lanka Location in World Map


Sri Lanka lies on the Indian tectonic plate, a minor plate within the Indo-Australian Plate. It is in the Indian Ocean southwest of the Bay of Bengal, between latitudes 5° and 10°N, and longitudes 79° and 82°E. Sri Lanka is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. According to the Hindu mythology, a land bridge existed between the Indian mainland and Sri Lanka. It now amounts to only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level. It was reportedly passable on foot up to 1480 AD, until cyclones deepened the channel.


Sri Lanka's climate can be described as tropical, and quite hot. Its position between 5 and 10 north latitude endows the country with year-round warm weather, moderated by ocean winds and considerable moisture. The mean temperature ranges from a low of 16 °C (60.8 °F) in Nuwara Eliya in the Central Highlands (where frost may occur for several days in the winter) to a high of 32 °C (89.6 °F) in Trincomalee on the northeast coast (where temperatures may reach 38 °C/100.4 °F). The average yearly temperature for the country as a whole ranges from 28 to 30 °C (82.4 to 86 °F). Day and night temperatures may vary by 4 °C (7.2 °F) to 7 °C (12.6 °F). January is the coolest month, especially in the highlands, where overnight temperatures may fall to 5 °C (41 °F). May, the hottest period, precedes the summer monsoon rains.


Sri Lanka's population practices a variety of religions. As of the 2011 census 67% of Sri Lankans are Theravada Buddhists, 18% are Hindus, 7.5% are muslims and 7.5% Christians. Sri Lanka was ranked the 3rd most religious country in the world by a 2008 Gallup poll, with 99% of Sri Lankans saying religion is an important part of their daily life

Administrative divisions

Provinces (Sinhala: පළාතTamil: மாகாணம்) have existed in Sri Lanka since the 19th century. But they didn't have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils following several decades of increasing demand for a decentralisation of the Government of Sri Lanka. The provincial council is an autonomous body and is not under any Ministry. It undertakes activities which had earlier been undertaken by the Central Government Ministries, Departments, Corporations and Statutory Authorities. But importantly, land and police authorities are not given to provincial councils in practice. Between 1988 and 2006, the Northern and Eastern provinces were temporarily merged to form the North-East Province. Prior to 1987, all administrative tasks were handled by a district-based civil service which had been in place since colonial times.

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