THE 13th CENTURY VENETIAN TRAVELER MARCO POLO DESCRIBED THE ISLAND AS 'THE JADE PENDANT IN THE INDIAN OCEAN'. THE ABUNDANCE OF GEMSTONES, SPICES, RAIN FORESTS AND WILDLIFE; THE MAGNIFICENT BEACHES, ANCIENT RUINS AND A WRITTEN HISTORY OF OVER 2500 YEARS MAKE THIS ISLAND A TOURISTS' PARADISE.
THE RUINED CITIES OF ANURADHAPURA AND POLONNARUWA ILLUSTRATE THE GLORY OF THE ANCIENT KINGDOMS. THE GIGANTIC STUPAS AND BUDDHA STATUES ARE AMONG THE BIGGEST MAN MADE STRUCTURES OF THE WORLD. THE MASSIVE RESERVOIRS, BUILT BY ANCIENT KINGS TO IRRIGATE THOUSANDS OF ACRES OF LAND, ARE MARVELS OF HYDRO ENGINEERING. THERE ARE EIGHT UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN SRI LANKA
THE ISLAND WAS KNOWN TO THE GREEKS AS 'TAPROBANE' AND TO THE ARABS AS 'SERENDIB'. EARLY MERCHANTS VISITED THE ISLAND IN SEARCH OF GEMSTONES AND SPICES, MAINLY CINNAMON AND PEPPER. COFFEE AND TEA PLANTATIONS WERE STARTED BY THE BRITISH COLONIAL RULERS. CEYLON TEA IS FAMOUS THE WORLD OVER.
TOURISM INDUSTRY IS A MAJOR MONEY SPINNER FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL ISLAND. THE VAST EXPANSE OF BEACHES, RAIN FORESTS AND NATIONAL PARKS WITH HERDS OF WILD ELEPHANTS, THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS WITH LITHE WATER FALLS, BRING IN THE TOURISTS. THE ISLAND IS DOTTED WITH HUNDREDS OF HOTELS TO ACCOMMODATE THE TRAVELER. AN ISLAND OF 25,000 SQ; MILES HAS 103 RIVERS AND 25000 RESERVOIRS, MOSTLY MAN MADE. WITH VARYING CLIMATIC CONDITIONS THIS IS TRULY A 'SMALL MIRACLE'.
" THE ISLAND OF SRI LANKA IS A SMALL UNIVERSE, IT CONTAINS AS MANY VARIATIONS OF CULTURE, SCENERY AND CLIMATE AS SOME COUNTRIES A DOZEN TIMES ITS SIZE........I FIND IT HARD TO BELiEVE THAT THERE IS ANY COUNTRY WHICH SCORES SO HIGHLY IN ALL DEPARTMENTS - WHICH HAVE SO MANY ADVANTAGES AND SO FEW DISADVANTAGES. LOVELY BEACHES, BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES, IMPRESSIVE RUINS, A VIBRANT CULTURE AND CHARMING PEOPLE- NO WONDER SRI LANKA IS A SMALL MIRACLE ".
Quote - Joseph Pulitzer
"PUT IT BEFORE THEM BRIEFLY SO
THEY WILL READ IT, CLEARLY SO
THEY WILL APPRECIATE IT,
PICTURESQUELY SO THEY WILL
REMEMBER IT AND,
ABOVE ALL, ACCURATELY SO THEY
WILL BE GUIDED
BY ITS LIGHT" *****
JOSEPH PULITZER *****
MY SHOTS SRI LANKA
MY SHOTS SRI LANKA >
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King Nissankamalla ruled the country from 1187 to 1196, the Council Chamber of King Nissankamalla had been a structure built of stone on a brick foundation. The unique Lion Throne, carved of stone, stands majestically at
Gal Vihara [ rock temple ] was constructed by King Parakramabahu 1 in the 12th century, the statues are carved on a single large rock face. These magnificent examples of Sinhalese sculpting have made this ancient site the most visited in Polonnaruwa.
The Minneriya National Park is home to a herd of over 300 wild elephants, roaming in the lush greenery and cool waterways of this nature reserve. This gathering of gentle giants, young and old, was filmed close to the Minneriya tank.
The Kumara Pokuna [pond] in Polonnaruwa [1070 A.D.] is a magnificent example of an ancient Royal bath, built entirely of smoothened stone. Water was brought to the pond by two underground stone pipes and directed to the pond through two dragon head [makara] gargoyles. Ruins of an ancient changing room can also be seen nearby