Geography of Sri Lanka

Physical Features

Located in South Asia, Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean positioned about 18 miles off the southeast coast of India with a total area of 25,000 square miles. Most of its area is low, flat and rolling except for the south- central region which has a mountainous area. Sri Lanka has a tropical climate and a coastline of 1,340 km.

Sri Lanka's highest point is the Pidurutalagala Mountain which is approximately 8,200 feet above sea level. This mountain is a popular pilgrimage destination and also the only mountain site where people belonging to four different religions assemble for worship.

Another mountain believed to be one of the world's most revered mountains is Sri Pada also known as Adam's Peak .

Natural Resources and Wildlife

Almost 40% of Sri Lanka constitutes lush tropical forests. This island has an abundance of natural resources which include:

  • Limestone
  • Graphite
  • Mineral Sands
  • Gems
  • Clay
  • Hydropower

Wildlife in Sri Lanka consists of a wide range of birds and animals like elephants, leopards, deer, monkeys, wild boar, sloth bears, crocodiles, turtles, dugong and cobras. Located on the southern tip of the island is the town of Weligama which has a thriving fishing industry.

Environmental Hazards


Environmental hazards in the island of Sri Lanka range from deforestation, wildlife population endangered by poaching and urbanization, soil erosion to coastal degradation caused by mining activities and increased pollution. Besides, there are also natural hazards like occasional cyclones, tornadoes and tsunamis.

Climatic Condition


As a result of its location in the center of the Indian Ocean the climate of Sri Lanka includes tropical monsoons with the northeast experiencing rainfall from December to March and the southwest from June to October. The monsoon winds have resulted in an abundance of tropical vegetation on the southern half of Sri Lanka, whereas the northern half of the island remains comparatively dry.

The average yearly temperature of Sri Lanka ranges from 28 degree centigrade to 30 degree centigrade with January being the coolest month of the year and May the warmest month.


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