Sri Lanka’s name

Spread the love


Sri Lanka had five names before it became what it is today. The very first name was Lanka, a word that simply translated into the word “island” in Old Sinhalese. This particular name derives from one of the world’s most prominent ancient epics, the story of Ramayana. The story goes, King Ravana kidnaps Princess Sita, and takes her to Lanka. The princess is later saved by Rama and Hanuman the Monkey King when they build a bridge to Lanka to bring her back. Since the time of Lanka, the names Tambapanni, Taprobane, Serendib (the word serendipity derives from this name), and finally Ceylon, a name bestowed by the British (but translated by the Portuguese who called the island ‘Ceilão’). Fast forward to today, the name Sri means ‘resplendent’ and along with ‘Lanka’, we have Sri Lanka, the resplendent island.