Ceylon has been variously called Lank (Kingdom of the Lion Race), Tamba Panni (Land of the Red Earth) from which the Greeks and Romans derived the name Taprobane, Dhamma Dvipa (Land of the Doctrine), Sinhale and Sinhala Dvipa (Sojourn of the Lion Race) which was derived from the names alternately Serendib celiao, Zeilan and finally Ceylon. The country is situated on important trade routes between the East and the West and is rich in historical tradition with culture dating back over 3000 years.
The Ceylon pavilion was a two-storey building made of a reinforced concrete structure with an outer layer of glass, a unique innovation in design. The interior walls depicted a fresco of Buddhist arts. The exhibition featured archaeological treasures in gold, bronze and wood, and original stone statues. Some items dated back as far as 800 years or more and had never been shown before outside the country. Famous stones including the giant blue sapphire were on display. More than 100 octagon-shaped lanterns were lit in the pavilion.
In the centre of the compound, with a pond in the background, stood a bronze replica of a large leaf of the Bo tree. Tradition has it that Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment after meditating under a Bo tree. A sapling of this tree was introduced to Ceylon and is now considered the oldest tree in the world with a religious tradition.
A restaurant in the pavilion offered delicious herbal tea, pure Ceylon tea and typical Ceylon dishes. Visitors to the restaurant could see films illustrating the diversity and beauty of the island renowned through the ages for its landscapes, its wealth of precious stones, its fertile land and its sacred places.
Ceylon tea, in attractive packages, was available for purchase in the restaurant.