Historical Sri Lanka had been popular by numerous unlike names in long history more than 2500 years. Some of names given below were in documented history are in chronological order.


This is the most famous name used for Sri Lanka. In Indian legend name Ramayana also mentioned as “Lanka”


The name Lankadeepa was known at the time of Gautama Buddha, founder of the Buddhism. Diwa or Deepa means, the “Island”. “Lakdiva” also give the meaning as “Island of Lanka”. Bima stand to say Land. So, “Lakbima” means “The land of Lanka”


“The Island” became as “Tambapanni”, the reason for this, when Prince Vijaya and his groups came to Sri Lanka nearby Puttalam, the sand in there on the coastal was copper colored with a reddish brown type. Due to this lanka name as “Tambapanni”


This name means the “Island of Sinhala” since prince vijaya supposed lion ancestry according to mahavamsa, they’ve known as Sihala.


In Indian literature in Kautalya’s “Arthasastra” lanka is mentioned as “Parasamudra”. It’s mean beyond the ocean.


This may resulting of Indian name “Parasamudra”. Because this name was came by ancient Greek writers.  


Another name by Greek writers shortened from the word “Palaesimoundu”. 


One of the first Greek Geographers referred to Sri Lanka as “Island of Taprobane”. Pliny and Ptolemy in second century A.D also name Sri Lanka as “Island of Taprobane”.


Ancient Indians given this name to Sri Lanka. Seems derivative from the name of “Sinhaladeepa”.

Salike or Sileke

Another name by ancient Indians. Derivative from the name of “Sihala”.


Tamils refer to Sri Lanka.


A name derivative from Sinhala and Deepa. This name was came from by an Arab Historian.

Serendib or Serendivi

This name given by Arabs because of Ruby Gems. “The Island of Rubies” was their meaning. The Arab traveler Ibn Batuta and Arab geographer Al-Idrisi called as “Serendib”.


Ibn shahriyar, an Arab writer written in 960 A.D. refer to Sri Lanka by the usual arab term Serendib. But states that the country also known as “Saheelan”.

Zeylan or Seylan

Europeans called Sri Lanka as “zeylan” or “Seylan” derived from Arabic word “Saheelan”.


This is the most famous name during the colonial period of British. They used this name. this name may derived from the word of Zeylan or Seylan. Even Sri Lanka got independence in 1948 this name was maintained until 1972. After the country became a full-fledged republic, name was officially changed to Sri Lanka “The Resplendent Land”. Again in 1978 with a new constitution created an executive presidency the name of country was officially changed to Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.