18 February 2011
Last updated at 11:17 ET
A family cycles in the eastern seaport of Trincomalee. The area was once a focus for Tamil Tiger separatists before government forces defeated the guerrillas in 2009.
Religion plays an important part in the daily lives of most Sri Lankans. The country has a Buddhist majority of around 70% of the population, Hinduism flourishes within the Tamil community and there are minorities of Christians and Muslims.
Buddhist devotees offer prayers at Kelaniya Temple in the western Gampaha District. Buddhism was brought to the country from India more than 2,500 years ago.
Kandyan dancers, torch bearers and elephants perform in front of the historic Buddhist Temple of the Tooth during the Esala Perahera festival. The temple in Kandy - the last capital of the Sinhala kings - houses the venerated Sri Lankan relic, the Tooth of Buddha.
A Hindu hangs by hooks through his skin during the Adippura Festival at the Mayarapadi Sri Badrakali temple, Colombo.
Sri Lanka's climate is tropical. The southwestern coast and mountain slopes are the wettest regions with rainfall greatest from April to June and October to November. On the northeastern side of the island the main rainy season is between October and January when the northeast monsoon blows onshore.
Fishermen (left) return to shore in Galle district, southern Sri Lanka, while a stilt fisherman (right) perches a few metres out to sea, practising an old tradition.
Colombo commuters look on as elephants head home after taking part in a function the previous night. Elephants have long been part of Sri Lankan culture and are often used during religious processions.
Dancers perform in traditional dress
Tea pickers (left) make their way through a tea plantation in Sri Lanka, which is widely known for its production of Ceylon tea. The island is also a major source for cinnamon, a spice obtained from tree bark (right).
Frescoes decorate the face of the fifth century rock fortress at Sigirya, central Sri Lanka. The ancient city of Sigirya is one of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country.
Children play cricket on a beach in Colombo. Sometimes referred to as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is endowed with over a thousand miles of beaches.