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  • Alex Gillam

Where in the World: Sri Lanka

A country revived and reinvigorated, more than 10 years have passed since the conclusion of the Sri Lankan Civil War, and as the world begins to discover the charms hidden away by decades of conflict, this idyllic south-Asian island is now a more attractive destination than ever. Tucked away off the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka boasts a unique marriage of religions and cultures, as well as picturesque beaches, mist-ensconced hills, rolling tea plantations, ancient temples ruins & awe-inspiring rainforests teeming with wildlife.

It is here, in these striking hills, that pure Ceylon cinnamon (considered by many to be the only ‘true’ cinnamon) is grown; in strong demand because of its healing benefits, Sri Lanka is the world’s largest producer and exporter of this pure cinnamon, with some reports estimating that up to 90% of the world’s Ceylon cinnamon supply comes from Sri Lanka.

Further cementing the country’s beauty is the history of the word “serendipity”; in the Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip (the former Persian name for Sri Lanka), the protagonists frequently stumble upon magnificent discoveries of staggering beauty that have nothing to do with their original quest. A thousand years later, an English writer heard the story and was inspired to create the word “serendipity”; and with all of the country’s wildlife, history, beaches and ruins, it is no surprise that Sri Lanka has been dubbed the land of serendipity.

Not only that, but visitors to Sri Lanka will also have the chance to see the world’s oldest human-planted tree, a scared fig tree known as Sri Maha Bodhiya that was first planted over 2,300 years ago. It is said that this is the famous Bodhi tree under which the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.

Other calling cards of the country include its love of volleyball, which was first introduced to the country in the early 20th Century. While cricket has since overtaken volleyball in terms of interest, volleyball remains the official national game of Sri Lanka.

With newly-introduced transportation & accommodation options befitting of this splendorous island waiting to greet the outside world, there has never been a better time to unpack this feast for the senses.

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