Sri Lanka with its many names the Arabs called it Serendib, Taprobane by the ancient Greeks, Ceilão was the name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese, translated to Ceylon by the British, Paradise, Tear Drop of the Indian Ocean. An Island in the Indian Ocean. In 1972, the official name of the country was changed to “Independent Republic of Sri Lanka” whereas the island . In 1978 it was changed to “Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”.
Sri Lanka was ruled by monarchs for over 2000 years. The island was infrequently invaded by South Indian kingdom. Buddhism arrived from India in the 3rd century BCE, brought by Bhikkhu Mahinda, who is believed to have been the son of Mauryan emperor Ashoka. Sri Lanka Celebrated International Vesak Day in May 2017. Sri Lanka had always been an important port and trading post in the ancient world and contemporary times. Island was known to the first European explorers of South Asia and others such as the Arabs and Malays settled these were merchants. A Portuguese, Dutch and later the British colonialized the island.
European colonists established a series of plantations including coffee, tea, cinnamon, rubber, sugar, and indigo. Ceylon Tea is still famous all over the world. The city of Colombo was established as the administrative centre, and the British established, roads, railway modern schools, colleges and churches that brought Western-style education and culture to the native people.
Marco Polo said this of the Island “the finest island of its size in the world”, Only here can you gaze on palm-fringed beaches and a lapping Indian Ocean, then tropical grasslands and soaring mountain peaks, all within a few hours’ of travel. Ruins of ancient kingdoms across the land give insight into a sophisticated ancient society and culture which is over 2,500 years of heritage. Sri Lanka today thrives through its deep-rooted traditions and culture based on Buddhism and several influences it has experienced over the years.