A short essay on Sri lankan ancient and medival history
Not much is available on Sri Lanka’s ancient history. There are however quite many references to the island in the Hindu epic, The Yakshas are believed to be the original inhabitants of the country, along with the Northern Naga tribes. The Sinhalese history chronicles date back to 543 B.C. with the arrival of Prince Vijay (an expelled Indian subcontinent royal) in Ceylon. Between 210 B.C and 161 B.C., the Kingdom of Ruhuna united Sri Lanka under one ruler.
The Medieval period of Sri Lankan history runs from the end of the Anuradhapura Kingdom in 1017 to the onset of the British Colonial annexation in 1815. During this period, the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was at its zenith and till today, one can witness the magnificent vestiges that were built during this time.
Sri Lanka’s strategic location around some of the most significant trade shipping routes made it one of the most desired colonial bastions of the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and the British.