Kingdom of Polonnaruwa
|Common languages|| Sinhala |
|Religion|| Buddhism |
|Demonym(s)||Sinhala: පොළොන්නරු, romanized: Polańaru|
|Historical era||Polonnaruwa period|
|Today part of||Sri Lanka|
|Historical states of Sri Lanka|
the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa : පොළොන්නරුව රාජධානිය, romanized: Polonnaruwa Rājādhaniya) was the kingdom that ruled the island of Sri Lanka and several overseas territories, from 1070 until 1232. The kingdom started expanding its overseas authority during the reign of Parakramabahu the Great.(Sinhala
Despite being a kingdom, it had been under the control of its Royal Army, which captured power twice and remained dominant in politics. Other militaries also had captured power in the kingdom.
After ruling the country for over 1,400 years, the Kingdom of Anuradhapura fell in 1017 to the Chola King Rajaraja and his son Rajendra, who took King Mahinda V as a prisoner of war to Tamil Nadu; he died there in 1029. The Cholas shifted the capital from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa and ruled for nearly 53 years. Polonnaruwa was named Jananathapuram by the Cholas. King Vijayabahu I (or Kitti) eventually defeated the Cholas and re-established the Sinhalese monarchy. [ citation needed ]Polonnaruwa had always been considered an important settlement in the island, as it commanded the crossings of the Mahaveli River towards Anuradhapura.
3 years after restoring Anuradhapura, Vijayabahu prepared to fight a possible invasion. He moved the capital out of Anuradhapura to a more defensive position, Polonnaruwa.After the victory at Polonnaruwa, Vijayabahu had to face more rebellions. This caused him to delay his coronation, which took place in 1072 or 1073, eighteen years after being crowned as Vijayabahu in Ruhuna, and after a military campaign that lasted seventeen years. Polonnaruwa was renamed Vijayarajapura and chosen as the capital. The coronation ceremony was held in a palace built for this purpose in Anuradhapura, the former capital of the country. Vijayabahu married Lilavati, the daughter of Jagatipala of Kanauj, as his queen. He later married Tilokasundari, a princess from Kalinga, with the view of strengthening ties with the Kalingas.
Vijayabahu's death left a disputed throne; the absolute successor Parakramabahu I was only selected after a war between the claimants to the throne.
Firstly he entered secret negotiations with Gajabahu's military chief, but these attempts to capture power failed. He then sent the army of Dakkhinadesa to capture Rajarata, but he was introduced to Manabaraha, who allied with Gajabahu. Despite the setback, he captured Rajarata. Gajabahu, his army weakened, found himself in a battle against Manabharana as well. He later declared that he had passed over Rajarata to Parakramabahu of Dakkhinadesa. Manabharana was also defeated.
Following the end of the Kalinga-Arya conflict, Parakramabahu I, unified the three principalities: Rohana, Malaya, and Rajarata; declaring the islandwide Dakkhinadesa, he formed the Polonnaruwa kingdom in the latter. His reign saw the expansion of the kingdom, leading raids and large-scale invasions against his opponents. He launched an invasion against the kings of Ramanna (currently lower Burma) due to their acts of hostility such as the kidnapping of a princess by Narathu's son Narapatisithu. In this invasion, he captured the Burmese city Bassein.
Following the death of Parakramabahu, Vijayabahu II ascended the throne. He called Nissanka Malla to visit the country and take the throne. Vijayabahu II was however killed by the invader Mahinda VI.
Nissanka Malla assassinated Mahinda VI and justified his killing by claiming he was the rightful ancestor of Vijaya Singha.
Starting from the era of Parakramabahu I, there was great interest in irrigation.He ordered:
Let no water drop that falls from the rain make it to the sea without being useful to the mankind
Mass tanks were built for this purpose. Some of his notable works are the Parakrama Samudra and the Giritale tank. These works surpassed what existed during the Anuradhapura period. Previously built dams were largely renovated during this period.
The Sinhalese accounted for the majority, and the Sinhalese language was the common language. Settlements from Cambodia are recorded, the Khmer settled in an area called Kambojavâsaĺa.The Khmer script was used to write Pali texts such as the Khmer script version of the Mahavamsa.
Most trade was carried out through the main seaports of the principality, Kalpitiya, Halaavatha (Chilaw) and Colombo.
