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Where is Sri Lanka

Where is Sri Lanka

Where is Sri Lanka located?

This tropical haven is nestled below the tip of India towards the south, just like a teardrop-shaped pendant dangling from its necklace. According to Hindu folklore the pearl of the Indian Ocean was connected to India through a land bridge, the remnants of which are limestone shoals that are above sea level. Cargo ships coming from India have to sail around the island because of the shallow water between the tip of India and the top of Sri Lanka. The importance of the tiny island’s location was utilized by the Dutch who conquered one of the country’s main harbors. It’s crucial position in the trade route tempted the British to capture it from the Dutch and conquer all the other Maritime Provinces. Wrapped around by the Indian Ocean, the island doesn’t share land borders with any other countries making you close to the sea no matter which part of the country you are in.

 Names of Sri Lanka

1.     Lanka

Meaning: that which glitters

A name bestowed by the Ramayana that was derived from the Tamil word ‘ilanku’ meaning ‘to shine’ or ‘to glitter’.

2.     Lakbima/Lankadeepa/Lakdiva

Meaning: The land of Lanka/ Island of Lanka

This was the name of the island during the time of Gautama Buddha, 2500 years ago. ‘Diva’ means ‘island’ and ‘Bima’ means ‘Land’.

3.     Tamraparni/Taprobana

Meaning: Copper-colored leaf/ tree with red leaves

Different scholars predicted different meanings for the name. Some state that ‘Thamiram’ means ‘copper’ in Sanskrit and ‘varni’ means ‘color’. Another derivation is that ‘Tamara’ means ‘red’ and ‘parani’ means ‘tree’. According to history, this was the name given by king Vijaya when he landed on the island. The sand gave out a copper glow, which was the base of the name. This was then modified by Megasthenes, the Greek Embassador of Chandragupta as ‘Taprobana’ in the 4th century BC. Eratosthenes the geographer, Pliny and Ptolemy also referred it with ‘Taprobane’.

4.     Parasamudra

Meaning: beyond the ocean

This was the name used to refer Sri Lanka in Indian Literature. The Greeks used the name ‘Palaesimondu’ which was derived from the name ‘Parasamudra’. This was further abbreviated into Simoundu by the Greek writers.

5.     Serendib/Serendivi

Meaning: The Island of Rubies

The country was famous for its precious stones, the reason why Ibn Batuta, the Arab traveler and Al Idrisi, the Arab Geographer referred to the island as ‘Serendib’.

6.     Ceylon

This was the name used by the British to refer Sri Lanka. It was derived from the Arabic word Zeylan or Seylan.

No matter what the name, the splendor of Sri Lanka exudes from every one of them. Just the name is enough to get you thinking of green lands divided by flowing lakes with hidden jewels and friendly people. Sri Lanka is more than that because of its unique location. Not many countries have as much as eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites packed in such a tiny area. Sri Lanka is not only rich with history but also with rolling hills scattered with tea plantations, five-star beaches minus the five-star crowd, aromatic dishes and people that make the whole country a welcoming place. You don’t need to know where is Sri Lanka, all you have to know is what is Sri Lanka. In simple, it’s a slice of heaven on earth, and the Sri Lankans are very proud of it.

 

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