“Balangoda Man” appeared on the island about 34,000 years ago. If you want to track the island’s human history from his time until the present day, take a look Balangoda Man history. The island has probably had more than its fair share of “visitors” in that time, many of them bent on occupying it.
In the busiest colonial centuries, it changed hands between the European Imperial powers (Dutch, Portuguese and, of course, British) before emerging as a Republic in 1972.
This turbulent history has left a remarkable legacy of literally hundreds of sites, from palaces to temples, rock fortresses to bottomless wells. And Sri Lanka takes its conservation responsibility very seriously so that sites are typically well-preserved but accessible. Take a look at these Sri Lanka great places for an excellent description of the “must-see” locations, including: