Lying next to each other so close that they have been mistaken as the same country, India and Sri Lanka have been repeatedly linked to each other over time historically, geographically, politically and culturally as well.
However, one proper look at both societies and the illusion of any common ground is gone. True, both the countries are South Asian, but essentially, India and Sri Lanka are as different from each other as chalk from cheese.
So, if you have traveled across the Indian subcontinent and think that Sri Lanka cannot surprise you, you are in for a treat.
Clean towns and less polluted beaches
While the natural backdrop of the country is suspiciously similar to Kerala, the place seems very different. For starters, it is very clean and compared to India’s streets, almost godly. Despite its small size and comparatively even less resources, the country has managed to utilize what little it has in the best possible way. The streets are devoid of mindless clutter and most importantly, no one in that country uses them as a make-shift lavatory. Like Goa, the place has a lot of beaches but unlike Goa, the beaches are well maintained and very clean. It is a little sad how this tiny island manages to give you a taste of a better lifestyle with its limited resources where India, the largest democracy in the world, fails to keep a check on their basic amenities.
Friendly people and more disciplined drivers
The second most striking difference is the variation in behavior of the locals. While being a woman in India is very hard and almost punishing with the male gaze, irrespective of your or their age, visually ravishing you from top to bottom and a couple of ‘daring’ ones even brushing up against you on the roads, buses, bus stands and whatever other place you can think of, Sri Lanka has a very different society. Here women are able to smile at people of the other gender without being labeled as wanton or being fondled. In fact, even in crowds, men, accidently or otherwise, do not try to pat a woman’s backside or bump into her. It is sad how one trip to Sri Lanka can make you feel like you have been purified of the Indian negativity.
Respect towards women aside, the people of Sri Lanka are, in general, very polite and considerate. Neither does one have to sprint from one corner of a street to the other in the fear of being shouted down or worse, hit by a speeding vehicle, nor do you have to be wary of the taxi driver of taking advantage of you. As mentioned earlier, they are a very respectful bunch of people.
Last but not the least, Sri Lanka has a very unique cuisine and if you are a food lover, this could be your sole purpose for visiting this charming island country. However, unlike India, Sri Lanka doesn’t have a varied platter or much choice. While one can find over 100 different cuisines in India, each with its own distinctive taste and unique dishes, Sri Lanka is limited to its own cuisine. The food is influenced by their earlier colonial rulers and their Keralite neighbours and consists of a variety of curries, rice, sambolas and sweetmeats.
Although, Sri Lankan cuisine is very aesthetically pleasant, spicy and very tasty, their options for vegetarians are highly limited with almost every restaurant serving the same menu.
Why Sri Lanka is a better Travel Destination for your Holiday
As a travel destination Sri Lanka is far superior to India because Sri Lanka:
- – is a clean country
- – not overcrowded
- – less pollution
- – superior infrastructure facilities
- – small country where you can visit Beaches, Buddhist temples, Culture to wildlife in shorter period (small country big trip)
- – excellent wildlife parks with elephants, leopards and more
- – beautiful tea plantation with colonial history
- – many men and women are well educated
- – no (or less) begging on the streets
- – no chasing or harassment to tourists
- – not too hot
All in all, Sri Lanka is a delightfully different from India and merits at least one visit whether you are visiting India as a tourist or you are an Indian citizen.