Friday, April 3, 2020

Kingdom of Dambadeniya

Ruins of Dambadeniya Kingdom
Dambadeniya Kingdom was the third kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 13th-14th centuries A.D.. The kingdom was mainly ruled from three capitals; viz: Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, and Kurunegala.

Dambadeniya
The ancient capital of Dambadeniya
The Polonnaruwa Kingdom (1056-1236 A.D.), the second kingdom of Sri Lanka was abandoned in the 13th century mainly due to its susceptibility to invasions from the South India and the seat of government for the Sinhalese kings was moved to Dambadeniya.

King Vijayabahu III (1232-1236 A.D.) was the first king who chose Dambadeniya as the new capital. According to ancient chronicles such as Culavamsa, the king built a new city on the summit of the Jambudoni mountain consisted of fine walls and gate towers (de Silva, 1990). The details given in the Dambadeni Asna reveal that there were two parts in the capital: the inner city and the outer city (de Silva, 1990). The inner city where the main buildings of the kingdom were located such as the Palace complex and the Temple of the Tooth is said to be protected with an 18 cubit tall wall (de Silva, 1990). The outer city had three boundary walls built of stone, clay, and timber (de Silva, 1990). The remains of the clay (earth) wall is still visible at the site.

The rulers of Dambadeniya
Vijayabahu III (1232-1236 A.D.)
Parakramabahu II (1236-1271 A.D.)
Vijayabahu IV (1271-1273 A.D.)
Buwanekabahu I (1273-1284 A.D.) - Transferred to Yapahuwa

Yapahuwa
The ancient capital of Yapahuwa
Yapahuwa was the capital of Sri Lanka in the latter part of the 13th century.

Yapahuwa was originally built by Subha, a military chief, in order to protect that part of the country from the Kalinga invader Magha (1210-1230 A.D.). Later, King Vijayabahu IV, during his reign, improved this old fortification and stationed his younger brother there (de Silva, 1990). The fortress was further improved to a great city by King Buwanekabahu I who later transferred his capital from Dambadeniya to Yapahuwa (de Silva, 1990).

However, after the death of King Bhuvenakabahu in 1284, the South Indian Pandyans invaded the kingdom, and captured the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. This invasion resulted an interregnum period in the country until Parakramabahu III (c.1298-1303 A.D.) became the king of Sri Lanka.

The rulers of Yapahuwa
Buwanekabahu I (1273-1284 A.D.)

Polonnaruwa
Parakramabahu III, the son of Vijayabahu IV became the King of Dambadeniya Kingdom but chose the Polonnaruwa, the second kingdom of the country, as his capital.  He brought back the sacred Tooth Relic to the country by establishing diplomatic relationships with the Pandyan Kingdom.

The rulers of Polonnaruwa (Dambadeniya Kingdom)
Parakramabahu III (c.1298-1303 A.D.)

Kurunegala
The ancient capital of Kurunegala
During the 14th century, Kurunegala became the third capital of the Dambadeniya Kingdom and hence the governing center of the country.

The rulers of Kurunegala
Bhuvanaikabahu II (c.1303-1305 A.D.)
Parakkamabahu IV (c.1305-1326 A.D.)
Buwanekabahu III (c.1326-1335 A.D.)
Vijayabahu V (c.1335-1344 A.D.)

The Dambadeniya Kingdom marked its end after the reign of King Vijayabahu V. Buwanekabahu IV (c.1344-1353 A.D.), the son of King Vijayabahu V ascended to the throne after his father and shifted the capital from Kurunegala to Gampola giving birth to the forth kingdom of Sri Lanka, the Kingdom of Gampola (c.1344–1408 A.D).

Coins
The copper coinage started since the period of Polonnaruwa was continued by the kings of Dambadenia too and popularly known as Dambadeni Coins. During this period, Parakramabahu II and Vijayabahu IV of Dambadeniya and Buvanekabahu I of Yapahuwa minted a coin known as Massa with their names.

Literature
The Sinhalese literature during the Dambadeniya period was at its golden phase. Many literary works in Sinhala, Pali were written during this period by various authors including Buddhist monks and royals such as King Parakramabahu II.

Notable literary works of the Dambadeniya period
Sinhala
1) Dambadeni Asna                                                            2) Dambadeni Katikavata
3) Elu Sandas Lakuna (Bhadra Thera)                             4) Kandavuru Sirita
5) Kav Silumina (Parakramabahu II)                                6) Pujavaliya (Buddha Puthra Thera)
7) Saddharma Ratnavaliya (Dharmasena Thera)           8) Sidath Sangarawa (Vedeha Thera)

Sinhala Sanna
1) Anavum Pirith Sannaya                                           2) Anuruddha Shathaka Sannaya
3) Atada Sannaya (Parakramabahu II)                      4) Brahmajala Sutrartha Sannaya (Vilgammula Thera)
5) Janaki Harana Sannaya                                          6) Kachchayana Sannaya
7) Kav Silumina Sannaya                                             8) Kudusika Sannaya
9) Lakunusara Chandas Granthaya Ha Sannaya     10) Maharupa Siddhi Sannaya
11) Moggallayanayata Virith Sannaya                      12) Padasadana Sannaya
13) Sachcha Sankhepa Sannaya                               14) Samanera Prashna Sannaya
15) Sutra Nipatha Sannaya                                         16) Theli Pitapotha
17)  Vinatartha Samuchchaya Sannaya (Vanarathana Medhankara Thera)
18)  Visuddhimarga Sannaya (Parakramabahu II)  19) Vuththodaya Sannaya

Pali & Tika
1) Abhidharmayata Sili Pitapatha                               2) Bhesajja Manjhusa (Panchamula Pirivenpathi)
3) Haththavanagalla Vihara Vansa (a student of Anodassi Thera)
4) Jina Charitha Gatha (Vanarathana Medhankara Thera)
5) Kankha Vitharana Pitapatha (Ananda Thera)       6) Pajjamadhu Gatha (Buddhappiya Thera)
7) Pali Maha Vamsa: Part II. (Dhammakitti Thera)   8) Rasavahini (Vedeha Thera)
9) Rupa Siddhi (Choliya Buddhappiya)                       10) Saddhamemapayanaya
11) Samantakuta Varnana Gatha (Vedeha Thera)
12) Sambandha Chintha (Sangharakkhitha Sangharaja Thera)
13) Sikkhapada Valajhana (Panchamula Pirivenpathi)
14) Simalankara Sangraha (Vachissara Thera)         15) Simalankara Sangraha Tika
16) Subodhalankaraya (Sangharakkhitha Sangharaja Thera)
17) Susadda Siddhi Vyakarana                                    18) Thupavamsa (Vachissara Thera)
19) Vinaya Sarattha Dipani (Vachissara Thera)         20) Vinaya Vinishchaya Tika (Buddhadatta Thera)
21) Vuththodaya Pali Chandas

Attribution

References
1) de Silva, N., 1990. Sri Lankan architecture during the period 1200-1500 A.D.. Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief). Archaeological Department centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative series: Volume III: Architecture. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). pp.76-77.
This page was last updated on 3 April 2020
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