Sri Lanka is a scuba diving destination located just off the Southeastern coast of India. The island is 268 miles long and 139 miles wide and is somewhat shaped like a pear. It was said that a tombolo, piece of land, connected Sri Lanka to the mainland of India and was passable by foot until a great storm passed by in 1480. Parts of the passageway between the Gulf of Manner and the Palk Strait are as little as 3ft deep. The North end of the island meets with the Bay of Bengal. At the southern end of the island is the Indian ocean. So, evidence of human existence on the island goes back more than 125,000 years. Moreover, the first Buddhist writings about this area go back 3,ooo years. In 1505 the Portuguese took possession of some of the land here and called it Celião.
Not to be out done, the Dutch took possession of some areas. Finally, the British came in, started a colony from 1815-1948 and Called it Ceylon. In 1972 the island became a republic and the formal name became The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Enjoy our article on Giant Sharks Through Time.
Diving Sri Lanka
There are over 60 scuba diving sites around the island. Starting on the northeast side at Nilaveli the main dive sites hug the island and follow down around clockwise then up again on the northwest side to Kalpitya like a giant U. There are lots of reefs to explore, but there are hundreds if not thousands of years' worth of wrecks here as well. So, the island also has 113 rivers, 45 estuaries and 40 lagoons. Moreover, there are over 20 dive sites just up on the NE coast of Nilaveli, Trincomalee, and Pidgeon island. This area consists of small islands, rocks and reefs. There are some 200 types of corals out here. The big pelagics off of Sri Lanka are dugongs, dolphins, humpbacks and blue whales.
South of here is the 366ft long British Sergeant
, a WWII steamer. It was sunk along with the HMS Hermes
near Batticaloa. The HMS Hermes aircraft carrier is strictly a deep technical dive. At the bottom and slightly easterly you have to try Great Basses
which is a drift dive where the Indian Ocean mingles with Antarctic currents.
Here we find Galle, and Unawatuna. There are over 14 dive sites here. The 1860 200ft long steamer ship SS Rangoon
sunk here in 1873. There are four other wrecks closer to shore, plus a dozen reef dives. Another 18 dives sites are Just past Galle and above Hikkadua. Some of the popular spots up here are the Cave
, plus the ships Panama, Crissopigi,
and Ivory Bell
. The 1847 sail ship Earl of Shaftesbury
and the 1903 oil tanker SS Conch
both rest within 63ft of water.
. Farther up the west coast of Sri Lanka near Colombo is Barracuda Reef
, the 295ft long Pecheur Breton
cargo wreck, and the Pandura wreck
. The Taprobane North wreck
is the 1917 steamer Perseus
and the Taprobane east wreck
is in a photogenic class of its own. Finally, passing by some more reef scuba diving sites you end up north on the east side at Kalpitiy and Bull Dog Reef.
Accommodations, Attractions, Activities
There are many resorts and hotels to choose from. So, there are a plethora of forests, national parks, temples, botanical gardens, and beaches to explore. Furthermore, nowhere else can you see anything like the 5th-century citadel Sigiriya, and/or the sacred city of Anuradhapura. You may also like to visit the Dutch Fortress in Galle as well as the National Maritime Archaeology Museum. As far as the local food goes, local flavorful cuisine reflects Sri Lanka's rich history as a maritime hub and cultural melting pot.