Anyone who is about to embark on Sri Lanka travel is probably interested to know the history of the country. It has a very interesting story behind it which began as far back as the 6th Century BC with North Indian settlers. Buddhism shaped the culture which is very visible in the pyramid – like architecture which can still be seen today.
It was formerly called Sinhale or Heladiva and comprised of naga, yaksha, deva, raksha and possibly other tribes as well. It is thought that the island was colonised by the Balangoda people 34,000 years ago after their remains were discovered there. Many artefacts have been found in caves that suggest that they were Mesolithic hunter gatherers. No doubt anyone who is interested in Sri Lanka travel will be keen to investigate these theories.
It is thought that Sri Lanka had trading links with Ancient Egypt thousands and thousands of years ago. This is because cinnamon, which is native to the island was used in Egypt at that time. Even today cinnamon is still one of the main exports of Sri Lanka which is something that those on Sri Lanka travel will discover.
A prince of Kalinga invaded the island from 1215 – 1232 AD using the Tamil and Kerala mercenaries and the country never recovered from this. This is because irrigation works were destroyed and mosquitoes developed and it was during this time that Jaffna emerged as a sub – kingdom.
In 1505 the Portuguese were the first Europeans to embark on Sri Lanka travel. As the country was unable to fend off intruders the Portuguese established a fort in Colombo and gradually extended their control over the coastal areas.
In 1638 the Dutch invaded the island and by 1660 they controlled it all except for the kingdom of Kandy. This wasn’t a happy time for the island as the Catholics were persecuted and people were taxed a lot more than they had been in the past.
The only reason why the British became aware of Sri Lanka travel is because in 1659 a British sea captain was captured by the king of Kandy after he landed there by mistake. He managed to escape 19 years later and wrote an account of what happened while he was imprisoned there.
Not only is the history of the island interesting and intriguing but so is the politics that go on today. This is something that anyone who is planning a Sri Lanka travel experience should research to help them get the most out of their time there.