King Vikramabahu

House of Vijayabahu | Ruhuna - (1037 - 1049)

Vikramabahu (1017–1041; known as Kassapa before his coronation) was a medieval king of Sri Lanka. Following the death of his father in 1029, Vikramabahu led the resistance movement against the Chola invaders of the country, ruling from the southern principality of Ruhuna. He spent a number of years building up his forces to drive out the Chola, but died before he could launch his military campaign.

Following the Chola invasion of Sri Lanka under Raja Raja Chola I in 993 CE, they annexed the principality of Rajarata, which encompassed the north of the country, and made it a province of the Chola empire. However they let the Sri Lankan king Mahinda V rule the southern principality of Ruhuna unhindered for twenty four years. In 1017 they launched an invasion into Ruhuna and captured the king, along with his queen and all the royal jewels. Mahinda V remained a prisoner of the Chola empire, and died under their captivity in 1029.
As long as their king was in custody, the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka submitted to the rule of the Chola empire. However resistance to Chola rule began almost immediately following the death of Mahinda V in 1029.As soon as news of his death reached the country, an increasing rebellion began in the south of the island, especially in the Ruhuna principality.
Approximate extent of Chola empire when Vikramabahu became king
The price Kassapa, son of Mahinda V, had escaped when his parents were captured by the Chola army, and was brought up in secret in Ruhuna. He was around twelve years old when he inherited the Sinhalse kingdom upon his father’s death. The Chola were eager to capture him, and they dispatched a large force from their capital of Polonnaruwa to seize the prince.
Vikramabahu had no direct heirs to the throne, and ten years of internal disorganization and disunity followed his death.[4] The Chola empire took advantage of the situation, putting three of the next five princes who assumed the throne to death.[3]
Immediately after Vikramabahu's death, his Senpathi Kitti assumed power. Kitti was deposed after eight days by Mahalanakitti, who bore the title "Chief Secretary" to Vikramabahu, but of whom little is known. He ruled for a further three years but fell in battle with the Chola. He was succeeded by a number of Indian princes as the Sinhalese were willing to follow anyone who would lead them to freedom from the Chola empire.[4] However successive rulers left Ruhuna much worse off than before.[3]
Eventually in 1055, Vijayabahu I was proclaimed king,[4] and following a seventeen-year long campaign he successfully drove the Chola out of Sri Lanka, reuniting the country for the first time in over a century
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