Succeeding kingdoms of Sri Lanka would maintain a large number of Buddhist schools and monasteries and support the propagation of Buddhism into other countries in Southeast Asia.
Sri Lankan Bhikkhus studied in India's famous ancient Buddhist University of Nalanda, which was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji.
According to the Mahāvamsa, a chronicle written in Pāḷi, the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka are the Yakshas and Nagas.
Ancient cemeteries that were used before 600 BC and other signs of advanced civilization has also been discovered in Sri Lanka.
Sinhalese history traditionally starts in 543 BC with the arrival of Prince Vijaya, a semi-legendary prince who sailed with 700 followers to Sri Lanka, after being expelled from Vanga Kingdom (present-day Bengal).
He established the Kingdom of Tambapanni, near modern-day Mannar.
It is probable that many of the scriptures from Nalanda are preserved in Sri Lanka's many monasteries and that the written form of the Tipitaka, including Sinhalese Buddhist literature, were part of the University of Nalanda.
Moors, Burghers, Malays, Chinese, and the aboriginal Vedda are also established groups on the island.
The Sigiriya rock fortress is surrounded by an extensive network of ramparts and moats.
Inside this protective enclosure were gardens, ponds, pavilions, palaces and other structures.
an indigenous people numbering approximately 2,500 living in modern-day Sri Lanka.
The 19th-century Irish historian James Emerson Tennent theorized that Galle, a city in southern Sri Lanka, was the ancient seaport of Tarshish from which King Solomon is said to have drawn ivory, peacocks, and other valuables.