Colours, diversity and the special people

  • Everything is colourful! From the dazzling saris, to the lush green of the jungle, to the colourful Buddhist flags, the country is radiant.
  • Saris in the north of the island are even more colourful than in the south due to the Indian influence, as diverse and beautiful as it gets.
  • The different religions also make for colourful diversity, colours and styles.
  • The openness of Sri Lankans is amazing. You are smiled at and greeted in a friendly manner
  • Helpfulness is quite natural here. No matter what the problem is: no problem!

Sri Lanka: Country and people

Numbers, dates, facts:

  • Sri Lanka (from Sanskrit, meaning "Honourable Island") was formerly called Ceylon.
  • 65 525 km² in size (smaller than Bavaria)
  • North-south: 435 km; east-west: 225 km
  • Capital: Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte (near Colombo)
  • Population: approx. 20 million
  • Languages: Sinhalese and Tamil
  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)

Food, food and fruit

  • The traditional food: Rice & Curry.
  • Popular side dishes: dahl, potato curry, kankun, beans, fish or chicken and of course: papadam!
  • Dinner: Fried Rice.
  • Snacks: Rottis! In all forms with all kinds of fillings.
  • On special occasions and holidays, of course, all "Ammas" stand at the cooker and cook "Kiribath" (rice pudding) with sambol as a spicy side dish.
  • Of course, everything is eaten with the hands!
  • Coconuts: The refreshing juice is the best thirst quencher. The coconut flour and coconut milk are used in almost all dishes.
  • The coconut oil is useful in many ways anyway: be it in cooking or for damaged hair. Of course, the coconut gives us even more: toddy, a liquor made from the flowers. The coconut fibres are also used, for example to make mats, ropes or brushes.


  • In the 16th century, first the Portuguese, then the Dutch colonised the country.
  • In 1815, the country became part of the British Empire.
  • In 1948, the country was able to peacefully break away from Great Britain and gained independence.
  • Only since 1972 has the country been called "Sri Lanka", before that the name was "Ceylon"
  • The civil war between Tamil separatists and the Sinhalese military lasted 26 years (1983 - 2009). In 2009, the president officially declared the end of the war

Population and religion: Buddhists, Tamils and Muslims.

  • The largest population group is the Sinhalese with 75 %.
  • They speak the Indo-Aryan language "Sinhala" and are predominantly followers of Theravada Buddhism.
  • The proportion of Tamils is 17 % (divided into Sri Lankan Tamils 12 % and Indian Tamils 5 %).
  • They speak the Dravidian language "Tamil" and are predominantly followers of Hinduism.
  • 8 % of the population are Muslim Moors.

Economy, exports, imports:

Main export products:

  • Tea
  • Jewellery
  • Clothing
  • Cinnamon
  • Pepper
Main import products:
  • Petrol
  • cars
  • Household appliances
  • Technical appliances

Ayurveda: the teaching of long life

Ayurveda is the teaching of a healthy long life (ayur = healthy, long life; weda = knowledge).

  • Ancient healing method with a holistic view of the human being.
  • Originated over 2000 years ago in the Indian cultural area and still plays an important role in Sri Lanka's health system.
  • It is considered one of the first systematic healing methods in the world.
  • The human being in his or her individuality is at the centre of this healing method.
  • The aim of the Ayurveda cure: to let the bioenergy currents flow in harmony so that the person can stand "in himself" again.
  • The treatments are based on herbs, plants and oils.
  • The basic idea: the body is regulated by 3 factors (doshas): Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth), which correspond to the nervous, digestive and immune systems.
  • When doshas are out of balance, one becomes ill.

Cultural monuments and sacred places:

8 cities in Sri Lanka are on the "World Heritage List" according to Unesco.

  • Anuradhapura: numerous Buddhist monuments recall the political and religious past. For more than 1,300 years, the city was considered the centre and important metropolis for this purpose.
  • Polonaruwa: the second capital with impressive temple ruins.
  • Sigiriya: the climb to the rock fortress is rewarded with a breathtaking view.
  • Dambulla: here you will find an impressive rock temple.
  • Galle: the Dutch fort of Galle was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1988.
  • Kandy: the City of the Sacred Tooth was also inscribed in the same year.
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve: here are the last remnants of primary rainforest and an enormous amount of indigenous flora and fauna.
  • Hortons Plains, Knuckels Range, Peak Wilderness Sanctuary: due to their unique nature, these areas have been jointly declared worthy of protection as part of the Central Highlands.

Landscapes and regions:

  • West coast: with the railway line running parallel to the sea, individual destinations for bathing and relaxing can be easily reached.
  • You can find there: fishing romance, culture, Ayurveda and party.
  • The deep south: this part of the coast is known for its paradisiacal palm beaches and fishing romance.
  • You will find a wide variety, ranging from lagoon boat tours, surfing, whale watching and safaris to exciting sanctuaries and ceremonies.
  • The highlands: Mountain scenery, green tea fields and cooler air attract hiking enthusiasts.
  • The highlands also offer rustic accommodation and arguably the most beautiful railway line in Sri Lanka.

Locomotion, transport, logistics

Public transport:

  • Bus
  • Train
  • Tuk Tuk as taxi


  • Frequently scooters, motorbikes or TukTuks.
  • Cars are very rare in the village, more common in larger towns.
  • There is one highway from Colombo to Matara (about 140 km), which is mostly used by trucks for transporting goods. More motorways are planned for the future. More traffic lights are also to be installed on the main transport routes, as well as public car parks to make city traffic more efficient. Goods trains are also used for transport.
  • There are over 3500 road deaths a year, many from accidents involving buses.