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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.
The next invasion came immediately in 205 BC by a Chola named Elara, who overthrew Asela and ruled the country for 44 years.
According to the Mahavamsa, the legendary Prince Vijaya named the land Tambapanni ("copper-red hands" or "copper-red earth"), because his followers' hands were reddened by the red soil of the area.
The era spans the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and early Iron Ages.
Sri Lanka was the first Asian country known to have a female ruler: Anula of Anuradhapura (r. Sri Lankan monarchs undertook some remarkable construction projects such as Sigiriya, the so-called "Fortress in the Sky", built during the reign of Kashyapa I of Anuradhapura, who ruled between 477 and 495.
Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years.).
A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century to obtain political independence, which was granted in 1948; the country became a republic and adopted its current name in 1972.
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.
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.