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Destination - Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka

Buddhism has been the biggest influence in moulding the variegated cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. In addition, much of the culture of South India has also made inroads into the social fabric of the island. The Europeans, particularly the Dutch and the British who colonised the island , added their own cultural hues, thus, creating a motley blend which is embellished by the architecture, sculpture, paintings, dances, theatre, cuisines etc.

The classical architecture, sculpture and paintings of the island bear the Buddhist trademark. Buddhist Stupas are scattered all over the countryside, and there are several exquisite Buddhist sculptures, especially at Aukana and Buduruvagala.

Rice and curry are the main cuisines at meal times which is supplemented by side delicacies which include dishes of vegetables, meat and fish. Sri Lankans also feast upon Indian dishes such as vegetarian thali and biriyani. A unique Sri Lankan snack is hoppers which is served with an egg or honey and yoghurt. It is similar to pan cake. Delicious sea food is available in the coastal areas. In addition, a slew of tropical fruits are there in the Sri Lankan menu. Tea is the favourite drink in the island. It is customary to offer tea to a visitor and for the sake of courtesy it is not generally turned down.

Esala Perehara, the world famous pageant of elephants and light takes place every year in August. The Tooth Relic of the Buddha (widely believed to be an actual tooth of the Lord Buddha) is carried in a sacred casket around the city during this ritual. Only a specially trained tusker is entrusted with the task of carrying the Tooth Relic. It is held in the cultural city of Kandy and celebrations occur for this event for two weeks.

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Destination India

Map of India

INDIA HAS ALWAYS INTRIGUED FOREIGNERS. Back in the fourth century B.C., Alexander the Great's men were amazed by elephants. Later, William Shakespeare (1564-1616), who never visited India, alluded to its exotic trading wealth in his play A Midsummer Night's Dream. More recently, in 1897, the well-travelled writer Mark Twain called India "... the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined." Today, India continues to fascinate with equal force, all the more so because much of life here is lived in public.

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