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The great chronicle Mahawamsa and many other historical manuscripts such as Deepawamsa, Chulawamsa Rajavaliya and Pujavalia have provided much of Sri Lanka’s documented history.Fascinating archeological findings provide further information on the island’s earlier settlements.In 1948 Ceylon as it was then called, gained independence from Britain.Today Sri Lanka is a kaleidoscope of religions and ethnicities with deep rooted traditions influenced by its past history.The majority of the population is Sinhalese but there are significant communities of Tamils, Muslims, Burghers (descendents of the Dutch), and Malays all of whom contribute to make this a colourful and vibrant society.Sri Lanka has a fascinating documented history dating back to 543 BC covering a period of over 2500 years of civilization.Legend also has it that Adam’s Peak – the 2,234 metre mountain located in the southern highlands of Sri Lanka is where Adam set foot on earth. Vijaya, an Indian Prince landed on the North Western shores of Sri Lanka and established himself as the ruler of the island with the help of Kuveni – a local demon worshipping princess.The first major legendary reference to the island is found in the Indian epic - Ramayana, thought to have been written around 500 B. The Ramayana tells of the conquest of the island by Rama - an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu and Rama's quest to save his abducted wife, Sita from Ravanna - the demon god of Lanka.
Sri Lanka is an island nation with an ancient cultural heritage that dates back over 2,500 years.
Ruins of ancient kingdoms and archeological findings provides fascinating insights into a sophisticated ancient society which possessed advanced knowledge of science and technology, town planning and design, and valued the aesthetic beauty of the arts.
As early as the 5th century, ships from Egypt, Persia, Arabia, and China docked at the ports to barter their goods for treasures from this island including precious gems, pearls, spices, and scented woods.
The Portuguese colonized the island in the 17th century followed by the Dutch and the British changing the course of history.
A significant event in the history of Sri Lanka was the introduction of Buddhism in the 3rd century B. which then became an integral part of Sinhalese culture and civilization on the island.
The many natural resources of this tropical island along with its natural harbours and strategic location, has attracted many nations in the past.