Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, just off the southeastern coast of India. Despite its modest size—slightly larger than the state of West Virginia—Sri Lanka has a population of about 20 million people, almost equal to the population of Texas. The island is rich in natural resources, and has a diverse economy based on agriculture, mining, fishing, manufacturing, and tourism. On becoming an independent nation in 1948 Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon) seemed to be headed for a future as a stable and prosperous democracy. Since the 1970s, however, the country has been torn by violent struggles between the two main ethnic groups, Sinhalese and Tamils, that make up its population. Sri Lanka suffered severe damage and loss of life from the tsunami of 2004; what effect that disaster will have on the country’s political future remains to be seen.
Shaped like a teardrop, the island of Sri Lanka measures about 255 miles (415 km.) from north to south, and about 135 miles (220 km.) from east to west, with a total land area of about 25,300 square miles (65,600 square km.). It has more than 830 miles (1340 km.) of coastline. The island is ringed by a broad coastal plain, rising to an inland terrain of gently rolling hills. A range of mountains dominates the south-central interior, with the highest peak, Mt. Piduruthalagala, reaching more than 8200 feet (2524 meters) in height.
The highest mountain is the Pidurutalagala which is 2524 meters high .There are 103 rivers in Sri Lanka and the longest is the River Mahaweli , which is 335 km long.
Sigiriya as a Kingdom was abandoned in around 1150 AD and was almost forgotten for the next seven centuries Though King Kashyapa is not regarded in high esteem in Sri Lankan history due to his dubious conduct, he is credited as the ruler with unsurpassed imagination put into reality to create a Sri Lankan style marvel of high calibre art and engineering skills that could even challange the otherr world structures at that time, which definitely is amazing even in the 21st century with whatever is remaining as ruins of Sigiriya Kingdom.
The Sri Lankan Buddhist kingdoms flourished by building and controlling irrigation networks on the plains in the northern part of the island. One ancient capital, Anuradhapura, was home to some of the largest and most impressive Buddhist temples of southern Asia. The ruler of another Sri Lankan state, King Kasyapa (r. 473-491) made his capital at Sigiriya, a natural rock fortress rising a sheer 500 feet above the surrounding plain, on top of which the king built an elegant city of palaces and gardens.