This is an island of much mystical wonders and a vibrant history, which saw many nations grace its golden shores, for trade purposes and some bewitched by its beauty who sought to capture the land. It is said that King Solomon is said to have shipped ivory, peacocks and other valuebles from the ancient seaport of Tarshish, which is theorized to be current day Galle. The early civilization of the island dates back as far as 5000 years ago, with its early inhabitants known as the Vedda people. According to the Mahawamsa, a chronicle written in the Pali language, following the banishment faced by his father King Asoka of India, Prince Vijaya embarked on a journey seeking to establish his own kingdom, a journey that brought him to the golden shores of Sri Lanka in the 6th century BC, which hailed in a new era and the birth of the Singhalese monarchy. Along with the arrival of Sangamitha with the Bo tree sapling (the great Sri Maha Bodhi which now stands in Anuradhapura), in her hand Buddhism took root on this island. From then on many great kings have graced this mesmerizing tropical isle, ruling from various locations on the island, with the key locations being Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, and Kandy. Among the marvels build by these kings the rock fortress of Sigiya stands out due the advanced architectural skills implemented during the transformation of this giant monolith. With the reign of Sri Lanka’s last king Sri Wickrama Raja Singhe who was the last of the kings to rule the last Singhalese monarchy of the kingdom of Kandy, was hailed in the colonial era, beginning with the British and followed by the Dutch and Portuguese. On the 4th of February 1948 Sri Lanka won her independence and freed herself of foreign rule.