Ever since the very early days of travel, Sri Lanka has been known as one of the worlds most beautiful and diverse exotic holiday destinations. This is reflected in the many nicknames Sri Lanka has acquired over the centuries: Serendib (the origin of the word "serendipity"), Ceylon, Teardrop of India, Resplendent Isle, Island of Dharma, Pearl of the Indian Ocean; just to name a few.
Cities,palaces,parks and temples are witnesses of this early civilization. Over nearly 2,500 years, Buddhism in Sri Lanka has been saved in its purest form, and its ideals, peace and tolerance, have shaped the people and the life of this island. This amazing concept of quality, for which Sri Lanka is famous, is hidden in an over 65,000 sq km big island. In its scope to the entire length (1500 km) it is bordered by golden sandy beaches. This island paradise in the Indian Ocean enchants its visitors with the kilometer-long palm-fringed sandy beaches, forests, magnificent coral reefs and the unique fascinating life of its inhabitants.
The history of Sri Lanka dates back to prehistoric times. The oldest documented history begins around 380 BC. During this period, Anuradhapura became the first royal capital. In 1505 it was the Portuguese, who sat the first foot on Sri Lanka as Europeans. In 1656 the Dutch followed. In 1815 the kingdom was conquered by the British and their dominance was spread all over the island. The British colonial rule lasted until 1948, when Sri Lanka obtained independence.
All visitors of religious buildings should be dressed appropriately and respectfully. Conventional clothing is accepted which should be discreet and not too eccentric. Upon entering shrines and temples, the shoes must be taken off and caps or hats must be removed. In most religious building's photography is allowed, but before photographing you should ask for permission. It is strictly forbidden to be photographed with the stills.
However, Sri Lanka has more to offer than only holidays on white palm-fringed sandy beaches and perfect sunsets. Sri Lanka is famous for its fragrant spice gardens of cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg, clove, curry leaf trees. These spices are used medicinally as well as in the delicious Sri Lankan cuisine.