Sir Lanka's historical and cultural heritage covers more than 2,000
years. Known as Lanka--the "resplendent land"--in the ancient Indian
epic Ramayana, the island has numerous other references that testify to
the island's natural beauty and wealth. Islamic folklore maintains that
Adam and Eve were offered refuge on the island as solace for their
expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Asian poets, noting the geographical
location of the island and lauding its beauty, called it the "pearl upon
the brow of India.