Dambadeniya - (1220 - 1345)

The Kingdom of Dambadeniya was a medieval kingdom in what is present day Sri Lanka. It reigned from 1220–1354.
The first king to choose Dambadeniya as his capital was Vijayabahu III. He was able to bring about the unity among the Sangha that had fled in various directions due to the hostile activities of the invader Kalinga Magha and succeeded in holding a Buddhist convention in 1226 to bring about peace among the Buddhist clergy.
King Parakramabahu II was the king who inherited the throne after King Vijayabahu. He was considered a genius, who was a great poet and a prolific writer. Among the books he wrote are Kausilumina, which is considered a great piece of literature. Unifying the three kingdoms that existed within Sri Lanka at that point of time is regarded as greatest achievement.
King Bosath Vijayabahu, as the eldest son of King Parakramabahu the second was crowned in 1270. He was well known for his modest behaviour and for his religious activities. He was killed in the second year of his reign by a minister called Miththa.
After the demise of his elder brother Vijayabahu, Bhuvanekabahu I, as the next in line to the throne, shifted the capital to Yapahuwa for reasons of security. He followed his father's footsteps as a writer and continued with the religious activities started by his brother Vijayabahu IV.
After the assassination of Vijayabahu IV his brother became king after a series of conflicts with several dissident generals thus became Bhuvanekabahu I. He considered Dambadeniya as insecure so he made Yapahuwa a rock fortress his permanent residence. Yapahuwa served as the capital of Sri Lanka in the latter part of the 13th century (1273–1284). Built on a huge, 90 meter high rock boulder in the style of the Sigiriya rock fortress, Yapahuwa was a palace and military stronghold against foreign invaders.
The palace and fortress were built by King Buvanekabahu I (1272–1284) in the year 1273. Many traces of ancient battle defences can still be seen, while an ornamental stairway, is its biggest showpiece. On top of the rock are the remains of a stupa, a Bodhi tree enclosure, and a rock shelter/cave used by Buddhist monks, indicating that earlier this site was used as a Buddhist monastery, like many boulders and hills in the area. There are several caves at the base of the rock. In one of them there is a shrine with Buddha images. One cave has a Brahmi script inscription. At the southern base of the rock there is a fortification with two moats and ramparts. In this enclosure there are the remains of a number of buildings including a Buddhist shrine. There is also a Buddhist temple called Yapawwa Rajamaha Vihara built during the Kandyan period.
The Tooth Relic was brought from Dambadeniya and kept in the Tooth Temple built for the purpose at the top of the third staircase. The relics were carried away from the temple here to South India by the Pandyas, and then recovered in 1288 by Parakkramabahu III (1287–1293), who temporarily placed them in safety at Polonnaruwa.
Yapahuwa was one of the ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka. The citadel of Yapahuwa lying midway between MATARA and GALLE was built around a huge granite rock rising abruptly almost a hundred meters above the surrounding lowlands.
In 1272, King Bhuvenakabahu transferred the capital from Polonnaruwa to Yapahuwa in the face of Dravidian invasions from South India, bringing the Sacred Tooth Relic with him. Following the death of King Bhuvenakabahu in 1284, the Pandyans of South India invaded Sri Lanka once again, and succeeded in capturing Sacred Tooth Relic. Following its capture, Yapahuwa was largely abandoned and inhabited by Buddhist monks and religious ascetics.
At the time of the Polonaruwa perdiod Sri Lanka was known as the granary of the east meaning the flourishment and the export of padddy; yet belonging in the dry zone of Sri Lanka where a little amount of water could be used.Sri Lankan of those days were really wise and intelligent ready to save for the future they deserve much respect for they cared for the people by saving water in big tanks and lakes to be used during period with no rainfall.Due to this the trade during the period of Polonaruwa was highly developed in Sri Lanka.furthermore they exported ivory., gems and many other exporting valuables to earn a good income to the country.
The Polonaruwa kings had to go through many wars and many drawbacks.even Parakramabahu the great had to wrestle with the other provincial leaders of SriLanka.he also had to war against queen Sugala who had the Tooth relic in her possession. thus, we could clearly understand that there was many battles in thirst and hunger for power.
The Dambadeniya period is considered as the golden era of Sinhala literature. Important literary works such as Pansiya panas Jathakaya, Sinhala Thupavamsa, Dalada Siriththa, Sarajothi malai were written during the period. Several books in Sinhala, Pali & Sanskrit were written in this time. Among them are books of poetry such as Kausilumina, Muwadewdawatha, Sidath sangarawa, Buthsarana, Saddharma Rathnawaliya. The stone inscriptions in this period include keulgama mavilipitiya, Narambadde Ududumbara Lipiya, Rambukana Dewala Lipiya, Aluthnuwara Dewala Lipiya, Galapatha Viharaya Shila Lipiya. Parakramabahu II wrote two books namely Visuddi Marga Sannasa and Kavisilumina.
1 King Vijayabahu III1220 - 1224
2 King Parakkamabahu II1234 - 1267
3 King Vijayabahu IV1267 - 1270
  • House of Siri Sanga Bo
  • 1220 - 1345
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