Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, has a rich and ancient history that dates back over 2,500 years. The island has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and early settlements date back to at least 125,000 years ago.
The first kingdom in Sri Lanka was established in the 5th century BCE, with the founding of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. This kingdom flourished for over 1,000 years, and during this time, Buddhism became the dominant religion in the country.
In the 10th century CE, the Chola Empire from South India invaded Sri Lanka, leading to the decline of the Anuradhapura Kingdom and the rise of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom.
Sri Lanka was ruled by various kingdoms and dynasties over the centuries, including the Kotte Kingdom and the Kandy Kingdom. In the 16th century, the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka and established a colony, followed by the Dutch and then the British.
Sri Lanka gained independence from British rule on February 4, 1948, and became a republic in 1972, changing its name from Ceylon to Sri Lanka.
So, while Sri Lanka has a long and complex history that stretches back over 2,500 years, it was officially established as an independent country in 1948.