Sri Lanka is an island country located in South Asia. The country was known as Ceylon in the past until its name was officially changed to Sri Lanka, or Resplendent Island, in 1972. The country shares maritime borders with Maldives towards the southwest and India to the northwest. Bay of Bengal is located northeast of the island. The area where is Sri Lanka located is in the Indian Ocean. It is divided into nine provinces that are further sub-divided into twenty-five districts. The island consists of coastal plains with rising majestic mountains towards the south central part of the country. Pidurutalagala is the highest mountain in the country that rises about 8,281 ft.
You can find a great number of interesting and exiting places to visit in Sri Lanka. About 103 rivers flow in various part of the country. Longest of the rivers is the Mahaweli river that contains about 51 waterfalls having heights of above 10 m. The highest waterfall in the region is the Bambarakanda Falls that have a height of about 836 feet. The place where is Sri Lanka located has one of the richest bio diversity in Asia. The government has taken various steps to protect the natural wildlife in the area through formation of natural parks and reserves. The most popular among them are Yala and Wilpattu National Parks that are located to the southeast and northwest of the country, respectively. In these parks you can find deer, elephants, peacocks, pelicans, storks, spoonbills, and ibis.
The island country also contains 4 biosphere reserves: Hulu, Bandala, Sinharaja, and Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya. These reserves are home to a wide variety of wildlife including green billed coucal, red faced malkoha, and blue magpie.
Apart from natural parks and reserves, Sri Lanka is also famous for its pristine beaches that serve as the perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, diving, or just relaxing under the sun. A number of attractive beaches are located near Colombo, which is the capital city of the island country, in the towns of Negombo, Kalutara, Beruwala, and Bentota. Other well known beach areas in the country include Weligama, Polhena, Mirissa, Tangalle, Koggala, and Kalkuda.
There are various historical places to visit in Sri Lanka as well. Ruwanwalisaya Anuradapura is famous for its well preserved ancient ruins dating back to the 4th century BC. The city served as capital city of Sri Lanka until the 1100s. It is considered one of the most sacred Buddhist site containing different masteries. Other historical sites that visitors can explore in the country include the Anuradhapura, Gal Vihara, Kiri Vihara, and Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
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