Discover Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is an island country located in southern India, in the Indian Ocean. Its varied landscape ranges from tropical rainforest and arid plains to mountains and sandy beaches. The country owes its fame to its Buddhist ruins, notably Sigiraya, a 5th century citadel with a palace and frescoes. The city of Anuradhapura, once the capital of Sri Lanka, has many ruins dating back over 2,000 years.