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___ Administrative Map of Sri Lanka
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Administrative Map of Sri Lanka
|Sri Lanka's first level administrative divisions.
Sri Lanka is divided in nine provinces.
Sri Lanka's northernmost province, it includes the Jaffna Peninsula, its capital city is Jaffna with a population of about 90,000 inhabitants, before the 26-year long Sri Lankan civil war, Jaffna was the country's second most populated city.
North Central province is sparsely populated, its capital is Anuradhapura, the Sacred City of Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Anuradhapura "a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is now accessible once again."
Eastern province, faces the Bay of Bengal (Indian Ocean) in east, the coast is dominated by lagoons, largest city is Kalmunai, the only Muslim-majority municipality in the country. Province capital is Trincomalee, a major port city with a population of about 100,000 inhabitants, the city is one of the major centers of Tamil culture and language. One of the city's main attraction is the Temple of the Thousand Pillars, the Koneswaram, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, devoted to Shiva in the form of Kona-Eiswara (Konesar). The temple is built atop Swami Rock, a rocky promontory cape overlooking Trincomalee and the Indian Ocean.
North Western (Wayamba) province, offers a rural landscape with coconut plantations and domestic wildlife in three parks/sanctuaries (part of Wilpattu National Park, Kahalla-Pallekele Sanctuary and Mundel Bird Sanctuary), stretches of sandy beaches with placid lagoons and the remains of four medieval capitals of Sri Lanka: Panduwasnuwara, Dambadeniya, Yaphuwa and Kurunegala. Largest city and capital is Kurunegala, a major commercial and a transportation hub in the area.
Western (Basnahira) province is the province with the highest population (5.5 million people), located within are Sri Jayawardenapura, the New Capital Territory, seat of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, as well as Colombo, a major seaport, largest city and cultural and commercial center of Sri Lanka and capital of Western province. Almost all Sri Lankan premier educational institutions are located in Western province.
Central province in the center of the country is a mountainous region, it produces much of the famous Ceylon tea. Sri Lanka's highest peak Mount Pidurutalagala, (Mount Pedro; 2,524 m), is located here, close to the city of Nuwara Eliya. Central province is a major tourist destination because of its picturesque landscapes and temperate climate and with its hill station towns of Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Gampola. Largest cityand c apital of the province is Kandy, one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka. The Sacred City of Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage site: This sacred Buddhist site was the last capital of the Sinhala kings whose patronage enabled the Dinahala culture to flourish for more than 2,500 years until the occupation of Sri Lanka by the British in 1815. It is also the site of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), which is a famous pilgrimage site. Also in Central province lies the Ancient City of Sigiriya, another UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins of the capital built by the King Kassapa I (477–95) lie on steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak (the 'Lion's Rock') standing some 370 m high. A series of galleries and staircases emerging from a constructed mouth of a gigantic lion, provide access to the site.
Sabaragamuwa is a landlocked province in south west interior of the island, largest city and capital is Ratnapura, one of the major cities in Sri Lanka, the city is the center of a long-established industry of precious stone mining including rubies, sapphires, and other gems. Sabaragamuwa is also a popular tourist destination. Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the country's last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, is a wild animal sanctuary, an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan Elephants. The southern reaches of the Central Highlands are dominated by Sri Pada (also known as Adam's peak; 2,243 m) near the town of Hatton, is revered as a holy site by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. By the way, the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka are another World Heritage Site.
Uva is a landlocked province in the south east interior of the island, its capital cityis Badulla, Major tourist attractions in Uva are the Yala National Park (partly also in Southern and Eastern Provinces). Yala is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka, including Sri Lankan Elephant, there are 44 species of mammals resident in Yala National Park. Gal Oya National Park and its associated protected areas (partly in the Eastern Province), its herd of elephants can be seen throughout the year.
Southern is the country's southernmost province, its an agricultural region and farming and fishing is the main source of income for the majority of the people. Largest city, a seaport and the capital of the province is Galle. The city is located on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, it has a population of about 100,000 people. Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications are another one of Sri Lanka's eight World Heritage Sites, described as "the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions."
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