Geographical Society Island -Everything you have to know



Geographical Society Island


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Geographical Society Island is a small island off the coast of Sri Lanka. It is said that the island was discovered in 1551 by Portuguese seafarers, and later rediscovered by the English in 1638. The island was then named after the Geographical Society which was founded in London in 1754. The society was formed with the aim of promoting geographical knowledge and collecting data on maps and charts. The society sponsored a series of expeditions which resulted in the first detailed map of Sri Lanka, compiled between 1763-1772.

Geographical Society Island


The island was first discovered by Portuguese seafarers in 1551, and it was rediscovered by the English in 1638. The island was named after the Geographical Society which was founded in London in 1754.

In 1865, the society sponsored a series of expeditions which resulted in the first detailed map of Sri Lanka, compiled between 1763-1772. The map made significant contributions to our understanding of Sri Lanka’s topography and landforms.

The G.S. also actively promoted the collection of data on maps and charts as part of its work in publication, compilation and preservation at European archives or by other means (such as exchanges with others).

In 1872 it was suggested that a geological survey be conducted to ensure accurate mapping in Sri Lanka so they could set up an authority to regulate land use which would oversee all legislation regarding leased lands on appealing to the public for cooperation against squatters .



The climate on Society Island is rainforest dominated. The island receives an average of 315 mm of rainfall a year, with most falling between October and January. Temperatures range from 24-32 degrees Celsius all year round. The following ecology is discussed in Man and Wildlife. The author details why they believe none of the methods mentioned would work.

He also gives background on various aspects of society island, such as its history and what might happen there if it were changed (Using this example).


The island is inhabited by a culture that has been shaped largely by its geographical isolation, its mountainous terrain and the intense rainfall. The Geographical Society has played an important role in encouraging the development of this culture, through its provision of education, recreational opportunities and support for artistic endeavours.

If Society Island were to be changed in any way (e.g., if it were to become opened up to tourism), it is likely that aspects of this culture would also be affected. For example, access to traditional resources (such as timber) may become more difficult or even impossible; cultural traditions may be lost altogether; patterns of social roles and processes of cultural maintenance may be affected, as well as the historic systems used to navigate the island.


Geographical Society Island Mythology folklore

The Geographical Society promotes local folklore through its organisation and newsletter ‘Sigiriya’. This publication is distributed free on Ritigala from Monday to Friday where it is available for people who live in nearby villages or those interested in Sri Lanka’s folklore or history (or other information about Sigiriya). The April 2009 issue included articles on lines such as Ela devatas, Buddhism & Badunga festival , and the Crown Prince of Sri Lanka.

In any society, people ‘make up stories about their culture’ as a way to explain why things are the way they are (or at least how it is according to them). For example many local children still believe that Mahinda II was kind enough not to place his stupa on Treasures Rock because our ancestors fought so hard for victory in World War I by an act of sacrifice.



Society Island is an important political and historical site. The island has been the seat of Sri Lankan government since 1815, when it was donated by the then Raja of Kandy, and until 1991 it was under British rule. In response to Buddhism’s decline in power after independence in 1948-53 many Sinhalese Buddhists believe that the island should be turned into a Buddhist temple or monastery .

Government services

Government Services

The Archaeological Survey of Sri Lanka operates Sigiriya Estate as a tourist attraction. Since 1994, the lands around and including Sigiriya have been administered by the Sri Lankan government’s Department of Archaeology (DSO).

The DSO are in direct contact with organisations such as UNESCO through their “Regional Centre for South Asia” (RCSA) team. The RCSA project is to promote sustainable development on Societies Island based on cultural heritage conservation and knowledge management.

This includes a landscaping plan which uses stone walls or pervious paving stones; thus allowing rain water to run off efficiently instead of pooling near buildings where it can cause damage or flooding – both they and the building they are in.

The director of the project, Prof K. Rupasinghe says: “One idea is that archaeologists and heritage experts come along to observe how Sigiriya’s landscape looks now and then compare it with their pre-prepared plans.”


The Geographical Society Island is a beautiful and tranquil place. It is a place where people can come to converse, learn, and share ideas. The society was founded with the sole purpose of promoting the study of geography, and to this day, it has never failed in achieving that goal.

The society offers a wide range of services that are designed to make its members more knowledgeable about the world around them. It believes that by getting to know different cultures and learning about their geography, people will be able to understand and respect other cultures more.


1. What is the Climate Like on Geographical Society Island?   

The weather is warm, humid, and pleasantly breezy throughout the year. The island experiences three seasons – summer, monsoon season (October-February), and winter.

2. Is There a Currency in Use on Geographical Society Island?

There isn’t a specific currency used on GSI; however many locals prefer to use Sri Lankan Rupees or US Dollars when exchanging money with foreigners.

3. Are There Any Government Services Available on Geographical Society Island?

Yes! There are several government services available upon visiting GSI. These include public transportation, an ATM, a police station (GMS Police Station), and several foreign embassies located on the island.

4. Are There Any Hotels / Rooms Available at Geographical Society Island?

There are two hotels and guesthouses available for rent in Colombo: The Governor’s House Hotel & Country Club – located inside Haputale Gardens; Embilipitiya Backpackers Guesthouse – situated in the town of Embilipitiya is also suitable for seminars or conferences as well as other corporate meetings that require accommodation close to Colombo’s CBD. The Governors House Hotel and Country Club offers 24-hour room service, laundry facilities on site, a swimming pool (open from 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM daily), tennis court access at no extra cost; while the Embilipitiya Backpackers is located within walking distance of Colombo city centre as well as local shopping malls like Mountain View Plaza , A1 Supermarket , etc.

5. Is There an Airport Close to Geographical Society Island?

“Negambo Air Force Base,” located 6 miles south of Negambo Steel Factory in K andy is the closest major airport.

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