Anuradhapura Kingdom

What is Anuradhapura Kingdom known for?


famous paintings

*


poems written

literature existed even two centuries before this, if not earlier. Ellawala (1969), p. 87 The oldest Sinhala literature is found at Sigiriya. Siriweera (2004), p. 267 Poems written from the 6th century to the end of the Anuradhaura kingdom are found among the graffiti on the mirror wall at Sigiriya. Most of these verses are describing or even addressed to the female figures depicted in the frescoes of Sigiriya. Lokubandara (2007), p. 37 The majority of these poems have been written between the 8th and 10th centuries. Lokubandara (2007), p. 29 Only three Sinhala books survive from the Anuradhapura period. One of them, ''Siyabaslakara'', was written in the 9th or 10th century on the art of poetry and is based on the Sanskrit ''Kavyadarsha''. ''Dampiya Atuva Gatapadaya'' is another, and is a glossary for the Pali ''Dhammapadatthakatha'', providing Sinhala words and synonyms for Pali words. The third book is ''Mula Sikha Ha Sikhavalanda'', a set of disciplinary rules for Buddhist monks. Both these have been written during the last two centuries of the Anuradhapura period. Siriweera (2004), p. 268 During the reign of Valagamba, the Pali ''Tripitaka'' was written in palm leaves. Ellawala (1969), p. 86 Several commentaries on Buddhism, known as ''Atthakatha'' have also been written during the reign of Mahanama (406–428). Pali chronicles such as Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa have been written during the Anuradhapura Kingdom, and are still useful as resources for studying the history of the country. Siriweera (2004), p. 271 Mendis (1999), p. 1 Art thumb The Sigiriya frescoes are the oldest and best preserved paintings belonging to the Anuradhapura period. alt Painting on a rock face depicting two women, one dark skinned and the other fair skinned. Both are wearing jewellery and flowers, and both figures appear to be hidden in clouds below the waist. (File:Sigiriya frescoes.jpg)The Sigiriya Frescoes found at Sigiriya, Sri Lanka were painted during the reign of King Kashyapa I (Kashyapa I of Anuradhapura) (ruled 477 — 495 AD). Depicting female figures carrying flowers, they are the oldest surviving paintings of the Anuradhapura period. Siriweera (2004), p. 290 Various theories exist as to who are shown in these paintings. Some suggest that they are ''apsaras'' (Apsara) (celestial nymphs), Bandaranayake (2007), p. 8 others suggest that they are the ladies of the king's court or even a representation of lightning and rain clouds. Bandaranayake (2007), p. 11 Although they bear some similarity to the paintings of Ajanta (Ajanta Caves) in India, there are significant differences in style and composition suggesting that these are examples of a distinctive Sri Lankan school of art. Bandaranayake (2007), p. 12 Paintings from a cave at Hindagala date back to the late Anuradhapura period, and may even belong to the same period as the Sigiriya paintings. The paintings of Sigiriya and Hindagala are the only surviving specimens of art of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. However, remnants of paintings indicate that walls and ceilings of some buildings and the inside walls of ''stupas'' and ''vahalkadas'' were also painted. Saddhatissa had employed painters to decorate the Ruwanweli Seya when his brother Dutthagamani wanted to see it on his death bed. Ellawala (1969), p. 153 thumb left The Samadhi statue is considered a masterpiece of statue making of the Anuradhapura period. (File:SamadhiStatue.JPG) Statue making, most noticeably statues of the Buddha (Buddharupa), was an art perfected by the Sri Lankan sculptors during the Anuradhapura Kingdom. The earliest Buddha statues belonging to the Anuradhapura period date back to the 1st century AD. Siriweera (2004), p. 286 Standard postures such as ''Abhaya Mudra'', ''Dhyana Mudra'', ''Vitarka Mudra'' and ''Kataka Mudra'' were used when making these statues. The Samadhi statue in Anuradhapura, considered one of the finest examples of ancient Sri Lankan art,


military achievements

by the arrival of the Tooth Relic of the Buddha in Sri Lanka and the patronage extended by her rulers. Perera (2001), p.45 Invasions from South India were a constant threat throughout the Anuradhapura period. Rulers such as Dutthagamani, Valagamba, and Dhatusena are noted for defeating the South Indians and regaining control of the kingdom. Other rulers who are notable for military achievements include Gajabahu I, who launched an invasion against the invaders


