Friday, 21 January 2022

Kingdom of Gampola

Gadaladeniya Viharaya
The Kingdom of Gampola (Sinhala: ගම්පොල රාජධානිය/ යුගය; Tamil: கம்பளை இராசதானி) was the fourth kingdom in Sri Lanka that flourished on the island from the 14th to the 15th century (from 1341 A.D. to 1412 A.D.). It was known as "Ganga Siri Pura" as its environmental association with the Mahaweli Ganga river (De Silva, 1990).

History
The Sinhalese Kingdom which was first established in Anuradhapura in the 3rd century B.C. moved to Polonnaruwa in the 11th century A.D. and then to Dambadeniya in the 13th century A.D. Buwanekabahu IV (1341-1351 A.D.), the son of King Vijayabahu V (1335-1341 A.D.) of Dambadeniya ascended to the throne after his father and shifted the capital from Kurunegala to Gampola giving birth to the fourth kingdom of the country, the Kingdom of Gampola. The exact reason for the transition of the Sinhalese Kingdom from Dambadeniya to Gampola is unknown even though it was commonly considered as for defence (De Silva, 1990). 
 
The last king of Gampola was King Buwanekabahu V (1372-1408 A.D.). After his reign, Kotte emerged as the new and the fifth kingdom of the country. 

Rulers of the Gampola Kingdom
Buvanekabahu IV (1341-1351 A.D.)                       Parakramabahu V (1344-1359 A.D.)
Vikramabahu III (1357-1374 A.D.)                          Buvanekabahu V (1372-1408 A.D.)
  
Inscriptions
A number of inscriptions (including copper sheets and Sannasas) belonging to the four rulers of the Gampola period have been recorded by scholars (Ranawella, 2014; Rohanadeera, 2007; Wijesuriya, 1990).
 
King Buvanekabahu IV
Kitsirimewan Kelaniya Vihara slab inscription. # Gadaladeniya Rock Inscription of Dharmakirti Sthavira
# Malwattegala Rock Inscription
 
King Parakramabahu V
Magul Maha Vihara slab inscription
# Alawala Amuna Rock Inscription
# Hapugastenna Slab Inscription
# Pidurugalpotta Amuna Rock Inscription
 
King Vikramabahu III
# Ampitiya Rock Inscription
# Galgane Viharaya Pillar Inscription
# Vigulavatta Slab Inscription
 
King Buvanekabahu V
# Madawela Pillar Inscription
# Rangiri-Pihilla Rock Inscription 

Other inscriptions
Galle Trilingual Slab Inscription (between 1409-1415 A.D.)

Architecture
It served as the royal residence for more than three decades but like in Dedigama, there are no major architectural remains other than some remains of the palace buildings (De Silva, 1990). This suggests that Gampola was not a stabilized urban settlement with buildings constructed out of permanent materials (De Silva, 1990). Some major shrines built or renovated during the Gampola Period include Niyamgampaya Viharaya, Lankathilaka Viharaya, Gadaladeniya Viharaya and Embekke Devalaya (De Silva, 1990).
 
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). p.77.
2) Ranawella, S., 2014. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. VII. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-9159-62-9. pp.27-84.
3) Rohanadeera, M., 2007. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: Inscriptions of Ceylon. Vol. VIII. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-91-59-64-3. pp.11-22. 
4) Wijesuriya, W., 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)] Section V: Inscriptions (1200-1600). Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. II: Inscriptions. pp.200-201.
This page was last updated on 6 May 2022
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