King Mahinda VI
1187 - 1187
AssasinatedKing Nissanka Malla
1187 - 1196
AgeingKing Vira Bahu I
1196 - 1196
King Nissanka Malla
House of Kalinga | Polonnaruwa - (1187 - 1196)
Nissanka Malla (Sinhala, නිස්සංක මල්ල), also known as Kirti Nissanka and Kalinga Lokesvara was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled the country from 1187 to 1196.[1] He is known for his architectural constructions such as the Nissanka Lata Mandapaya, Hatadage and Rankot Vihara, as well as for the refurbishment of old temples and irrigation tanks.
Nissanka Malla declared that only a Buddhist had the right to rule the country, thereby securing his position and justifying his claim for kingship. He spent large sums for various constructions and refurbishments, and also gave money to the public in an attempt to put down crimes. He maintained cordial relationships with several countries, and also invaded the states of the Pandyans and Cholas in South India.
A rock inscription made by Nissanka Malla at Dambulla mentions that he is of the Kalinga Dynasty and a descendant from the race of King Vijaya. Another inscription at Ruwanwelisaya describes him as being a member of a royal family of Kalinga, born at Sinhapura. The inscription there reads;
...having come from the royal line of the Ikshvaku family having become like a forehead mark to the royal family of Kalinga emperors born at Sinhapura...
Nissanka Malla's year of birth is 1157 or 1158. He was the son of Queen Parvati and King Jayagopa. This is mentioned in a rock inscription made by Nissanka Malla at Galpota. This inscription describes Jayagopa as being the reigning king of Sinhapura. Nissanka Malla had two wives named Kalinga Subadradevi and Gangavamsa Kalyanamahadevi. He was also a son-in-law or nephew of Parākramabāhu I.
The Nissanka Latha Mandapaya, constructed by Nissanka Malla is a unique type of building. It contains 8 granite pillars which were used to support a roof. The pillars are carved out of granite in the form of lotus stems with opening lotus buds on the tops, and are positioned on a platform.
The Hatadage is another construction done by Nissanka Malla. This building was constructed to keep the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha.[14] The Rankot Vihara, the fourth largest stupa in Sri Lanka, was also constructed by Nissanka Malla.
A major refurbishment was carried out at the Dambulla cave temple by Nissanka Malla. A rock inscription records that he has spent 7 lakhs for this. However, another of his own rock inscriptions contradict this statement and mentions the sum as 1 lakh.[8] The interior of the temple was gilded during the refurbishment. This later earned the temple the name Ran Giri, meaning golden rock. Nissanka Malla also had 50 Buddha statues in the temple gilded, and had this recorded in a rock inscription near the entrance of the temple.[15] A statue of Nissanka Malla was also made in one of the caves
Step BrotherKing Sahassa Malla1200 - 1202
WifeQueen Kalyanawathie1202 - 1210
Younger BrotherKing Vikramabahu II1196 - 1196
SonKing Vira Bahu I1196 - 1196
NephewKing Chodaganga1196 - 1197