LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee

Monetary System

1 Sri Lankan rupee (LKR) = 100 cents

Currency Issuer

Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).

Central Bank of Sri Lanka

The Central Bank of Ceylon (CBC) was renamed the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) in 1985.
For more information, visit www.cbsl.gov.lk.

2018 Commemorative Issues

On 4 February 2018, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka began issuing 5 million 1,000-rupee notes commemorating the 70th Independence Celebration. The note is like the preceding issues, but with a Celebrating Diversity logo instead of a butterfly at the lower left front, new vignettes at center front, new date, and serial numbers from S70/1 000001- S70/5 1000000.

Description: 1,000.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 148 x 67 mm

Green. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; White Four Ring (Ypthima ceylonica) butterfly; church, mosque, Tamil Kovil, and temple; Sri Lanka hanging parrot (Loriculus beryllinus); Lion holding whip with sword. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Davul Bera drummer and Malpadaya Netuma dancer; guard stone (muragala) of naga-raja holding sprouting branch and punkalasa (pot of plenty, symbol of prosperity), beneath hood of cobra heads, with Sankha and Padma at feet; stylized Dvithva liya vela floral motif. 2.5-mm wide red-to-green StarChrome windowed security thread with demetalized CBSL RS 1000. Watermark: Parrot with electrotype 1000 and Cornerstones. Printer: DE LA RUE. 148 x 67 mm. Paper.

2013 Commemorative Issues

On 15 November 2013, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka began issuing 5 million 500-rupee notes commemorating the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Sri Lanka from 15 to 17 November 2013. The note is like the preceding issues, but with a purple CHOGM 2013 Sri Lanka logo instead of a butterfly at the lower left front, decorative artwork flanking the electrotype watermark, new date, and serial numbers from T/51 000001- T/55 1000000.

Description: 500.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 143 x 67 mm

Purple. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; CHOGM 2013 Sri Lanka logo; World Trade Center and Bank of Ceylon headquarters buildings in Colombo; ancient Buddhist temple, Lankathilaka Viharaya, in Kandy; Sri Lanka emerald-collared parakeet (Layard’s Parakeet – Psittacula calthropae) bird; Lion holding whip with sword. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Yak Bera drummer and Thelme Netuma dancer; Padmanidhi guard stone (muragala); stylized Dvithva liya vela floral motif. 2-mm wide red-to-green StarChrome windowed security thread with demetalized CBSL RS 500. Watermark: Parakeet with electrotype 500 and Cornerstones. Printer: DE LA RUE. 143 x 67 mm. Paper.

2010 – 2019 Issues

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka issued a new series of banknotes on 4 February 2011. The series was designed by two Sri Lankan artists selected from an island-wide competition. The themes of the new notes are Development and Prosperity, and Sri Lankan Dancers. The fronts of the new notes bear artistic impressions of selected development projects in Sri Lanka and native birds and butterflies. The backs depict Sri Lankan traditional dancers and guard stones (muragala) in a background of a map of Sri Lanka. This family does not include a 10-rupee note because that denomination was replaced by a coin on 5 April 2010.

Description: 20.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 128 x 67 mm

Red and orange. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Baronet (Symphaedra nais) butterfly; modern Port of Colombo with ships, containers, and gantry cranes; old Port of Colombo with ship; Sri Lanka Serendib Scops Owl (Otus thilohoffmanni) bird; Lion holding whip with sword. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Geta Bera drummer and Ves Netuma dancer; guard stone (muragala) with punkalasa (pot of plenty, symbol of prosperity); stylized liya vela floral motif. Solid security thread with printed CBSL RS 20. Watermark: Owl with electrotype 20 and Cornerstones. Printer: DE LA RUE. 128 x 67 mm. Paper.

Description: 50.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 133 x 67 mm

Blue and green. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Blue Oakleaf (Kallima philarchus) butterfly; ancient stone arch railway bridge with train; old steel bridge; new concrete automobile bridge at Manampitiya; Sri Lanka dull blue flycatcher (Eumyias sordida) bird; Lion holding whip with sword. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Yakbera drummer and Vadiga Patuna dancer; guard stone (muragala) with punkalasa (pot of plenty, symbol of prosperity); stylized liya vela floral motif. Solid security thread with printed CBSL RS 50. Watermark: Flycatcher bird with electrotype 50 and Cornerstones. Printer: DE LA RUE. 133 x 67 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 138 x 67 mm

Orange. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Autumn leaf (Doleschallia bisaltidae) butterfly; Laxapana waterfall; Norochcholai coal power plant; Sri Lanka orange-billed babbler (Turdoides rufescens) bird; Lion holding whip with sword. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Mridangam drummer and Bharatanatyam dancer; Naga guard stone (muragala); stylized Dvithva liya vela floral motif. Solid security thread with printed CBSL RS 100. Watermark: Babbler bird with electrotype 100 and Cornerstones. Printer: DE LA RUE. 138 x 67 mm. Paper.

