King Jetta Tissa I
266 - 276
King Mahasen
276 - 303
King Kithsirimewan
303 - 331
King Mahasen

House of Lambakarna I | Anuradhapura - (276 - 303)

Mahasena, also known in some records as Mahasen, was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled the country from 277 to 304 AD. He started the construction of large tanks or reservoirs in Sri Lanka,[1] and built sixteen such tanks.[2] After becoming king, Mahasen discriminated against Theravada Buddhists in the country, and destroyed several temples including Mahavihara, the main Theravada temple, before his chief minister led him to realise his mistakes.[3] The Jethavana stupa was also built by Mahasen. His countrymen regarded him as a god or deity after the construction of the Minneriya tank, and he was named Minneri Deviyo (God of Minneriya).
Mahasen was the younger son of King Gotabaya, who ruled the country from 253 to 266. His elder brother and predecessor to the throne was King Jetthatissa, who was the king from 266 to 275. Mahasen and Jetthatissa were educated by a Buddhist monk named Sanghamitta, who was a follower of the Vaitulya doctrine. Mahasen also became a follower of this doctrine, which was associated with Mahayana Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism was traditionally the official religion of the country. However when Mahasen acquired the throne, he ordered the Bhikkhus of Mahavihara, the largest Theravada temple in the country, to accept Mahayana teachings. When they refused, Mahasen prohibited his countrymen from providing food to the Theravada Bhikkhus, and established a fine for violating this. As a result, the Buddhist monks abandoned Anuradhapura and went to the Ruhuna municipality in the South of the country.
Mahasen destroyed the Mahavihara, and the materials obtained from there were used for building the Jethavanaramaya. Lovamahapaya, which belonged to the Mahavihara, was also destroyed. After this incident, the king’s chief minister and friend, Meghavannabaya, rebelled and raised an army in Ruhuna against him. The king came with his army to defeat Meghavannabaya and camped opposite the rebel camp. On the night before the battle was to be fought, Meghavannabaya managed to enter Mahasen’s camp and convinced him to stop the violence against Theravada Buddhists. Mahasen agreed to stop the violence and made peace with Meghavannabaya, and later reconstructed the Mahavihara.
During Mahasen’s anti-Theravada campaign, his countrymen turned against him and this opposition even led to rebellions against him. Even the Commander of his army Meghavarnabaya turned against him. These led to the killing of several royal officials, including the monk Sanghamitta, the teacher of the king who led him to this campaign.[3]
However, after Mahasen reconstructed the Mahavihara and constructed and repaired several tanks in order to improve agriculture in the country, the people’s opposition toward him was reduced. After the construction of the Minneriya reservoir, Mahasen was regarded as a god or deity, and was called Minneri Deviyo (God of Minneriya).[6] After his death, a shrine was built for him near the Minneriya reservoir, the remains of which can be seen to this day.
Mahasen died in 301, and with his death, the Mahavamsa written by the Buddhist Monk Mahanama also ends.
  • Built Jethawanarama Viharaya
  • Built Minneri Viharaya
  • Built Gokanna Viharaya
  • Built Ruhunu Kalandaka Viharaya
  • Built Ruhunu Ekapilla Viharaya
  • Built Muwagam Viharaya
  • Built Hangasengala Viharaya
  • Built Dasengala Viharaya
  • Built Rooparamma Viharaya
  • Burned Therawadi Books
  • මහා විහාරය ඝෝණ නම් අමාත්‍යවරයා ලවා විනාශ කරවීය.
  • සත් මහල් ප්‍රාසාදය බිඳ දැමීය.
  • පශ්චිමතිස්ස ආරාමයෙහි තිබූ සෙල් ප්‍රතිමාව අභයගිරියේ නගාලීය.
  • ඔහු විසින් විනාශ කල මහා විහාරය නැවත ගොඩනගන ලදී.
  • Built Minneriya Tank
  • Built Magama Tank
  • Built Jallura Tank
  • Built Banu Tank
  • Built Maminiya Tank
  • Built Paraka Tank
  • Built Kumbalaka Tank
  • Built Rathmalkada Tank
  • Built Magalan Tank
  • Built Mahadaragallaka Tank
  • Built Thissawaddamana Tank
  • Built Dhammaramma Tank
  • Built Kaalapasana Tank
  • Built Mahamuni Tank
  • Built Kandaka Tank
  • Built Vahana Tank
  • Built Pabbatha Brook
    Kiri Vehera - Katharagama

    Kiri Vehera is an ancient stupa situated in Kataragama, Sri Lanka. This stupa probably dates back to the 6th century BC and is believed to be built by King Mahasena, a regional ruler of Kataragama area. One of the most popular Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the country, Kiri Vehera is among the Solosmasthana, the 16 most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites of ancient Sri Lanka. This stupa which is 95 ft. in height with a circumference of 280 ft. is located 800 m North to the famous Ruhunu Maha...

    Built : King Mahasen,


    The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa, or Buddhist reliquary monument, located in the ruins of Jetavana monastery in the world heritage city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. At 122 metres (400 ft) it was the world's tallest stupa and the third tallest structure in the world[2] when it was built by King Mahasena of Anuradhapura (273–301). He initiated the construction of the stupa following the destruction of the Mahavihara. His son Maghavanna I completed the construction of the stupa. A part...

    Built : King Mahasen,

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