The island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bayof Bengal. It is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.
According to Hindu mythology, a land bridge to the Indian mainland, known as Rama's Bridge, was constructed during the time of Rama. Often referred to as Adam's Bridge, it now amounts to only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level. According to temple records, this natural causeway was formerly complete, but was breachedby a violent storm (probably a cyclone) in 1480. The pear-shaped island consists mostly of flat-to-rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising only in the south-central part. Amongst these are Sri Pada and the highest point Pidurutalagala (also known as Mt Pedro), at 2,524 meters (8,281 ft). The Mahaweliganga and other major rivers provide fresh water.
The climate is tropical, characterized by monsoons: the northeast monsoon lasts from December to March, the southwest June to October. The lowest gravitational field on Earth lies just off the coast of Sri Lanka.