The Origins, Early Settlements, The Society, Ethnic Groups, Economy, Government, Tourism More
Sri Lanka's historical and cultural heritage covers more than 2,000 years. Known as Lanka--the "resplendent land"--in the ancient Indian epic Ramayana, the island has numerous other references that testify to the island's natural beauty and wealth. Islamic folklore maintains that Adam and Eve were offered refuge on the island as solace for their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Asian poets, noting the geographical location of the island and lauding its beauty, called it the "pearl upon the brow of India." A troubled nation in the 1980s, torn apart by communal violence, Sri Lanka has more recently been called India's "fallen tear, the history book on Sri Lanka, also provides you; the entire art and culture, Sri Lanka economy, Sri Lanka government, Sri Lanka travel guide, Sri Lanka people and tradition. ORIGINS Ancient Indian and Sri Lankan myths and chronicles have been studied intensively and interpreted widely for their insight into the human settlement and philosophical development of the island. Confirmation of the island's first colonizers--whether the Sinhalese or Sri Lankan Tamils--has been elusive, but evidence suggests that Sri Lanka has been, since earliest times, a multiethnic society. Sri Lankan historian K.M. de Silva believes that settlement and colonization by Indo-Aryan speakers may have preceded the arrival of Dravidian settlers by several centuries, but that early mixing rendered the two ethnic groups almost physically indistinct.