Monday, November 2, 2009

Kandyan Era

After the death of King Parakramabahu the vi, Kandyans asserted their independence from Kotte.Portuguese arrived in the early 16th centaury, signifying the arrival of the Europeans.

They established a trading settlement in Colombo. By the year 1600, they converted some of the Sinhala royalty to Catholicism, and had a major control over the southwest coastal region.

By then Senarath (1604-1635), had established the kingdom of Kandy. His relationship with the Portuguese deteriorated in 1617 & his son Rajasinghe II also opposed the Portuguese, forming an alliance with the Dutch.

The Dutch alliance also broke down & they captured the eastern ports of the Kandyans.

The Dutch captured the forts, Colombo, Galle & Negombo. By then they had most of the regions of Sri Lanka under their rule. But Kandy maintained their independents.

The first British conquest took place during 1795-1796. They drove the Dutch out of the country & seized all the major ports. The Kandians grip of their own empire were weakening. They managed to beat back the first resistance by the British in 1803.

But eventually the British captured the hill country in 1815. The last of the Sri Lankan Kings were captured & in 1816 he was sent to be imprisoned in Wellor, India.

Famous Kings of Kandyan Era

Sena Sammatha Vickramabahu
Karaliyade Bandara
Vimaladarma Sooriya I
Rahasinghe II
Vimaladarma SooriyaII
Parakram Narendra
Sri Vijaya Rajasinghe
Rajadi Rajasinghe
Sri Virama Rajasinghe
Sri Lanka remained in a instable situation during the 14th & the 15th centauries. King Parakramabahu vi (1415-1467), the last Sinhalese King managed to reestablish rule over the island. His power base was in Kotte.

In the later stages of his rule, Gampola was challenged and he appointed a prince of Gampola royal house as its administrator.

After the death of Parakramabahu, the island again plunged in to divisive struggle. Jaffna declared itself an independent Tamil kingdom under Pararajasekaram. (1497-1579)

The Dutch came to Sri Lanka in 1505, during the times of King Parakramabahu IX. The King made a pact with the Dutch as they were a powerful army than of the King's. The King grant permission to Dutch to build a small fortress in Colombo. The Dutch began it's missionary service in Sri Lanka and many some of the citizens were converted in to Catholicism.

Famous Kings of Kotte Era

Parakkramabahu VI
Jayaweera Parakkramabahu
Buwanekabahu VI
Panditha Parakkramabahu
Weera Parakkramabahu
Dharma Parakkramabahu
Vijayabahu VI
Buwanekabahu VII
Don Juwan Dharmapala

Gampola Era

Gampola was made as the capital city of the Island by the King Buwanekabahu the fourth, who ruled for 4 years in mid fourteenth century. The last king of Gampola was King Buwanekabahu the fifth. He ruled the Island for 29 years. A separate city was build in Kotte during this time by a noble known as Alagakkonara.

Among the remnants of Gampola era, the most famous temples are Lankathilaka, Gadaladeniya and Ambekka Dewalaya. The ancient stone scripts (Shila Lekhana) of Lankathilaka temple helps to reveal a considerable amount of vital information regarding the Gampola era. The statue of Buddha of the temple indicates style of south Indian arts. The Ambekka Dewalaya possess a large collection of wood carvings, where no other temple in Sri Lanka owns such a collection.

Kurunagala - 1293 - 1341

Kurunagala - 1293 - 1341

Kurunagala was a royal capital starting from Buvenekabhahu II (1293-1302). This was about half of century which is now clarified by ruins. among these ruins there are parts of temple of tooth relic. One of the caves discovered by modern archeologists, the cave hermitage of Arankele, indicates that ancient times in Kurunegala, in addition to buddhist monks there has been forest dwelling (called Thapowana) hermitages called Brahmi. In the area the inscriptions of ancient brahmi donatives has been found. In the Ridigama Vihara, a temple near to the cave hermitage of Arankele, there had been a silver orc which belongs to the time of King Dutugemunu.

In the temple a reclining Buddha statue is seated, which belongs to the 18 century. The temple is attracted by a door frame with ivory carvings and alters tilled with Dutch tiles and an artificial lake under the shadow of the hill

Yapahuwa Era

Yapahuwa was considered as strategically important point since the Polonnaruwa era. Prince Buwanekabahu, the son of great Parakramabahu who ruled in Dabadeniya, was stationed at Yapahuwa to protect the kingdom against enemy attacks.

When the Dabadeniya kingdom fall after the King Wijayabahu the 4th, The throne was taken by Prince Buwanekabahu, who ruled the kingdom from Yapahuwa. The sacred tooth Relic was brought from Dambadeniya to Yapahuwa and kept in the specially built palace. The ruins of this temple can be seen today and is considered one of the best archeologically valuable sites on the Island.

Polonnaruwa Era

Polonnaruwa Era

Polonnaruwa Era existed between AC 1065- 1120. The governing period of this time was about 186 years and 19 rulers had sat on the throne in that period. During the final period in the Anuradhapura era, the cholas shifted the political power to Polonnaruwa, which was situated in the eastern side of the dry zone. The main reason was security, as it was regarded as a strategic location to guard against an invasion from Ruhuna, the refuge of the Sinhalese liberation force.

Still the Cholas were unsuccessful in defending themselves against Vijayabahu�s offensive riot against Polonnaruwa. They Surrendered in 1070 and left the island.

Polonnaruwa had its own fabulous Buddhist architecture and irrigational network that had been built over the centauries by earlier sinhala rulers. (Ex- Minneria Tanks)
The First Sinhalese king to rule in this period was King Wijayabahu who ruled for 55 years after he defeated the cholas.(AC 1065-1120). He restoered Buddhism to its former glory and was also responsible for economic regeneration.

The Next famous King to take over from Vijayabahu is King Parakramabahu (AC 1164-1197) He unified the country under one rule and built a remarkable series of irrigation work including the massive Parakrama Samudraya.

Nissanka Malla was also a king to take notice of, because he also stabilized Sri Lanka during his period. But his death brought instability & a pirate named Magha, who came from south India conquered Polonnaruwa & executed many years of ruthless control over the island.

Famous Kings of Polonnaruwa Era

Agbo VII
Vijayabahu I
Vickramabahu I
Parakramabahu I
Vijayabahu II
Nissanka malla
(A.C.1187 -1187 6th day)
Veerabahu I
Vickramabahu II
(A.C.1196-1196 1 day)
Qeen Lilawathi
Kalinga Maga