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History & Heritage

Sri Lankan Explorer > History & Heritage

History & Heritage

Sri Lanka is regarded as the pearl of the Indian Ocean from the past. It is a place full of wonderful nature and great ancient history in civilization. The great history of Sri Lanka is a shred of powerful evidence that proves a powerful and advanced civilization did exist a thousand years ago. The ancient Sri Lankan technologies are so powerful and advance. Even today some of those technologies are secrets that modern science cannot explain.  Sri Lanka is the only country where you can see huge man-made water tanks. The water engineering technologies are so perfect. Even today you will witness the greatness of water tanks which were built thousands of years ago. Unlike other civilizations, the ancient Sri Lankans never sought for perfect places to establish a state. They build tanks to collect water during the rainy season. So, they can survive during the dry period. The history of Sri Lanka is that grate. Buddhism is a huge part of Sri Lanka’s history. Every technology, language, culture and everything has a Buddhist influence on them. Some Buddhist monasteries are so amazing. Even today the engineers can’t explain how the ancient people built this huge building without using modern machines. Without using drills or modern cutting machines Sri Lanka’s ancient artists crafted lifelike delicate stone statues. The Aukana Buddha statue and the gal vihara (stone monastery) statues are perfect examples for the greatness of Sri Lanka’s stone artists.  Sigiriya is the 8th world wonder located in Dambulla. Everything about Sigiriya is mind-blowing. It is a 300m tall rock fortress. Still, the ancient engineers managed to pump water to the top of the rock without using any kind of motors. Even today you can witness the water gardens on the top of Sigiriya. The sigiri apsara drawings are world-famous. The colorfulness and the beauty of the paintings, the level of details are so perfect.  Moreover, Sri Lanka is lucky for owning six powerful kingdoms. Those are regarded as the Anuradhapura, and then Polonnaruwa. The third and fourth kingdoms in Sri Lanka were Dambadeniya and Gampola respectively. Next, the remaining kingdoms were Kotte, Sitawaka, and Kandy.


Anuradhapura –The first kingdom of Anuradhapura was established by the king, Pandukabhaya in377B.C. The king of Anuradhapura was regarded as the supreme ruler in the period of Anuradhapura. Within the period of Anuradhapura, Buddhism played a huge role by influencing the rules, culture, governance. Because, the kingdom highly based on agriculture, the irrigation system was highly developed. Finally, the Anuradhapura kingdom collapsed in the period of king Mahadeva.

Polonnaruwa –Then the kingdom moved to Polonnaruwa and the founder of the Polonnaruwa was king Vijayabahu. Polonnaruwa was the second administrative center of rajarata. This kingdom was established after the achievement of the Cola invasion.

Dambadeniya – After the kingdom of Polonnaruwa, the kingdom moved to Dambadeniya. The great King Parakramabahu II ruled the Dambadeniya kingdom. In the mid-13th century, Dambadeniya Kingdom served as the capital of Sri Lanka.

Gampola – Then, the kingdom shifted to Gampola. King Buwanekabahu IV received the throne after his father. Then, he switched to Gampola, with the support of General Senalankadhikara. Moreover, King Vikramabahu III escorted the tooth relic to Gampola. After that, he organized a festival in honor of the sacred Tooth Relic. He built the rock temple “Gadaladeniya Viharaya”. Furthermore, there are many religious places belongs to Gampola kingdom. “Lankathilaka” temple and “Ambekke dewalaya” are some of the great examples.

Kotte – Kotte kingdom was the governance kingdom from 1415 to 1565. This kingdom has rivers, and swamps and provide a natural defense.

Sitawaka – Sitawaka kingdom was not much famous in the history of Sri Lanka. The king of the Sithawaka kingdom was Rajasinghe I.

Kingdom of Kandy – The final Kingdom in Sri Lanka is the Kingdom of Kandy. The Name Kandy derivation from “Kanda Uda Rata”. Kandy was the last independent monarchy of Sri Lanka. The beautiful city situated in the heart of the Island. Also, surrounded by magnificent mountains. This became a great advantage for the kings in the Kingdom of Kandy to be independent. It also became one of the difficulties to get control of the Kingdom of Kandy for the British. One of the most famous names for this kingdom was Senkadagala. Still, some use Senkadagala to define the Kandy. The first King of Senkadagala was Sena Sammatha Wickramabahu (1473-1511). Even after all these happens, Kandy is a place of pilgrimage for practitioners of the purest form of Buddhism.

World heritages

Furthermore, Sri Lanka is lucky to have eight (8) world heritages as named by the UNESCO. They are namely,

  • Polonnaruwa,
  • Sigiriya,
  • The Golden Temple of Dambulla,
  • Galle,
  • Anuradhapura,
  • The sacred city Kandy Sinharaja Forest Reserve,
  • Central highland of Sri Lanka
The world’s oldest tree 

The world’s oldest documented tree is located in Sri Lanka in addition to India. This tree is highly regarded not only the Sri Lanka Buddhist people but also the Buddhist peoples all over the world. The tree was the tree that was provided great support to the prince Siddhartha to become Lord Buddha.

Some of the other amazing facts Sri Lankan Explorer Noted

Next, another amazing place is Sigiriya. Even today, this kingdom is more famous because of the great architecture of the Sigiriya. Especially, the irrigation system used to provide water to the Sigiriya is incredible. The founder of the kingdom of Sigiriya was king Kashyapa. Once, king Kashyapa selected as the king, he placed the kingdom in Sigiriya as the kingdom. Sigirya is a great example of ancient urban planning.Today, after thirty years of civil war, each and everyone can travel everywhere in Sri Lanka peacefully.

Sri Lankan Explorer highlighted the importance of Sri Lanka as the wonders in Sri Lanka getting hide nowadays. There are more hidden beauties within Sri Lanka which help to attract more visitors.