History of Sri Lanka in a nutshell You are here: Home > Interested In > History of Sri Lanka in a nutshell


The fascinating thing about the history of Sri Lanka is that it has been so well documented due to the accurate scripts of Buddhist monks in the Pali language across the ages.

The current name of the country is quite young, actually, the name ‘Sri Lanka’, was given in 1972 when the country became a republic. Earlier it has had many different names. The most famous name is ‘Ceylon’ and since the introduction of the excellent quality tea coming from this island the name also got connected to tea. In ancient times the Greek called the island Taprobane and the Arabs called it Serendib.


With an accuracy which is unique for its time, monks have written the history of the Buddhist kingdoms and the period under colonial rule, thoroughly investigated by scientists. These chronicles are called Dipavamsa (Chronicle of the Island), Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle) and Culavamsa (Lesser Chronicle).