lanka`s spectaculer senic beauty dose not end at its shore-line.
Beneath its seas lies a fascinating sub-marine wonderland of orgeously
coloured coral, jewel-hued tropical fish and submerged shipwrecks
which offer exciting and memorable experiences and photographic
opportunuties to those who don mask, snorkel, flippers or SCUBA
gear or even explore in a glass-keeled boat.
small island separated from the Indian peninsula by a narrow strait,
Sri Lanka is abundantly endowed with underwater attractions which
almost surround its cost. its tropical location between 5º
and 9º north of the equator in the indian ocean, surround
it with perennaially warm wather which remains at an inviting
rostered monsoons ensure that one half of the island`s costal
waters are always in season for all aquatic pursuits - the west
cost from december through March and north and east coasts from
March to September; July and October are best avoided. Underwater
visibility in season is good and range from 50 to 100 feet down,
wide coral shelf surrounds Sri Lanka`s coast at intervals from
north south, providing excellent sites for skin-diving. Some of
the best sport for submarine sight seeing and exploration are
Ambalangoda, Hikkaduwa, Gintota, Galle, Unawatuna, Weligama, Kudawella,
Mahawella, Dickwella, Tangalle , and the famed Great and Little
Basses (best in March - Aprill) on the south and south - east
cost, Arippu, Silavatural, Kandakuliya and the bar - reef on the
north - west coast and Negambo and Beruwala - Bentota on the wetern
sea - board. Sri lanka`s east coast has exceptional underwater
sites at Kalmunai, Kattankudy, Batticaloa, Tirrukovil, Punnakudah,
Kalkudah, Passekudah, Vakkarai, and Pigeon Island (Nilaveli).
There are 138 specias of corals recorded for sri lanka. The common
specias belonging to the families of Acroporidae (Staghorn corals),
Poritidae (Dome Corals) Mussidae (Brain Corals), Faviidae (Star
Corals), Pocilloporidae (Flower Corals).
reefs, gorgeously coloured and fantastically shaped, habour marvellously
beautiful tropical fish. Among the most spectaculer are the Emperor
Angel, the Moorish Idol, the dainty powder-blue Surgeon, Sergeant-Major,
Lion, Unicorn, Parrot, Clown, Porcupine,Striped Damsel. Game fish
varieties also abound - marlin, pompano, caranix, yellowfin, barracuda,
and grouper ; other varieties include jackfish, snapper, banner-fish
and dog-tooth tuna. In recent years large schools of blue, sperm
and bride`s whales and dolphins have been sighted off Trincomalee,
where a sanctuary has been declares for them.
treasures of coral and fish, the reefs and sea-beds off-shore
from Sri Lanka offer another exciting attraction to skilled divers,
underwater archaeologists and photographers, Submerged wrecks
abound in coastal waters, a legacy of more than twenty centuries
of maritime trade and sea faring. Among the best known are Conch,
the world first oil-tanker, which run aground
in 1903 and the first air-craft carrier H.
M. S. Hermes, sunk by Japanese off Batticaloa
in 1942, and which was filmed by night for the
movie Blue water, White Death. One of
the most exciting underwater 'finds' wa a 20-gun man- of war,
carrying Several hundred kilograms of 1703, silver coins in mint
condition, discoverd off the southern tip of Sri Lanka. A 15-kilogram
mass, containing exactly one thousand of these coins, still in
the shape of their oraginal bag is now on display in the Smithsonian
Institute in the Washington D. C. Other notable wrecks include
the Malabar, off the south coast.
Lanka`s coastal waters offer treasures such as the rare and valuable
Sinistral Sacred chank, the Volute Lyria Cloveriana, the Patterned
Chank, Rose-branched Murex and meny varieties of cowries.