Geography of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
Native name: Sri Lanka in Sinhala.png
Nickname: Pearl of the Indian Ocean
Map Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is located in Indian Ocean
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Location Indian Ocean
Coordinates 7°N 81°E / 7°N 81°E / 7; 81
Area 65,610 km2 (25,330 sq mi)
Coastline 1,340 km (833 mi)
Highest elevation 2,524.13 m (8,281.27 ft)
Highest point Pidurutalagala
Largest settlement Colombo (pop. 752,993)
Population 20,277,597 (2012)
Pop. density 323 /km2 (837 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Sinhalese - 75%, Sri Lanka Tamils - 11%, Sri Lankan Moors 9%
Map of Asia showing the location of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, formerly called Ceylon, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, southeast of the Indian subcontinent, in a strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes. The nation has a total area of 65,610 km², with 64,740 km² of land and 870 km² of water. Its coastline is 1,340 km long. The main island of Sri Lanka has an area of 65,268 km² – it's the twenty-fifth largest island of the world by area.[1] Dozens of offshore islands account for the remaining 342 km² area. The largest offshore island, Mannar Island, leads to Adam's Bridge.

Adam's Bridge, a land connection to the Indian mainland, is now mostly submerged with only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level. According to temple records, this natural causeway was formerly complete, but was breached by a violent storm (probably a cyclone) in 1480. The formation is also known as Rama's Bridge, as according to Hindu mythology, it was constructed during the rule of Lord Rama.

Sri Lanka's climate includes tropical monsoons: the northeast monsoon (December to March), and the southwest monsoon (June to October). Its terrain is mostly low, flat to rolling plain, with mountains in the south-central interior. The highest point is Pidurutalagala at 2,524.13 m. Natural resources include limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower.

  1. ^ "Joshua Calder's World Island Info - Largest Islands of the World". Retrieved 2016-01-30. 

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