History of Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka is the land of wonders. Sri Lanka has hosted historical events that changed the history of two biggest religions, i.e. Hinduism and Buddhism and socio-political history of South Asia and South East Asia.

In only 65,610 square kilometer area, geography of Sri Lanka is both diverse and rich. The country is mainly divided into green plateaus, plains and coastal area. Sri Lanka geography is mainly tropical. The island’s position on maritime route invited missionaries, trader and invaders from all over the world. Invaders mainly came from India, South East Asia and Middle East. However, in the colonial times, the British were the last after the Portuguese and Dutch to enter and capture the country. The British captured the island in 1833 and stayed till February 1948.

Ancient history of Sri Lanka goes 3000 years in the past. Mahavamsa,  the oldest book in the country’s history written in Pali language, records details of history about Sri Lanka. First version of the book gives history of ancient Sri Lanka while second version has history from 3rd century B.C. to British occupation. For history Sri lanka, you can read the history of Sri Lanka in Hindi here but unfortunately there are a few good sources to read history of Sri Lanka in Sinhala. Lankapura.com has good collection of sri lanka history photos. You can use know more about contemporary Sri Lanka by visiting Sri Lanka Info.

Buddhism is the religion of the state and 70% of the population follows Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka (sometimes known as Sri Lanka Buddhism only). History of Buddhism in Sri Lanka is just two centuries younger than Buddhism itself. Mahinda, son of Ashoka, introduced Buddhism in the island in the third century B.C.E. Sri Lanka Ravana history, commonly known as ‘Ravan’ in the Hindu world, is a semi-legend tale. Ravana is an evil figure in Hindu religion. Legends say that Ravana was the Sri Lankan emperor who kidnapped the wife of Rama, Sita, in Ramayana. Rama recovered his wife in an expedition and killed Ravana.

16 May 1972 is landmark in the constitutional history of Sri Lanka when the island nation  withdrew from the commonwealth of nations. The country adopted first constitution on 31 August 1978 making the country ‘Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka’. Sri Lanka war (July 1983- May 2009) was a weak point in the country’s history, but the nation managed to eradicate the root of the problem i.e. Tamil Sinhalese conflict. Sri Lanka has been a peaceful country historically and there is not much in the history of sri lanka


The history and culture of Sri Lanka are defined by both the local cultural traditions as well as the influence of invaders. Though Buddhism prevailed as the most influential religion, Hinduism and Hindu culture also have a strong influence on local culture.  Middle East and European invaders contributed to the richness of local culture by adding architecture, landmarks and cultural elements like Catholics. Galle Sri Lanka was the city that welcomed most of these invaders with its prominent presence on the maritime trade route.

To stay updated about what’s hot in Sri Lanka, one of the best sources is Island News Sri Lanka. There is a complete list of newspapers and magazines published in Sri Lanka here. Most read topics in Sri Lanka are, except social and political news, cricket, tea and cultural events. With fantasy for cricket, rich taste for tea and versatile culture, these topics never go off the top-read list. Hence, Sri Lanka ‘news island’ will serve your news need.

If you are planning to visit Asia, do visit this ‘gem of Indian ocean’. Sri Lanka history and culture will serve you like a briefing to South Asian and South East Asian cultures. Visiting Sri Lanka before any other country in the region will serve you in the best of your pocket and tour.

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