The Pearl of the Indian Ocean - Sri Lanka is celebrating its 73rd Independence Day this year. This beautiful nation is located in the Indian Ocean southwest of the Bay of Bengal and southeast of the Arabian Sea. Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon in the old times, and it was a major economic hub and port of the British Empire. The Colombo city, which emerged as the central metropolitan region during the British rule, continued as the capital of Sri Lanka.

Lotus Tower

After nearly 150 years, the British gave them semi-independent dominion status on February 4, 1948. However, Sri Lanka became a complete republic on May 22, 1972, and today it officially stands as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Stephen Senanayake is known as the Father of the Nation, who was also the first prime minister of independent Sri Lanka. On the occasion of Independence Day, every year, there is a nation-wide celebration in Sri Lanka. Numerous gatherings, military parades, airshows, regional pageants, and other ceremonies occur on this auspicious day. And this little island holds countless wonderful elements which make this location a unique one. It's tropical climate, stunning shores, and incredible cuisine are just among the several reasons to admire this country. And whether you have been to this remarkable country or just fascinated with it, here are 7 incredible facts about Sri Lanka that might just amaze you.

1. Pearl of the Indian Ocean and the Teardrop of India..!

This tiny and beautiful island has two lovely names that indirectly describes its geographical position and immense beauty. Due to its pearl-shaped territory with incredible natural beauty, exceptional biodiversity, precious shores and gemstones, it is known as the Pearl of the Indian ocean. Moreover, Sri Lanka has a teardrop shape and it is off the coast of India, which is simpler to see from the map, and that's why this beautiful island is called as the teardrop of India.

2. The multiple divinities of Adam's peak..!

Adam's peak in Sri Lanka is considered as the most sacred mountain in the country. Settled in the magnificent region of the southern hill nation, this sacred peak has been a holy place for people of various religious beliefs in Sri Lanka for numerous years. In Buddhism, Adam's peak is recognized as ‘Sri Pada’, meaning holy footprint, and is presumed to have been left by the Buddha when he was departing to heaven. In Hinduism, they are considered as Lord Shiva's footprints. And Christians and Muslims believe that it is the footprint of Adam as he was banished from the Garden of Eden.

3. Unique head signs..!

In most regions, when we nod our head up and down it means yes and moving it side to side means no. But it is the complete opposite in Sri Lanka. When someone shakes their head from side to side with a small wiggle, it means a ‘yes’ in Sri Lanka.

4. The land of Cinnamon and Tea..!

From western cinnamon buns to Indian curries, this incredible spice is used in many different cuisines in the world. Sri Lanka is one of the largest cinnamon producers in the world. Cinnamon was found around 1518 BC, Portuguese traders discovered cinnamon at Ceylon, which is present-day Sri Lanka. Today, it is one of the largest cinnamon producers in the world, and it made exports of $153,379,000 in 2019. Sri Lanka is also the world's third-largest tea producer after China and India and it made an export of $721.3 million in 2019. The famous Lipton tea was also found in Sri Lanka.

5. It gave us serendipity..!

Sri Lanka has given the word ‘Serendipity’ to the English language, and this word describes an occurrence of events by chance in a delighted way. The word serendipity is derived from ‘Serendib’, the old name of Sri Lanka called by the Arabian or Persian traders. The word was later invented by the English writer Horace Walpole in 1754, and it was based on the title of a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, in which the princess was constantly making discoveries, by accidents or intentionally. Sri Lanka is admirable enough to call it as the land of serendipity with its beautiful shores and stunning landscapes.

6. Sri Lanka is the first country in the world to have a female Prime Minister..!

Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the leader of Sri Lanka Freedom Party, won the general elections of 1960 and became the first women prime minister in the entire world. Sirimavo served her nation for 3 terms before she resigned in August 2000 due to some health issues. At the age of 84, Sirimavo died of a heart attack in the exact year after she voted in the parliamentary elections of Sri Lanka.

7. The oldest living tree planted by a human..!

The oldest living tree known to be planted by man is in Sri Lanka. This tree is named as the Sri Maha Bodhiya, and it stands in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It was planted there in 288 BC, and it was grown from a cutting tree branch carried from Bodh Gaya in India, the tree under which Buddha is said to have found enlightenment. In 2011, the Guinness Book of World Records also recognised this tree as the oldest-known human-planted tree. It is planted by a human rather than by natural seeding, and it is still standing after 2000 years, and that's what makes this tree so unique.