Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka means "Resplendent Land," an apt description for this beautiful island. Sri Lanka lies fifty-five miles north of the equator, just off the southern tip of India. With its unique beauty, warm climate and near-perfect beaches, Sri Lanka is one of Asia's most adored destinations. Since the sixteenth century, the Portuguese, Dutch and British have all left their architectural and cultural marks in Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo. Yet despite its colonial architecture, Sri Lanka has always remained Oriental in spirit, with colorful bazaars, dancing elephants, graceful women in saris, and many Buddhist shrines and temples.