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Ancient Kingdoms of Sri Lanka

Ancient Kingdoms of Sri LankaAncient Kingdoms of Sri Lanka

An island with a long and rich history spanning nearly 30,000 years, Sri Lanka is renowned for its ancient ruined civilisations and Buddhist heritage which has played a vital role throughout its historical sagas. Introduced to the country in the 3rd century B.C., Buddhism was patronised by Sri Lankan kings and became an integral part of Sinhalese culture and civilization and also had a great effect on the literary development of the island.
The first capital of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura located in North-Central part of the island was established in the 4th century and to this date contains several monuments of historical importance, making it an archaeologist’s delight. Considered very sacred by the Buddhists, it also includes the largest dagobas in the country.
Polonnaruwa which was used by Sri Lankan kings as a country residence since the 7th century was also a capital during medieval times and at one point featured many beautiful parks and gardens and was watered by a unique irrigational complex known at the Sea of Parakrama, named after the king who built it during his reign.
Called the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy was the stronghold of the Sinhalese kings who promoted and protected the local culture until the city fell to the British in 1815.
Other ancient sites include Galle, Nuwara Eliya, Dambulla and Sigiriya all of which treasure their own unique sights and ruins reminiscent of Sri Lanka’s ancient civilisations.
The architectural legacy left behind by early Sri Lanka societies and cultures which portray entire townships with palaces, temples, monasteries, gardens and vast irrigational reservoirs which provide a vital source of water in Sri Lanka’s arid regions even today are a confirmation of a sophisticated civilisation which possessed advanced knowledge of science and technology, town planning and design and valued the arts.

 

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Popularly called the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean,’ Sri Lanka has certainly lived up to this title over the centuries with a gem and jewellery industry that has had a rich and colourful existence; known as the land of gems throughout history, the country has been renowned for its rare stones for over 2,500 years.
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