Buddhism has been the biggest influence in moulding the variegated cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. In addition, much of the culture of south India have also made inroads into the social fabric of the island. The Europeans, particularly the Dutch and the British who colonised the island , added their own cultural hues, thus, creating a motley blend which is embellished by the architecture, sculpture, paintings, dances, theatre, cuisines et.
Art, Arcitecture and Crafts
The classical architecture, sculpture and painting of the island bear the Buddhist trademark. Buddhist Stupas are scattered all over the countryside, and there are several exquisite Buddhist sculptures, especially at Aukana and Buduruvagala. Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa showcases the archaeological legacy of Sri Lanka.Today, Kandy is the cultural hub of the country. Dutch forts, churches, British residences, clubs and courthouses are reminiscient of the colonial era. The city of Galle is home to the finest colonial monuments of the country. Woodcarving, weaving, pottery and metalwork bear the touch of rare artistic finesse. Sri Lanka is renowned for its gems. While the best of Sri Lankan masks come from Ambalangoda, Ratnapura is the honey pot of Sri Lanka's gem trade.
Sri Lanka's population practices a variety of religions. 70% of Sri Lankans are Theravada Buddhists, 15% are Hindus, 7.5% are Muslims and 7.5% Christians. Sri Lanka was ranked the 3rd most religious country in the world by a 2008 Gallup poll, with 99% of Sri Lankans saying religion is an important part of their daily life.
Wild Life and Echo Tourism
Sri Lanka is home to roughly 91 species of mammals, 41 of which are threatened (9 critically). 16 of the species are endemic, of which 14 are threatened, including the large Sloth Bear, the endemic Sri Lanka Leopard and Sri Lankan Elephant and the Sambar. Bats have the highest amount of species (out of 11 mammalian orders), with 30 different species. Sri Lanka's surrounding waters are home to 26 species of Cetaceans.