Description: 500.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 143 x 67 mm

Purple. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Ceylon indigo royal (Tajuria arida) butterfly; World Trade Center and Bank of Ceylon headquarters buildings in Colombo; ancient Buddhist temple, Lankathilaka Viharaya, in Kandy; Sri Lanka emerald-collared parakeet (Layard’s Parakeet – Psittacula calthropae) bird; Lion holding whip with sword. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Yak Bera drummer and Thelme Netuma dancer; Padmanidhi guard stone (muragala); stylized Dvithva liya vela floral motif. 2-mm wide red-to-green StarChrome windowed security thread with demetalized CBSL RS 500. Watermark: Parakeet with electrotype 500 and Cornerstones. Printer: DE LA RUE. 143 x 67 mm. Paper.

Description: 1,000.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 148 x 67 mm

Green. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; White Four Ring (Ypthima ceylonica) butterfly; old rock wall and new Ramboda Tunnel entrance; Sri Lanka hanging parrot (Loriculus beryllinus); Lion holding whip with sword. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Davul Bera drummer and Malpadaya Netuma dancer; guard stone (muragala) of naga-raja holding sprouting branch and punkalasa (pot of plenty, symbol of prosperity), beneath hood of cobra heads, with Sankha and Padma at feet; stylized Dvithva liya vela floral motif. 2.5-mm wide red-to-green StarChrome windowed security thread with demetalized CBSL RS 1000. Watermark: Parrot with electrotype 1000 and Cornerstones. Printer: DE LA RUE. 148 x 67 mm. Paper.

Description: 5,000.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 153 x 67 mm

Gold and brown. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Lemon migrant (Catopsilia Pomona) butterfly; Weheragala Dam and Canyon Dam; Sri Lanka yellow-eared bulbul (Pycnonotus penicillatus) bird; Lion holding whip with sword. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Guruluraksha dancer and Nagaraksha dancer; Rathnaprasadaya guard stone (muragala) of naga-raja holding sprouting branch and punkalasa (pot of plenty, symbol of prosperity), beneath hood of cobra heads, with Sankha or Padma at feet; stylized Kalpavrksha floral motif. 3-mm wide red-to-green StarChrome windowed security thread with demetalized CBSL RS 5000. Watermark: Bulbul bird with electrotype 5000and Cornerstones. Printer: DE LA RUE. 153 x 67 mm. Paper.

2009 Commemorative Issues

This 1,000-rupee note commemorates “the ushering of peace and prosperity to Sri Lanka.” The theme on the front of the note is “one country and one nation in harmony, progressing towards prosperity.” The back celebrates “the valiant contribution made by the nation’s victorious sons and daughters of the security forces and the police.”

Description: 1,000.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 157 x 78.5 mm

Blue, yellow, and red. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; ears of paddy and Punkalasa on map with rising sun behind; President Mahinda Rajapaksa with outstretched arms; flag. Back: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; tank; ship; helicopter; hoisting of the national flag by members of the security forces; Mavil Aru annicut; Thoppigala rock (Baron’s Cap); two jet fighters. 1.2-mm wide windowed ClearText security thread with demetalized CBSL 1000. Watermark: Lion holding whip with electrotype sword; Cornerstones. Printer: (De La Rue). 157 x 78.5 mm. Paper.

1998 Commemorative Issues

This 200-rupee note commemorates the 50th anniversary of independence (1948-1998). This is the first polymer banknote issued in Sri Lanka.

Description: 200.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 146 x 72 mm

Blue and yellow. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; temple; scenes of “progress:” doctor and nurse representing free education and health services; woman with scythe (Gal Oya development); electrical power tower; Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall; Victoria Dam (Mahaweli development project); jumbo jet and control tower at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA); telecommunications satellite dishes; young women (Investment Promotion Zone); new parliament complex in Sri Jayewardenepura-Kotte; Colombo port and city; two couples with dove; churches and temples (unity and peace). Back: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; octagon building (paththirippuwa) at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy; scenes of “national heritage;” advent of Prince Vijaya; arrival of Arahant Mahinda and introduction of Buddhism; King Durugemunu builds Maha Seya; King Kasyapa build palace at Sigiriya rock; King Parakramabahu the Great constructs Sea of Parakrama; invasion by Portuguese and Dutch; conquest by British; Wariyapola Sri Sumangala Thero hauling down British flag at Kandyan convention. No security thread. Watermark: Lion holding whip within 200. Printer: (Note Printing Australia). 146 x 72 mm. Polymer.

1995 – 2006 Issues

These notes are like the preceding issues, but with latent images at lower center on front.

Description: 10.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 122 x 60 mm

Green and brown. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; lion holding whip sculpture in Yapahuwa. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Painted stork; Presidential Secretariat building in Colombo; flowers. Solid security thread with printed CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA RUPEES TEN. Watermark: Lion holding whip with electrotype sword. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 122 x 60 mm. Paper.

Description: 20.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 130 x 64 mm

Purple and red. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; native devil mask (vesmuhunu). Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; fish; two boys with hats fishing seated on poles; conch shells. Solid security thread with printed CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA RUPEES TWENTY. Watermark: Lion holding whip with electrotype sword Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 130 x 64 mm. Paper.

