and the intensity of affection which it has evoked in visitors. For centuries it seduced travellers,
who returned home with enchanting images of a langourous tropical isle of such deep spirituality and serenity that it entered the Western imagination as a Tahiti of the East.
Lanka is a land where you can glimpse a wild elephant, gaze at the
pristine grace of a leopard, see a nesting turtle lay its eggs on the
beach or witness the dazzling display of peacock feathers.
The country is blessed with an abundance of natural diversity despite its small size.
This astounding diversity is largely due to its dramatically different terrains ranging from coastal plains to hill country and lush rainforests to arid dry zones
Today, the country is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation, with more than a quarter of the population following faiths other than Buddhism, notably Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.
The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population, with Tamils, who are concentrated in the north and east of the island, forming the largest ethnic minority.