India and Sri Lanka

Travel to Sri Lanka – How Sri Lanka is different to India

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.

Not only does Sri Lanka have cleaner roads, it also has lesser number of beggars and slums when compared to the one thousand and one street dwellings in every city of India.
Galle Face Green, Colombo view from WTC

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.
Sri Lanka people jaffna


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.

Hoppers and Egg Hoppers served with Sabmol and Banana
Hoppers and Egg Hoppers served with Sabmol and Banana

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.

  • Ajmal
    April 3, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Sri Lanka is a completely different country compared to India. I had a wonderful time here. I love people and country.

  • Reka
    April 3, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Fascinating country. Relaxing atmosphere.
    Less crowded compared to India.

  • Trip to Sri Lanka
    April 9, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Sri Lanka is a beautiful place to visit. Get the adventure locations with wonderful tour, travel and trip to Sri Lanka.

  • kunal gupte
    May 3, 2014 at 6:03 am

    SL is really beautiful country

  • fazal
    January 24, 2015 at 10:30 am

    True go to a budha temple on a what they call poya say (full moon ) hundreds of young men and woman mingle but somehow they never rub against another amazing…very dignified people and Colombo can be compared to Singapore or KL..

    April 28, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    How Sri Lanka is different to India – Indian traveller writes on Sri Lanka
    Some key points –
    Each time I visit Sri Lanka I come away impressed all over again by the stunningly beautiful green and clean tiny island-nation and its amazing people.
    And surprise of surprises, for Indians at least, even taxi drivers politely halt to allow pedestrians to cross the road. And they do so specially for women.
    Literacy and education impact other aspects of life as well. Granted, Sri Lanka has a population of only 20.96 million but even the poor there seem to wear their poverty with dignity.
    They dress neatly, you don’t see begging on the streets, and above all, no chasing or harassment of tourists that we seem to revel in.
    In Sri Lanka girls are certainly not raped in moving buses, or pulled out of buses and raped; that’s for sure.
    From what I can see, analyse and evaluate from several visits to our tiny neighbouring country during the last two decades, the education of both men and women makes a big difference in the general behaviour of people.

  • STSU
    May 26, 2016 at 6:43 am

    nice ……………

  • Chandika
    November 7, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I’m from Colombo Sri Lanka & never been to India. But any country in the world can have a beauty & ugliness. That’s the way it is. But the people are completely different. I mean Indian girls are extremely hot while Sri Lankan girls make good wives. Also most Sri Lankans are black in colour while most Indians fair skinned. Only 5% Sri Lankans are look like Indian in Kandy district. These according to the TV watching though. I respect India & it’s people!

  • Rafi Azam
    November 12, 2018 at 1:52 am

    Sri Lanka has has a lower population density on average and is more serene compared to india.

  • Bavani Srinu
    November 12, 2018 at 1:54 am

    If you live in India and want pristine beaches, cleaner city (yes! Sri Lanka is CLEAN), and are looking at going ‘abroad’, Sri Lanka is a closest location to consider and is a great place to visit. People are friendly and warm too.

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