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Sri Lanka - History

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Sri Lanka has got the most glorious and rich history and somehow it is lined with India too. If we delve into Sri Lanka’s history we come to know that it was the Paleolithic human settlements that discovered at excavations in several cave sites in the Western Plains region. According to few anthropologists the entombment rites and certain ornamental artifacts reveal similarities between the first inhabitants of the island and the early inhabitants of southern India.

Another astonishing fact is that this marvelous country is also mentioned in the Indian epic Ramayana, which described the emperor Ravana as ruler of the dominant kingdom of Lanka. But the main and concrete written accounts of the country's history are the Buddhist chronicles of Mahavansa and Dipavamsa. Moving few years ahead we come across the fact that the earliest-known inhabitants of the island now known as Sri Lanka were probably the ancestors of the Wanniyala-Aetto people, also known as Veddahs.

Despite being only 3000 in number they possessed a powerful display. As per linguistic analysis it was discovered that a relationship of the Sinhalese language with the languages of the Sindh and Gujarat emerged well after the integration of assorted ethnic groups. But it was the Dravidian people who started migrating to the island from the pre-historic period. Being rich in culture and boasting glorious history there are some remarkable archaeological sites including the ruins of Sigiriya, the so-called "Fortress in the Sky", and huge public works.

From the years Sri Lanka has been ruled by various small kingdoms that dominated different regions. Apart from that this beautiful island was continuously invaded by South Indian kingdoms and parts of the island were ruled intermittently by the Chola dynasty, the Pandya dynasty, the Chera dynasty and the Pallava dynasty.

Also very few know that this splendid island was also invaded by the kingdoms of Kalinga (modern Orissa) and those from the Malay Peninsula. Amidst this continuous invasion in the 3rd century BCE Bhikkhu Mahinda brought the Buddhism from India. Some of the historians believe that he was either the son or brother of Mauryan emperor Ashoka.

Always known as rich exporter, ancient Sri Lanka was also the world's leading exporter of cinnamon, which was exported to Egypt and many other countries as early as 1400 BCE. Sri Lanka was also the first Asian nation to have a female ruler in Queen Anula (47–42 BC).

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