Sri Lanka, an island in the Indian Ocean is located to the south of the Indian subcontinent. It lies between 5O 55' and 9O 55' north of the equator and between the eastern longitudes 79O 42' and 81O 52'. The total land area is 65,610 sq. km. and is astonishingly varied. A length of 445 km. and breadth of 225 km. encompasse beautiful tropical beaches, verdant vegetation, ancient monuments and a thousand delights to please all tastes. The relief features of the island consist of a mountainous mass somewhat south of the centre, with height exceeding 2,500 metres, surrounded by broad plains. Palm fringed beaches surround the island and the sea temperature rarely falls below 27°C.
The major tourist attractions are the 5th century Aukana Buddha that is over 12m in height, the Buddhist hermitage of Dimbulagala and the half-excavated site of Panduwasnuwara that has a small museum. The Uda Walawe National Park and the temple of Ridi Vihara having beautiful frescoes and the unusual Dutch tiles also figure on tourist itineraries. The cities of Anuradhapura, Colombo and Kandy are a must visit. Sri Lanka also has beautiful beaches and venues for water sports. The tea plantations in the highlands offer opportunities for nature treks and bird-watching.