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ri 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.

A 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 27º c

Conveniently 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,

The Choicest Sites »
The 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).

Photographics - Courtesy of Arjan Rajasuriya Sub-Marine fauna »
These coral 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.

Shipwrecks »
Apart from 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.

Shells »
Sri 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.

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