The coins were mostly made of copper, the coins are modelled after their ruler. While gold coins also existed within the kingdom and were used, they largely disappeared in the very last days of Parakramabahu I. This may have been due to an economic crisis caused by the burden. It is to be noted that the coinage of Polonnaruwa shows a great resemblance to that of RajaRaja I of the Chola kingdom. The Setu coins found in South India are also likely from the kingdom of Polonnaruwa, as the Chola or Pandya kingdoms had no reason to use these.
Trade with the Chinese dynasties was extensively high at the period, and coins belonging to the Song dynasty have been found throughout Polonnaruwa.
Meanwhile, in its colonial territories in South India, the Kahapana currency was used.
The ancient Sinhalese civilization was technologically advanced. The irrigation technology of Polonnaruwa was much similar to the Anuradhapura period ones but was even more advanced. James Emerson Tennent writes:
they attain a facility unsurpassed by any other people in the world.
Divine architecture ranging from larger dams to artificial seas, such as the Parakrama Samudra, always required advanced technology and were built in unique ways.
The Vatadages were built since the Anuradhapura period, however, the peak was reached during the Polonnaruwa period. The Polonnaruwa Vatadage is considered the "ultimate creation" out of all Vatadages. A Vatedage is built for the protection of a small stupa.The structure has two stone platforms decorated with elaborate stone carvings. The lower platform is entered through a single entrance facing the north, while the second platform can be accessed through four doorways facing the four cardinal points. The upper platform, surrounded by a brick wall, contains the stupa. Four Buddha statues are seated around it, each facing one of the entrances. Three concentric rows of stone columns had also been positioned here, presumably to support a wooden roof. The entire structure is decorated with stone carvings. Some of the carvings at the Polonnaruwa Vatadage, such as its sandakada pahanas, are considered to be the best examples of such architectural features. Although some archaeologists have suggested that it also had a wooden roof, this theory is disputed by others.
The Hatedage and Nissanka Latha Mandapaya were built by Nissanka Malla (1187-1197) to store the relics. Several relics including relics of the Tooth of Buddha and Rice Bowls used by the Buddha are said to have been held in the Hatadage. Several historical sources including the Rajaveliya , Poojavaliya and the Galpotha inscription itself mention that it was built in sixty hours. Since the Sinhalese word Hata means sixty and Dage means relic shrine, it is possible that the structure was named Hatadage to commemorate this feat. Another theory is that it is so named because it held sixty relics.
Despite having built many structures, Nissanka Malla's major intention was to outdo the works of Parakramabahu I. He also built a statue of himself.
Parakramabahu organized the military of the kingdom. There were auxiliary forces made up mostly of other Buddhist ethnicities.
There were several branches of the ground forces of Polonnaruwa of Parakramabahu. The Culawamsa suggests that the strength may have been as many as 100,000 during the 1140s prior to the first battle of Rajarata. Its strength during the Pandyan war is not said, however, it may have been numerous as well. The ground forces could be divided between the main armies led by Lankapura Dandanatha and the auxiliary forces made up mostly of minorities.
The armies of Parakramabahu in the early days were led by Rakkha. There were other important generals who Parakramabahu dispatched in order to reinforce Rakkha fighting the forces of Ruhunan separatists.
The auxiliary units were used to reinforce the Sinhalese army on multiple occasions. These units were largely made up of Buddhist minorities, and tribals.
The first navy was organized in 1165. This was used for the invasion of Burma.
Following the death of Kalinga Lokeshvara, his son Vira Bahu I took up power. However, he was killed by the military commander Tavuru Senavirat.A period of military rule was followed by the ascension of Vikramabahu I; who was assassinated by a nephew of Kalinga Lokeshvara, Chodaganga. The military once again organized a coup and arrested Chodaganga. The military became more dominant, ousting the monarchy; as a result, king Anikanga appealed for support from the Cholas. An army was sent, and Anikanga ascended the throne. The three month-old Dharmásoka of Polonnaruwa was slaughtered along with the commander of the Polonnaruwa Royal Army.
The military once again seized power, and Lilavati was installed on the throne. She was ousted by Lokissara, a military commander. The Royal Army, being a rival to Lokissara's forces, killed him.