Description: 50.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 136 x 68 mm

Blue and green. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Kandyan dancer with ornate headdress. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; butterflies; Jetavana and Thuparama stupas in Anuradhapura; shield; ornamental sword. Solid security thread with printed CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA RUPEES FIFTY. Watermark: Lion holding whip with electrotype sword. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 136 x 68 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 144 x 72 mm

Orange. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; ornate urn. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; flowers; Sigiriya (Lion’s Rock) castle ruins in Matale District; four women picking tea leaves; two rose-ringed parakeet birds. Solid security thread with printed CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA RUPEES ONE HUNDRED. Watermark: Lion holding whip with electrotype sword. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 144 x 72 mm. Paper.

Description: 500.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 150 x 75 mm

Multicolor. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Kandyan dancer; two male drummers. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Stork-billed kingfisher with fish in beak; Ruwanwelisaya stupa and lotus stem pillars in Anuradhapura; orchids. Security thread varieties. Watermark: Varieties. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED.150 x 75 mm. Paper.

Description: 1,000.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 157 x 78 mm

Green. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; lion holding whip; Raja, a Sathdantha tusker elephant, carrying relic in Esala Perahera (Festival of the Tooth); elephant with mahout. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; lotus flowers; Octagon building (paththirippuwa) at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy; two peacocks. Security thread varieties. Watermark: Varieties. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 157 x 78 mm. Paper.

Description: 2,000.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 164 x 82 mm

Light rose and brown. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; elephant procession; Sigiriya (Lion’s Rock) castle ruins in Matale District; Sesatha (ceremonial flag). Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Sigiriya fresco. Red-to-green 4-mm StarChrome windowed security thread with demetalized SRI LANKA RS 2000 and butterfly. Watermark: Lion holding whip with electrotype sword; Cornerstones. Printer: DE LA RUE.164 x 82 mm. Paper.

1991 – 1994 Heritage Issues

These notes feature new designs and are smaller in size than the preceding notes.

Description: 10.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 122 x 60 mm

Green and brown. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; lion holding whip sculpture in Yapahuwa. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; painted stork; Presidential Secretariat building in Colombo; flowers. Solid security thread with printed CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA RUPEES TEN. Watermark: Varieties. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 122 x 60 mm. Paper.

Description: 20.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 130 x 64 mm

Purple and red. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; native devil mask (vesmuhunu). Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; fish; two boys with hats fishing seated on poles; conch shells. Solid security thread with printed CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA RUPEES TWENTY. Watermark: Lion holding whip. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 130 x 64 mm. Paper.

Description: 50.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 136 x 68 mm

Blue and green. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Kandyan dancer with ornate headdress. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; butterflies; Jetavana and Thuparama stupas in Anuradhapura; shield; ornamental sword. Solid security thread with printed CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA RUPEES FIFTY. Watermark: Lion holding whip. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 136 x 68 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 144 x 72 mm

Orange. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; ornate urn. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; flowers; Sigiriya (Lion’s Rock) castle ruins in Matale District; four women picking tea leaves; two rose-ringed parakeet birds. Solid security thread with printed CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA RUPEES ONE HUNDRED. Watermark: Lion holding whip. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 144 x 72 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 144 x 72 mm

Orange. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; ornate urn. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; flowers; Sigiriya (Lion’s Rock) castle ruins in Matale District; four women picking tea leaves; two rose-ringed parakeet birds. Solid security thread with printed CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA RUPEES ONE HUNDRED. Watermark: Lion holding whip. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 144 x 72 mm. Paper.
Like preceding issues, but with orange instead of brown on the back.

Description: 500.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 150 x 75 mm

Multicolor. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Kandyan dancer; two male drummers. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; Stork-billed kingfisher with fish in beak; Ruwanwelisaya stupa and lotus stem pillars in Anuradhapura; orchids. Windowed security thread. Watermark: Lion holding whip. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 150 x 75 mm. Paper.

Description: 1,000.00 LKR – Sri Lanka Rupee Size: 157 x 78 mm

Green. Front: English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; lion holding whip; Raja, a Sathdantha tusker elephant, carrying relic in Esala Perahera (Festival of the Tooth); elephant with mahout. Back (vertical): English, Sinhala, and Tamil text; lotus flowers; Octagon building (paththirippuwa) at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy; two peacocks. Windowed security thread. Watermark: Lion holding whip. Printer: THOMAS DE LA RUE AND COMPANY LIMITED. 157 x 78 mm. Paper.

Extras

According to an Ada Derana article dated 7 January 2020, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka plans to introduce a new 20-rupee coin and a new 2,000-rupee note in 2020 to commemorate its 70th anniversary. Additionally, security features of the existing banknote series will be enhanced.

Currency Museum

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka maintains two Currency Museums. One is housed at 58, Sri Jayawardhanapura Mawatha, Rajagiriya, and the other is located at 314, Stage 1, New Town, Anuradhapura. Admission is free.