large buildings

throughout the Anuradhapura period. These constructions are an indication of the advanced technical and engineering skills used to create them. The famous paintings and structures at Sigiriya; the Ruwanwelisaya, Jetavana stupa (Jetavanaramaya)s, and other large stupas; large buildings like the Lovamahapaya; and religious works (like the numerous Buddha statues) are landmarks demonstrating the Anuradhapura period's advancement in sculpting. The city of Anuradhapura In 543 BC, prince Vijaya (Vijaya of Sri Lanka) (543–505 BC) arrived in Sri Lanka, having been banished from his homeland in India. He eventually brought the island under his control and established himself as king. After this, his retinue established villages and colonies throughout the country. One of these was established by Anuradha, a minister of King Vijaya, on the banks of a stream called Kolon and was named Anuradhagama. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 20 In 377 BC, King Pandukabhaya (Pandukabhaya of Sri Lanka) (437–367 BC) made it his capital and developed it into a prosperous city. Blaze (1995), p. 19 Yogasundaram (2008), p. 41 Anuradhapura (Anurapura) was named after the minister who first established the village and after a grandfather of Pandukabhaya who lived there. The name was also derived from the city's establishment on the auspicious asterism (Nakshatra) called Anura. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 27 Anuradhapura was the capital of all the monarchs who ruled the country during in the Anuradhapura Kingdom, with the exception of Kashyapa I (Kashyapa I of Sri Lanka) (473–491), who chose Sigiriya to be his capital. Bandaranayake (2007), p. 6 The city is also marked on Ptolemy's world map. Mendis (1999), p. 7 History King Pandukabhaya, the founder and first ruler of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, fixed village boundaries in the country and established an administration system by appointing village headmen. He constructed hermitages, houses for the poor, cemeteries, and irrigation tanks. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 28 He brought a large portion of the country under the control of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. However, it was not until the reign of Dutthagamani (161–137 BC) that the whole country was unified under the Anuradhapura Kingdom. Siriweera (2004), p. 25 He defeated 32 rulers in different parts of the country before he killed Elara (Elara (monarch)), the South Indian ruler who was occupying Anuradhapura, and ascended to the throne. Moratuwagama (1996), p. 225 The chronicle ''Mahavamsa'' describes his reign with much praise, and devotes 11 chapters out of 37 for his reign. Siriweera (2004), p. 27 He is described as both a warrior king and a devout Buddhist. Ludowyk (1985), p. 61 After unifying the country, he helped establish Buddhism on a firm and secure base, and built several monasteries and shrines including the Ruwanweli Seya Moratuwagama (1996), p. 252 and Lovamahapaya. Moratuwagama (1996), p. 238 Another notable king of the Anuradhapura Kingdom is Valagamba (Valagamba of Sri Lanka) (103, 89–77 BC), also known as Vatthagamani Abhaya, who was overthrown by five invaders (The Five Dravidians) from South India. He regained his throne after defeating these invaders one by one and unified the country again under his rule. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 75 Saddha Tissa (137–119 BC), Mahaculi Mahatissa (77–63 BC), Vasabha (67–111), Gajabahu I (114–136), Dhatusena (455–473), Aggabodhi I (571–604) and Aggabodhi II (604–614) were among the rulers who held sway over the entire country after Dutthagamani and Valagamba. Rulers from Kutakanna Tissa (44–22 BC) to Amandagamani (29–19 BC) also managed to keep the whole country under the rule of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. Siriweera (2004), p. 35 Other rulers could not maintain their rule over the whole island, and independent regions often existed in ''Ruhuna'' and ''Malayarata'' (hill country) for limited periods. During the final years of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, rebellions sprang up and the authority of the kings gradually declined. Siriweera (2004), p. 36 By the time of Mahinda V (982–1017), the last king of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, the rule of the king had become so weak that he could not even properly organize the collection of taxes. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 114 During the times of Vasabha, Mahasena (Mahasena of Sri Lanka) (274–301) and Dhatusena, the construction of large irrigation tanks and canals was given priority. Vasabha constructed 11 tanks and 12 canals, Wijesooriya (2006), p. 81 Mahasen constructed 16 tanks and a large canal, Wijesooriya (2006), p. 88 and Dhatusena built 18 tanks. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 93 Most of the other kings have also built irrigation tanks throughout ''Rajarata'', the area around Anuradhapura. By the end of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, a large and intricate irrigation network was available throughout Rajarata to support the agriculture of the country. Siriweera (2004), p. 171 Arrival of Buddhism thumb The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi today, to which the Kingdom was offered by Devanampiya Tissa. alt Large Bo tree (Ficus religiosa) surrounded by a white wall and a golden fence. (File:Photograph of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Anuradhapura Sri Lanka.jpg) One of the most notable events during the Anuradhapura Kingdom was the introduction of Buddhism to the country. A strong alliance existed between Devanampiya Tissa (250–210 BC) and Ashoka of India, Mendis (1999), p. 11 who sent Arahat Mahinda, four monks, and a novice being sent to Sri Lanka. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 34 They encountered Devanampiya Tissa at Mihintale. After this meeting, Devanampiya Tissa embraced Buddhism the order of monks was established in the country. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 38 Devanampiya Tissa, guided by Arahat Mahinda, took steps to firmly establish Buddhism in the country. Ludowyk (1985), p. 46 Soon afterwards, the bhikkhuni Sanghamitta arrived from India in order to establish the ''Bhikkhuni sasana'' (order of nuns) in the country. Ludowyk (1985), p. 49 She brought along with her a sapling from the Sri Maha Bodhi, the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment (Bodhi), which was then planted in Anuradhapura. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 41 Devanampiya Tissa bestowed on his kingdom the newly planted Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. Ludowyk (1985), p. 55 Thus this is the establishment of Buddhism in Sri Lanka Arrival of the Sacred Tooth Relic During the reign of Kithsirimevan (301–328), Sudatta, the sub king of Kalinga (Kalinga (India)), and Hemamala brought the Tooth Relic of the Buddha to Sri Lanka because of unrest in their country. Blaze (1995), p. 58 Kithsirimevan carried it in procession and placed the relic in a mansion named ''Datadhatughara''. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 89 He ordered this procession to be held annually, and this is still done as a tradition in the country. The Tooth Relic of the Buddha soon became one of the most sacred objects in the country, and a symbol of kingship. The person who was in possession of the Tooth Relic would be the rightful ruler of the country. Blaze (1995), p. 59 Therefore it was often enshrined within the royal palace itself. Rambukwelle (1993), p. 51 Invasions Several invasions have been made against the Anuradhapura Kingdom, all of which were launched from South India. The first invasion recorded in the history of the country is during the reign of Suratissa (Suratissa of Sri Lanka) (247–237 BC), where he was overthrown by two horse dealers from South India named Sena and Guththika. After ruling the country for 22 years, they were defeated by Asela (Asela of Sri Lanka) (215–205 BC), who was in turn overthrown by another invasion led by a Chola prince named Elara (Elara (monarch)) (205–161 BC). Wijesooriya (2006), p. 47 Elara ruled for 44 years before being defeated by Dutthagamani. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 49 However, the Mahavamsa records that these foreign kings ruled the country fairly and lawfully. The country was invaded again in 103 BC by five Dravidian chiefs (The Five Dravidians), Pulahatta, Bahiya, Panya Mara, Pilaya Mara and Dathika, who ruled until 89 BC when they were defeated by Valagamba. Another invasion occurred in 433, and the country fell under the control of six rulers from South India. These were Pandu, Parinda, Khudda Parinda, Tiritara, Dathiya and Pithiya, who were defeated by Dhathusena who regained power in 459. Siriweera (2004), p. 42 More invasions and raids from South India occurred during the reigns of Sena I (833–853) Wijesooriya (2006), p. 108 and Udaya III (935–938). Wijesooriya (2006), p. 112 The final invasion during the Anuradhapura Kingdom, which ended the kingdom and left the country under the rule of the Cholas, took place during the reign of Mahinda V. Siriweera (2004), p. 44 However, none of these invaders could extend their rule to ''Ruhuna (Kingdom of Ruhuna)'', the southern part of the country, and Sri Lankan rulers and their heirs always organized their armies from this area and managed to regain their throne. Throughout the history of Sri Lanka, ''Ruhuna'' served as a base for resistance movements. End of the kingdom In 993, the Chola Emperor Rajaraja I invaded Sri Lanka, forcing the then Sri Lankan ruler Mahinda V to flee to the southern part of the country. The Mahavamsa describes the rule of Mahinda V as weak, and the country was suffering from poverty by this time. It further mentions that his army rose against him due to lack of wages. Taking advantage of this situation, Rajendra I son of Rajaraja I, launched a large invasion in 1017. Mahinda V was captured and taken to India, and the Cholas sacked the city of Anuradhapura. They moved the capital to Polonnaruwa and subsequent Sri Lankan rulers who came into power after the Chola reign continued to use Polonnaruwa as the capital, thus ending the Anuradhapura Kingdom. Siriweera (2004), p. 45 Administration


natural rock

different techniques were used in construction; one method involved making an embankment using natural rock formations across a valley and the other involved diverting water courses through constructed canals to reservoirs. All the reservoirs and canals in an area were interconnected by an intricate network, so that excess water from one will flow into the other. Siriweera (2004), p. 174 The locations of these constructions indicate that the ancient engineers were aware


depicting

image_s1 image_flag Flag of Dutthagamani.png image_coat flag_type The flag used by Dutthagamani and subsequent rulers.

such as Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa have been written during the Anuradhapura Kingdom, and are still useful as resources for studying the history of the country. Siriweera (2004), p. 271 Mendis (1999), p. 1 Art File:Sigiriya frescoes.jpg thumb The Sigiriya frescoes are the oldest and best preserved paintings belonging to the Anuradhapura period. alt Painting on a rock face depicting two women, one dark skinned and the other fair skinned

. Both are wearing jewellery and flowers, and both figures appear to be hidden in clouds below the waist. The Sigiriya Frescoes found at Sigiriya, Sri Lanka were painted during the reign of King Kashyapa I (Kashyapa I of Anuradhapura) (ruled 477 — 495 AD). Depicting female figures carrying flowers, they are the oldest surviving paintings of the Anuradhapura period. Siriweera (2004), p


polonnaruwa

; or "declaration"-- year_start 377 BC year_end 1017 p1 Kingdom of Upatissa Nuwara flag_p1 image_p1 s1 Polonnaruwa Kingdom flag_s1

against him due to lack of wages. Taking advantage of this situation, Rajendra I son of Rajaraja I, launched a large invasion in 1017. Mahinda V was captured and taken to India, and the Cholas sacked the city of Anuradhapura. They moved the capital to Polonnaruwa and subsequent Sri Lankan rulers who came into power after the Chola reign continued to use Polonnaruwa as the capital, thus

). This king's reign was crucial to Theravada Buddhism and for Sri Lanka. The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was the second major Sinhalese (Sinhalese people) kingdom of Sri Lanka. It lasted from 1055 under Vijayabahu I to 1212 under the rule of Lilavati (Lilavati of Sri Lanka). The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa came into being after the Anuradhapura Kingdom was invaded by Chola forces under Rajaraja I and led to formation of the Kingdom of Ruhuna


extensive production

; Shifting cultivation was also done during the rainy seasons. Goonaratne and Hirashima (1990), p. 153 Rice was produced in two main seasons named ''Yala'' and ''Maha''. Due to the extensive production of rice, the country was mostly self-sufficient. Siriweera (2004), p. 190 Cotton was grown extensively to meet the requirements of cloth. Sugarcane and Sesame were also grown and there are frequent references in classical literature


strong role

capital city , was the first established kingdom (monarchy) in ancient Sri Lanka. Founded by King Pandukabhaya in 377 BC, the kingdom's authority extended throughout the country, although several independent areas emerged from time to time, which grew more numerous towards the end of the kingdom. Nonetheless, the king of Anuradhapura was seen as the supreme ruler of the country throughout the Anuradhapura period. Buddhism played a strong role in the Anuradhapura period, influencing its culture, laws, and methods of governance. Buddhism was such an important factor in this period that Mendis (2000), p.196 asserts, "The island of Lanka belonged to the Buddha himself; it was like a treasury filled with the three gems (Three Jewels)". Society and culture were revolutionized when the faith was introduced during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa; this cultural change was further strengthened by the arrival of the Tooth Relic of the Buddha in Sri Lanka and the patronage extended by her rulers. Perera (2001), p.45 Invasions from South India were a constant threat throughout the Anuradhapura period. Rulers such as Dutthagamani, Valagamba, and Dhatusena are noted for defeating the South Indians and regaining control of the kingdom. Other rulers who are notable for military achievements include Gajabahu I, who launched an invasion against the invaders, and Sena II, who sent his armies to assist a Pandyan prince. Because the kingdom was largely based on agriculture, the construction of irrigation works was a major achievement of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, ensuring water supply in the dry zone and helping the country grow mostly self-sufficient. Several kings, most notably Vasabha and Mahasena (Mahasena of Sri Lanka), built large reservoirs and canals, which created a vast and complex irrigation network in the ''Rajarata'' area throughout the Anuradhapura period. These constructions are an indication of the advanced technical and engineering skills used to create them. The famous paintings and structures at Sigiriya; the Ruwanwelisaya, Jetavana stupa (Jetavanaramaya)s, and other large stupas; large buildings like the Lovamahapaya; and religious works (like the numerous Buddha statues) are landmarks demonstrating the Anuradhapura period's advancement in sculpting. The city of Anuradhapura In 543 BC, prince Vijaya (Vijaya of Sri Lanka) (543–505 BC) arrived in Sri Lanka, having been banished from his homeland in India. He eventually brought the island under his control and established himself as king. After this, his retinue established villages and colonies throughout the country. One of these was established by Anuradha, a minister of King Vijaya, on the banks of a stream called Kolon and was named Anuradhagama. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 20 In 377 BC, King Pandukabhaya (Pandukabhaya of Sri Lanka) (437–367 BC) made it his capital and developed it into a prosperous city. Blaze (1995), p. 19 Yogasundaram (2008), p. 41 Anuradhapura (Anurapura) was named after the minister who first established the village and after a grandfather of Pandukabhaya who lived there. The name was also derived from the city's establishment on the auspicious asterism (Nakshatra) called Anura. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 27 Anuradhapura was the capital of all the monarchs who ruled the country during in the Anuradhapura Kingdom, with the exception of Kashyapa I (Kashyapa I of Sri Lanka) (473–491), who chose Sigiriya to be his capital. Bandaranayake (2007), p. 6 The city is also marked on Ptolemy's world map. Mendis (1999), p. 7 History King Pandukabhaya, the founder and first ruler of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, fixed village boundaries in the country and established an administration system by appointing village headmen. He constructed hermitages, houses for the poor, cemeteries, and irrigation tanks. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 28 He brought a large portion of the country under the control of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. However, it was not until the reign of Dutthagamani (161–137 BC) that the whole country was unified under the Anuradhapura Kingdom. Siriweera (2004), p. 25 He defeated 32 rulers in different parts of the country before he killed Elara (Elara (monarch)), the South Indian ruler who was occupying Anuradhapura, and ascended to the throne. Moratuwagama (1996), p. 225 The chronicle ''Mahavamsa'' describes his reign with much praise, and devotes 11 chapters out of 37 for his reign. Siriweera (2004), p. 27 He is described as both a warrior king and a devout Buddhist. Ludowyk (1985), p. 61 After unifying the country, he helped establish Buddhism on a firm and secure base, and built several monasteries and shrines including the Ruwanweli Seya Moratuwagama (1996), p. 252 and Lovamahapaya. Moratuwagama (1996), p. 238 Another notable king of the Anuradhapura Kingdom is Valagamba (Valagamba of Sri Lanka) (103, 89–77 BC), also known as Vatthagamani Abhaya, who was overthrown by five invaders (The Five Dravidians) from South India. He regained his throne after defeating these invaders one by one and unified the country again under his rule. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 75 Saddha Tissa (137–119 BC), Mahaculi Mahatissa (77–63 BC), Vasabha (67–111), Gajabahu I (114–136), Dhatusena (455–473), Aggabodhi I (571–604) and Aggabodhi II (604–614) were among the rulers who held sway over the entire country after Dutthagamani and Valagamba. Rulers from Kutakanna Tissa (44–22 BC) to Amandagamani (29–19 BC) also managed to keep the whole country under the rule of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. Siriweera (2004), p. 35 Other rulers could not maintain their rule over the whole island, and independent regions often existed in ''Ruhuna'' and ''Malayarata'' (hill country) for limited periods. During the final years of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, rebellions sprang up and the authority of the kings gradually declined. Siriweera (2004), p. 36 By the time of Mahinda V (982–1017), the last king of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, the rule of the king had become so weak that he could not even properly organize the collection of taxes. