Go Sri Lanka!

Since Cricket World Cup is the flavor of the season, we thought that why not write about one of the host nations.  Sri Lanka is an ideal holiday destination, close to home (India) and spectacular in its beauty.  It is a stunning island nation, which should be in your must visit options, if you are planning a holiday. 

Sri Lanka has a lot to offer. So whether you are looking for a beach holiday, ayurveda holiday, wildlife holiday or a historic tour, Sri Lanka has it all. Some interesting places to visit are:

Bentota – If it is a beach holiday you are looking for, this is the place you should head to. Situated 90kms from Sri Lanka’s International Airport and 60 kms from its capital city, Bentota beach resort is a good destination for a family holiday. With scenic beaches facing the Indian Ocean that please the romantics, it also offers plenty of water sport activities for the adventurous kind.

Kandy – It is one of the most scenic cities of Sri Lanka. Famous for its temples, Kandy is the home of The Temple of The Tooth Relic – a highly venerable place for the Buddhist community of Sri Lanka and all around the world. It was declared by the UNESCO as a world heritage in 1988.

ColomboIt is the capital of Sri Lanka and the biggest and busiest city in the country. Colombo is a vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. The largest and one of the busiest ports in Sri Lanka, the Colombo Harbor is located in this city.

Anuradhapura It is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Lankan civilization. It was recently declared as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Galle – It is home to a magnificent Dutch fort, one of the most popular attractions where the Old Dutch atmosphere in still alive in this town. The town is surrounded by beaches and draws tourists throughout the year.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve – The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests eco region, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve’s name translates as Kingdom of the Lion.

Some other top destinations worth exploring are Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Dambulla and Sigirya.

With an all round pleasant weather, Sri Lanka is a year round destination, though the best time to visit would be from April to December. The country has a wide range of stay options too for travelers on various budgets. Whether you are a backpacker or a luxury traveler, Sri Lanka’s stay options will not disappoint. From five-star hotels, resort hotels, boutique properties and guest houses, to government-run rest houses (originally used by British colonists on their travels), you have plenty of options .

Of course, any holiday is incomplete without shopping in the itinerary. There are a number of things, which tourists can buy here. Sri Lanka is famous for its precious and semi-precious gemstones including Blue Sapphires, Red Rubies, Cat’s Eyes, Zircons, Garnets, Amethysts and Topaz. The thriving gems and jewelry industry dates back to ancient times. Sri Lanka is also famous for its tea estates and tea factories. So their world famous Ceylon tea should be on your must pick list! Other shopping options include various branded readymade garments at discounted rates.

What ’s more, most of the major airlines fly to Sri Lanka from India, so travel should not be a problem. Many of the travel websites offer exciting packages too. It may be just worth your while to check the deals out. Every city has its own identity; every place has its own history and story to tell, and that is what makes Sri Lanka a place worth exploring.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get, set go!!

 

 

 

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About ICICI Lombard

ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd. is the largest private sector general insurance company in India with a Gross Written Premium (GWP) of Rs. 3,694.7 crore for the year ended March 31, 2010. The company issued over 44 lakh policies and settled over 62 lakh claims and has a claim disposal ratio of 96% (percentage of claims settled against claims reported) as on March 31, 2010. The company has 4,305 employees and 350 branches as on July 31, 2010. The company has been assigned a domestic rating of ‘iAAA’ by ICRA (an associate of Moody’s Investors Service) for highest claim paying ability and a fundamentally strong position, for the fourth consecutive year. The company has been awarded CNBC Awaaz Consumer Award 2010 for being the ‘most preferred brand’ in the General Insurance category. ICICI Lombard Auto Insurance has been rated highest in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power Asia Pacific in India among 11 auto insurance providers. The company has been conferred the Golden Peacock- Eco Innovation Award of 2009 for weather insurance and the Customer and Brand Loyalty award in the ‘Insurance Sector - Non-Life’ at the 3rd Loyalty awards, 2010.
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