Kingdom of Dambedeniya.

Kingdom of Dambedeniya.

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Dambadeniya is the third kingdom of Sri Lanka. It was situated in the Udukaha Western Korale of the Dambadeni Hatpattu in the Kurunegala district. As a result of the invasion of Rajarata by the Indian invader Kalinga Magha, the natives of the country were confronted with an unstable political atmosphere. At first, this place was chosen as a center to establish his leadership by Vijayabahu Ill in 1232 A.D. Parakramabahu ll, Vijayabahu IV, and Buwanekabahu I was the successors of Vijayabahu Ill who was ruling Dambadeniya. All these rulers belonged to the Dambadeni dynasty.

Though Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa kingdoms survived for a long time, Dambadeniya was held as a kingdom only for about forty years from 1232 to 1272 A.D. Even within this short period Dambadeniya acquired a prominent place as a center of royalty. Dambadeni rulers were successful in winning all three foreign invasions carried out respectively by Kalinga Magha from South India, Chandrababu from East Asia, and Pandya from South India. As a kingdom associated with several important occurrences of the country’s history, it is important to study the historical significance of the Dambadeniya kingdom.

Below are the Kings who were ruling in Dambedeniya:-

i) King Vijayabahu III- ( 1232 AD – 1236 AD):-

King Vijayabahu III is the first king of the Dambadeniya kingdom. Native Sinhalese began to move to the South or Maya rata because of the tough Tamil ruler Kalinga Magha who was ruling Polonnaruwa. While he was the king of Polonnaruwa, King Vijayabahu III was successful in ascending the throne of Dambadeniya. He was successful enough to convey the tooth relic and Lord Buddha’s alms bowl to Dambadeniya from it’s hiding place in Kotmale. His reign was largely spent reconstructing the shattered Buddhist infrastructure of the Sinhalese. The Vijayasundararama temple at Dambadeniya was used as the tooth relic shrine in the Dambadeniya era.

ii) King Parakramabahu II- (1236 AD – 1271 AD):-

After King Vijayabahu III his elder son Parakramabahu became the king of Dambadeniya and he rescued Polonnaruwa from Kalinga people by 1244 AD. He was given a nickname as “Kalikala Sahithya Sarvagnana Panditha Parakramabahu”. It was given because he was a great poet and was very experienced in literature. Kavi Silumina is one of his great creations. Then he renounced his throne in favor of his eldest son Vijayabahu and he was sent for the completion of the recovery of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura areas.

iii) King Vijayabahu IV – (1271 AD to 1273 AD):-

King Vijayabahu IV became the sole king after his father King Parakramabahu’s death. But he could carry the crown only for two years because he was assassinated by his general Mitta. The next king of the country was king Vijayabahu’s younger brother Buwanekabahu but he moved the capital from Dambadeniya to Yapahuwa. Thus marking the end of the Dambadeniya kingdom with the end of King Vijayabahu IV ‘s reign.

There were some specific coins used in the Dambadeniya era. Those were used in the reigns of king Parakramabahu II, King Vijayabahu IV, and King Buwanekabahu respectively. The name of the relevant king appears on each coin and those are written using Brahmee letters.

Dambadeniya was maintained as a Kingdom only for a short period from 1232-1273. Yapahuwa became the capital with the end of the Dambadeniya era.



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