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 114 During the times of Vasabha, Mahasena (Mahasena of Sri Lanka) (274–301) and Dhatusena, the construction of large irrigation tanks and canals was given priority. Vasabha constructed 11 tanks and 12 canals, Wijesooriya (2006), p. 81 Mahasen constructed 16 tanks and a large canal, Wijesooriya (2006), p. 88 and Dhatusena built 18 tanks. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 93 Most of the other kings have also built irrigation tanks throughout ''Rajarata'', the area around Anuradhapura. By the end of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, a large and intricate irrigation network was available throughout Rajarata to support the agriculture of the country. Siriweera (2004), p. 171 Arrival of Buddhism thumb The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi today, to which the Kingdom was offered by Devanampiya Tissa. alt Large Bo tree (Ficus religiosa) surrounded by a white wall and a golden fence. (File:Photograph of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Anuradhapura Sri Lanka.jpg) One of the most notable events during the Anuradhapura Kingdom was the introduction of Buddhism to the country. A strong alliance existed between Devanampiya Tissa (250–210 BC) and Ashoka of India, Mendis (1999), p. 11 who sent Arahat Mahinda, four monks, and a novice being sent to Sri Lanka. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 34 They encountered Devanampiya Tissa at Mihintale. After this meeting, Devanampiya Tissa embraced Buddhism the order of monks was established in the country. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 38 Devanampiya Tissa, guided by Arahat Mahinda, took steps to firmly establish Buddhism in the country. Ludowyk (1985), p. 46 Soon afterwards, the bhikkhuni Sanghamitta arrived from India in order to establish the ''Bhikkhuni sasana'' (order of nuns) in the country. Ludowyk (1985), p. 49 She brought along with her a sapling from the Sri Maha Bodhi, the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment (Bodhi), which was then planted in Anuradhapura. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 41 Devanampiya Tissa bestowed on his kingdom the newly planted Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. Ludowyk (1985), p. 55 Thus this is the establishment of Buddhism in Sri Lanka Arrival of the Sacred Tooth Relic During the reign of Kithsirimevan (301–328), Sudatta, the sub king of Kalinga (Kalinga (India)), and Hemamala brought the Tooth Relic of the Buddha to Sri Lanka because of unrest in their country. Blaze (1995), p. 58 Kithsirimevan carried it in procession and placed the relic in a mansion named ''Datadhatughara''. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 89 He ordered this procession to be held annually, and this is still done as a tradition in the country. The Tooth Relic of the Buddha soon became one of the most sacred objects in the country, and a symbol of kingship. The person who was in possession of the Tooth Relic would be the rightful ruler of the country. Blaze (1995), p. 59 Therefore it was often enshrined within the royal palace itself. Rambukwelle (1993), p. 51 Invasions Several invasions have been made against the Anuradhapura Kingdom, all of which were launched from South India. The first invasion recorded in the history of the country is during the reign of Suratissa (Suratissa of Sri Lanka) (247–237 BC), where he was overthrown by two horse dealers from South India named Sena and Guththika. After ruling the country for 22 years, they were defeated by Asela (Asela of Sri Lanka) (215–205 BC), who was in turn overthrown by another invasion led by a Chola prince named Elara (Elara (monarch)) (205–161 BC). Wijesooriya (2006), p. 47 Elara ruled for 44 years before being defeated by Dutthagamani. Wijesooriya (2006), p. 49 However, the Mahavamsa records that these foreign kings ruled the country fairly and lawfully. The country was invaded again in 103 BC by five Dravidian chiefs (The Five Dravidians), Pulahatta, Bahiya, Panya Mara, Pilaya Mara and Dathika, who ruled until 89 BC when they were defeated by Valagamba. Another invasion occurred in 433, and the country fell under the control of six rulers from South India. These were Pandu, Parinda, Khudda Parinda, Tiritara, Dathiya and Pithiya, who were defeated by Dhathusena who regained power in 459. Siriweera (2004), p. 42 More invasions and raids from South India occurred during the reigns of Sena I (833–853) Wijesooriya (2006), p. 108 and Udaya III (935–938). Wijesooriya (2006), p. 112 The final invasion during the Anuradhapura Kingdom, which ended the kingdom and left the country under the rule of the Cholas, took place during the reign of Mahinda V. Siriweera (2004), p. 44 However, none of these invaders could extend their rule to ''Ruhuna (Kingdom of Ruhuna)'', the southern part of the country, and Sri Lankan rulers and their heirs always organized their armies from this area and managed to regain their throne. Throughout the history of Sri Lanka, ''Ruhuna'' served as a base for resistance movements. End of the kingdom In 993, the Chola Emperor Rajaraja I invaded Sri Lanka, forcing the then Sri Lankan ruler Mahinda V to flee to the southern part of the country. The Mahavamsa describes the rule of Mahinda V as weak, and the country was suffering from poverty by this time. It further mentions that his army rose against him due to lack of wages. Taking advantage of this situation, Rajendra I son of Rajaraja I, launched a large invasion in 1017. Mahinda V was captured and taken to India, and the Cholas sacked the city of Anuradhapura. They moved the capital to Polonnaruwa and subsequent Sri Lankan rulers who came into power after the Chola reign continued to use Polonnaruwa as the capital, thus ending the Anuradhapura Kingdom. Siriweera (2004), p. 45 Administration


