Sri Lanka is privileged to have a history that extends over 3,000 years, with diverse religions, ethnicities and languages. Sri Lanka owns a rich cultural heritage mainly nourished by Buddhism. The capital city of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and the commercial capital is Colombo, the largest city in the country.
Sri Lanka was declared a republic in 1972 and it is a unitary state governed by a presidential system. The country is a member of the United Nations and Commonwealth of the Nations. Sri Lanka is also the founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Even though Sri Lanka is relatively small in size it has the highest biodiversity density in Asia. Thus the island is considered a major biodiversity hotspot in the world. Sri Lanka claims ownership to a pristine coastline comprising of golden beaches, verdant vegetation and exquisite water bodies. Sri Lanka is also the home for the UNESCO listed world heritage site ‘The Lion Rock’ also known as Sigiriya, which is a conserved example of ancient urban planning as well as the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, which is a treasure trove of endemic species including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Participants of the International Conference on Applied Psychology will have the opportunity to explore the beauty, rich cultural heritage and wonders of Sri Lanka by participating in the special excursion organized especially for the event. It will be mainly focused in Kandy, the capital of the hill country region in Sri Lanka, which is famous for the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha, a UNESCO world heritage site, as well as the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya.
Adam’s Peak also known as the Butterfly Mountain is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada or the “sacred footprint”, a 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of Lord Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Lord Shiva and in Islamic and Christian tradition, that of Adam. Sri Pada is thus considered a holy mountain in Sri Lanka and has been a site of pilgrimage for more than 1000 years.
Adam’s Peak saves its most breathtaking moment for just after dawn. The sun casts a perfect shadow of the peak onto the misty clouds down towards the coast. As the sun rises higher this eerie triangular shadow races back towards the peak, eventually disappearing into its base.
The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection for many of the orphaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. Nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala. The orphanage was originally found in order to afford care and protection for many of the orphaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. The orphanage was established to feed, nurse and house young elephants found abandoned by their mothers. Tourists can observe the bathing elephants from the river bank as the herd interacts socially, bathing and playing. The orphanage is open to the public daily, and all admission fees are used to look after the elephants. Visitors to the park can observe the care and every day routine of the elephants, such as bottle feeding of elephant calves, feeding of all other elephants as well as the bathing in the Ma Oya (River).
Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight and is also identified as one of the world heritage sites by UNESCO. It was once the capital of Sri Lanka during reign of King Kashyapa (447 -495 CE). However, the capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king’s death and was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.
Sigiriya, located in the Central Province, holds a story of vision, grandeur, beauty and tragedy unparalleled in Sri Lankan history. On the way up the rock fortress, a series of quite remarkable frescoes and a pair of colossal lion’s paws carved into the bedrock can be found. The name of this place is derived from this structure — Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock.
Anuradhapura, an ancient capital city of Sri Lanka, is regarded as the first known kingdom of the island. This fascinating city of rich history boasts of enchanting ancient ruins, huge bell shaped stupas built of small sun dried bricks, temples, sculptures, palaces and ancient water reservoirs. This city also holds the Sri Maha Bodi which is a branch of the sacred Bo tree under which the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment and it is declared as world heritage city by UNESCO.
Because the kingdom was largely based on agriculture, the construction of irrigation works was a major achievement of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, ensuring water supply in the dry zone and helping the country grow mostly self-sufficient. Several kings built large reservoirs and canals, which created a vast and complex irrigation network in the area throughout the Anuradhapura period. These constructions are an indication of the advanced technical and engineering skills used to create them.
Also known as the ‘Dalada Maligawa’ it is a living illustration of Kandyan architecture, especially the Kandyan moonstone and the golden canopy over the main shrine. The Temple of the Tooth Relic is also famed for the annually held procession known as the ‘Dalada Perehera’ or ‘the festival of the tooth’ which attracts visitors from all over the world.
Also known as the Sinharaja Rain Forest, it is another site identified as a world heritage site by UNESCO because of its unique and high biodiversity. Spreading over the districts of Ratnapura, Galle and Matara, Sinharaja, our great tropical rain forest covers 18,900 acres. Sinharaja Forest reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians.