The Sri Lankan junglefowl is the national bird of Sri Lanka. Its scientific name, Gallus lafayettii, commemorates the French aristocrat Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette. In Sinhala, the bird is known as වළි කුකුළා (Wali Kukula)
National bird of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka was originally called 'Siṃhaladvīpa" (Sanskrit for 'Island of Lions') Arabs translated it as 'Serendip' and Greeks corrupted the word as 'Sielen Diva'. Blown off course by a storm, Portuguese missionary Lourenço de Almeida arrived in Sri Lanka on Nov 15, 1505, and founded the first European settlement there and named the island Ceylon. Lanka was the classical name bestowed on the island by the Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic. 'Sri Lanka' means 'Sacred Island'.
Names of Sri Lanka
The word serendipity was coined by the English writer Horace Walpole on the inspiration of a Persian fairy tale, “The Three Princes of Serendip,” whose heroes often made discoveries by chance. Serendip was the Persian name for Sri Lanka
In 1991, Sri Lanka officially declared Volleyball as its National Sport. Before Volleyball was made the National Sport, ‘Elle’ had been having recognition as a de facto National Sport. William G. Morgan, the creator of Volleyball called it 'Mintonette' as it is similar to badminton.
National Sport of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has two capital cities. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the executive and judicial capital, Colombo. Ancient Sinhalese word 'kolamba' means 'harbour'. Today Colombo is the country's chief port, the commercial capital, and largest city.
Country with two capitals
Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike (commonly known as Sirimavo Bandaranaike) was the modern world's first female head of government. She served as Prime Minister of Ceylon and Sri Lanka three times, 1960–65, 1970–77 and 1994–2000. She is the mother of Sri Lanka's only female president, Chandrika Kumaratunga.
First female PM
The oldest living tree known to be planted by man is in Sri Lanka. Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura has been tended continuously for over 2,000 years. It was grown from a cutting brought from Bodh Gaya in India, the tree under which Buddha is said to have found enlightenment.
Oldest sacred tree
Adam’s Peak, popularly known as the Sri Pada (Sacred Footprint), is the most sacred mountain in Sri Lanka. People climb the 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall mountain to stand in the famous. Christians and Muslims claim it as the footprint of Adam, while Hindus believe that it belongs to Shiva.
In 1890, Glasgow-born grocer Sir Thomas Lipton purchased 5,500 acres of the Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Ceylon’s high country and began exporting it directly to his shops in the UK as 'Lipton Tea'. Currently, Sri Lanka is the fourth largest tea producer in the world.
Sri Lanka is home to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a gigantic column of rock rising 200m (660ft) from the forested plains below. Built over 1,000 years ago, the UNESCO listed World Heritage Site is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular attractions.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The water lily (Nymphaea nouchali) was declared the national flower of Sri Lanka on 26 February 1986. It is popularly known as the 'Manel flower' in Sri Lanka. The flower is considered a symbol of truth, purity, and discipline. It has connections with Buddha and was used as ceremonial flower in Sri Lanka throughout history
National flower of Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan flag details
|Adopted||22 May 1972|
|Use||State & Civil flag|