Anuradhapura Kingdom is that the first established kingdom in Sri Lanka among the Sinhala people. Its rule began with King Pandukabhaya and therefore the Kingdom flourished from 377 BC to 1017 AD. one among the important events during the Anuradhapura Kingdom include the introduction of Buddhism. This was made possible thanks to the strong union between King Asoka of India and King Devanampiyatissa of Sri Lanka .
Let’s take a glance at the notable successors during this era. a number of these rulers also are of South Indian origin.
The founder and ruler of Upatissa Nuwara from 437-367 BC and first monarch of Anuradhapura. He had two sons Mutasiva and Suratissa. King Mutasiva ruled for over sixty years (367-307 BC) and constructed Mahamevnawa Park. Mutasiva had 09 sons a number of the known successors include Devanampiyatissa, Uttiya, Mahasiva and Asela.
Son of Mutasiva, Devanampiyatissa ruled from 307-267 BC. a crucial monarch as Buddhism was first introduced during his reign. Following his rule, King Uttiya was in power for a brief period from 267-257 BC. Succeeding his reign was brother and King Mahasiva from 257-247 BC.
It was only after Mahasiva’s reign did the younger son of King Pandukabhaya, Suratissa, rule from 247-237 BC. However, his reign was short lived. Two traders from South India, Sena and Guttika killed King Suratissa and ruled the dominion for 22 years. Following their rule, another son of King Mutasiva, Asela came in to power from 215-205 BC only to possess been killed in battle by Tamil Chola Dynasty member named “Ellalan”.
Having gained supremacy over the Pandukabhaya dynasty, Ellalan ruled Anuradhapura for over 44 years. During his reign from 205-161 BC he was known to be a wise ruler until he was defeated and exiled by King Dutugamunu in 161 BC.
Perhaps among the favourite rulers of the dominion , Dutugamunu was also referred to as Duttagamani Abhaya. a crucial ruler within the era, Anuradhapura flourished during his reign 161-137 BC) and therefore the kingdom expanded vastly. Dutugamunu was best known and amid ten giant warriors or Dasa Maha Yodhayo. a number of his known work include Mirisavetiya, Lovamahapaya and therefore the 90m tall Ruvanwelisaya. His contribution to the dominion are among the Anuradhapura Sacred City tour itineraries today.
Following his rule, the throne didn’t attend his son thanks to being married to a lower cast. Instead, his successor was his brother King Saddha Tissa. Having ruled from 137-119 BC, his successors included his sons, Thulatthana, Lanja Tissa, Khallata Naga and Valagamba.
Having ruled the peaceful Kingdom for less than a mere five months, before he was thrown out by South Indian invaders in 103 BC, King Valagamba was in exile for 14 years hiding within the Dambulla Caves. Following an extended exile, Valagamba defeated the invaders and took back the throne in 89 BC. In gratitude, he converted his exile-home into a temple and also constructed the Abhayagiri Dagoba in Anuradhapura.
After the time of Valagamba, many in his family ruled the Anuradhapura Kingdom from 76 BC to 66 AD. King Subharaja was the ultimate known King from house of Vijaya.
During this era however, it is vital to talk of the very first Queen in power from 47-42 BC. Queen Anula, was also the primary female head of state in Asia. Having been in power for five years, history states that she poisoned a minimum of four husbands and consorts during her time so as to remain in power.
Anuradhapura Kingdom After Vijaya
With the house of Vijaya ending in 66 AD with the killing of King Subharaja by King Vasamba, a replacement era began. Vasamba went on to construct 11 reservoirs and 12 canals during his reign from 67-111 AD to support paddy cultivation of the country. Following his reign, his son, grandson, King Gajabahu I and lots of more went on to rule the Anuradhapura Kingdom.
Here are another cool facts about the Anuradhapura Kingdom.
King Mahasen (277-304 AD) built the tallest stupa Jethavanaramaya, sixteen large tanks and two irrigation canals, the most important among them the Minneriya Tank.
King Dhatusena (455-473 AD), another great sucessor who was liable for many developments within the Kingdom. During his time, he built 18 irrigation tanks, an outsized canal or Yodha Ela (Jayahanga) and therefore the iconic 43 ft “Avukana” statue of Lord Buddha.
The Anuradhapura Era ended with King Mahinda V (98 -1017 AD). the dominion was the beginning of Buddhism and saw the start and increase within the number of temples, dagobas and stupas and steered the country’s development towards paddy with tanks and canals.
To this date, the sweetness of Anuradhapura continues to be marvelled and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.