Five centuries before Christ, Sri Lanka was a land throbbing with vitality and a well-ordered civilization. Cities, palaces, reservoirs, parks, temples, monasteries, monuments and works of art bore testament to the character, imagination, culture, philosophy and faith of the people of Sri Lanka, the Resplendent Land. Vestiges of this ancient civilization are abundantly extant today.
"To me the beauty of Ceylon lies not so much in its blue seas and golden beaches, its jungles and its mountain peaks, as in its ancient atmosphere. There is no nation, from Egypt of the Pharaohs to modern Britian, in whose literature this island has not at some time been mentioned by one or other of its many names -- Lanka, Serendib, Taprobane, Cellao, Zellan, to recall a few. History lies buried in its sands, and ghosts of romance lurk among its bastioned rocks, for Lanka is very, very old." - D. J. G. Hennessy, GREEN AISLES, 1949.