century commentary

(639–650) and Kashyapa II (650–659). Law Customs, traditions and moral principles based on Buddhism were used as the bases of law. Specific laws were eventually developed and adopted. ''Samantapasadika'', a 5th-century commentary, gives details of complex regulations on the theft of fish. The chief judicial officer was known as ''viniccayamacca'' and there were several judicial officers under him, known as ''vinicchayaka''. Apart from them

Anuradhapura Kingdom

The '''Anuradhapura Kingdom''' (Sinhala (Sinhala language): ), named for its capital city (Anuradhapura), was the first established kingdom (monarchy) in ancient Sri Lanka. Founded by King Pandukabhaya in 377 BC, the kingdom's authority extended throughout the country, although several independent areas emerged from time to time, which grew more numerous towards the end of the kingdom. Nonetheless, the king of Anuradhapura was seen as the supreme ruler of the country throughout the Anuradhapura period. Buddhism played a strong role in the Anuradhapura period, influencing its culture, laws, and methods of governance. Buddhism was such an important factor in this period that Mendis (2000), p.196 asserts, "The island of Lanka belonged to the Buddha himself; it was like a treasury filled with the three gems (Three Jewels)". Society and culture were revolutionized when the faith was introduced during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa; this cultural change was further strengthened by the arrival of the Tooth Relic of the Buddha in Sri Lanka and the patronage extended by her rulers. Perera (2001), p.45

Invasions from South India were a constant threat throughout the Anuradhapura period. Rulers such as Dutthagamani, Valagamba, and Dhatusena are noted for defeating the South Indians and regaining control of the kingdom. Other rulers who are notable for military achievements include Gajabahu I, who launched an invasion against the invaders, and Sena II, who sent his armies to assist a Pandyan prince.

Because the kingdom was largely based on agriculture, the construction of irrigation works was a major achievement of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, ensuring water supply in the dry zone and helping the country grow mostly self-sufficient. Several kings, most notably Vasabha and Mahasena (Mahasena of Sri Lanka), built large reservoirs and canals, which created a vast and complex irrigation network in the ''Rajarata'' area throughout the Anuradhapura period. These constructions are an indication of the advanced technical and engineering skills used to create them. The famous paintings and structures at Sigiriya; the Ruwanwelisaya, Jetavana stupa (Jetavanaramaya)s, and other large stupas; large buildings like the Lovamahapaya; and religious works (like the numerous Buddha statues) are landmarks demonstrating the Anuradhapura period's advancement in sculpting.

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