Sri Lanka is often an overlooked nation despite its size and is generally not perceived as a hidden gem of the sub-continent. Despite the claims, Sri Lanka has a lot to offer to tourists ranging from its delicious food to its ancient history, pristine beaches and wildlife. In this series we shall be exploring some of the 11 cool facts which you probably weren’t aware about Sri Lanka.
1. National Sport
Although Sri Lanka has an amazing cricket team and have played for many international matches globally for many decades, the national sport of the country is actually Volleyball.
Sri Lanka is one of the world’s exporter in the tea industry and has produced millions of tons of high grown tea, black tea, green tea and white tea over the decades. A visit to the local tea factory and tasting the different varieties of tea is a every tourist’s dream.
Sri Lanka is home to over a hundred different waterfalls, and due to its abundance one of the major sources of electricity in the country is powered by hydro-electric sources.
Cinnamon is one of the spices which initially originated in Sri Lanka after being discovered by the Egyptians. It’s still produced in the country and has Sri Lanka cinnamon has been recognized amongst the highest-grade spice in the world.
Kandy was an ancient Kingdom and in it is one of the biggest temples in the country where a tooth of the Buddha has been preserved under its roof. The temple where this could be found is known as the Dalada Maligawa and the tooth is taken out for the public to see only once a year during the annual festival.
6. First female Prime Minister in the world
Sri Lanka was the first country in the World to democratically appoint a female head of state for the position of Prime Minister in the early 90s.
7. Sweet pineapples
Pineapples grown in Sri Lanka are well known for its sweet taste and could be found in many road side vendors and stalls across the country. Many street food vendors sell pineapple slices mixed in a mixture of chilli and salt for added flavor.
8. Oldest tree in the world
Sri Lanka has probably one of the oldest trees in the world accounting to around 2300 years! It’s said that the tree dubbed as “Sri Maha Bodhi” was initially planted in the year 288 BC in the reign of King Devanampiyatissa and has been brought all the way from India by Princess Sangamitta.
9. High literacy rate
Sri Lanka boasts of one of the highest literacy rates across South Asia and also the largest rates across Asia as well by as much 92%!
10. Rice is eaten for every meal
The staple food of Sri Lankans is rice as paddy cultivation has been one the country’s major strengths in the past. Typically, rice is eaten in a banana leaf and using fingers with an assortment of curries ranging from vegetables to meat and sambol. Most Sri Lankans are also accustomed to eat rice and curry for breakfast, lunch and even dinner.
11. Lion flag
Contrary to the fact that the Sri Lankan flag has a lion prominently displayed, there aren’t and never has been any lions in the region. The lion on the flag however depicts strength of the motherland.