Parakrama Pandyan II from Pandyan Kingdom invaded Polonnaruwa, thus forcing Lilavati into exile. Parakrama Pandyan II ascended the throne, reigned between 1212 and 1215 CE. He was ousted by the invader, Kalinga Magha, who in the aftermath founded the Jaffna kingdom. Kalinga Magha ruled for 21 years until he was also expelled from Polonnaruwa in 1236, with an invasion from the south.
After defeating and expelling Kalinga Maghafrom Polonnaruwa, Vijayabahu III moved the capital to Dambadeniya. He founded the House of Sri Sanga Bo.
Buddhism continued to be the main religion in the Polonnaruwa era. Its monarchs enjoyed the exchange of religious jewels and other expensive items with the Theravada Buddhist kings of Siam, Burma, and Kampuchea. Prior to the Buddhist kings' takeover, there was a strong influence of Hinduism caused by Cholas. It is evident from the removal of cow shape in Polonnaruwa moonstone, and also by the presence of Shiva temples in Polonnaruwa. After Chola rule, many viharas were renovated by Vijayabahu I and his successor Parakramabahu I.
The primary form of Buddhism practiced in the Polonnaruwa kingdom was the orthodox school of Buddhism; following religious reforms in Burma, many monks there aligned themselves with the Polonnaruwan monks.
Khmer King Jayavarman VII sent his son Tamalinda to Polonnaruwa to be ordained as a Buddhist monk and study Theravada Buddhism according to the Pali scriptural traditions. Tamalinda then returned to the Angkor, and promoted Buddhist traditions according to the Theravada training he had received, galvanizing the long-standing Theravada presence that had existed throughout the Angkor for centuries.
Poḷonnaruwa is the main town of Polonnaruwa District in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. The modern town of Polonnaruwa is also known as New Town, and the other part of Polonnaruwa remains as the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.
The Principality of Ruhuna, also referred to as the Kingdom of Ruhuna, is a region of present-day Southern and Eastern Sri Lanka. It was the center of a flourishing civilisation and the cultural and economic centres of ancient Sri Lanka. Magama, Tissamaharama and Mahanagakula were established here.
Queen Lilavati was the fourth woman in Sri Lankan history to rule as sovereign in her own right. Lilavati rose to prominence as the wife of Parakramabahu I, king of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. Being of royal descent herself, she then ruled as sole monarch on three occasions in the near-anarchy following Parakramabahu's death, with the backing of various generals. The primary source for her life is the Culavamsa, specifically chapter LXXX.
Kalinga Magha or Gangaraja Kalinga Vijayabahu was an invader from the Kingdom of Kalinga who usurped the throne from Parakrama Pandyan II of Polonnaruwa, in 1215. His reign saw the massive migration of Sinhalese to the south and west of Sri Lanka, and into the mountainous interior, in a bid to escape his power. Magha was the last ruler to have his seat in the traditional northern seat of native power on the island, known as Rajarata; so comprehensive was his destruction of Sinhalese power in the north that all of the successor kingdoms to Rajarata existed primarily in the south of the island.
The village of Thunnalai is near the lagoon called Thondaman Aru. It is also in close proximity to This place is settled by migrants from a town called Vallipuram near Namakkal which is near Coimbatore. Naga names are found in India. Nagpur, Nagar Kovil, Nagapatnam and Nagaland are examples. Nair, nayakkar, naidu are remnants of Naga heritage. Tamils are a linguistic name; but Nagas are more of a racially based line. Nagas are now integral part of all linguistic tribes.
Parākramabāhu I, or Parakramabahu the Great, was the king of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa from 1153 to 1186. He oversaw the expansion and beautification of his capital, constructed extensive irrigation systems, reorganised the country's army, reformed Buddhist practices, encouraged the arts and undertook military campaigns in South India and Burma. The adage "Not even a little water that comes from the rain must flow into the ocean without being made useful to man" is one of his most famous utterances.
Vijayabahu I, also known as Vijayabahu the Great, was a medieval king of Sri Lanka. Born to a royal bloodline, Vijayabahu grew up under Chola occupation. He assumed rulership of the Ruhuna principality in the southern parts of the country in 1055. Following a seventeen-year-long campaign, he successfully drove the Cholas out of the island in 1070, reuniting the country for the first time in over a century. During his reign, he re-established Buddhism in Sri Lanka and repaired much of the damage caused to infrastructure during the wars. He offered the Thihoshin Pagoda(Lord of Sri Lanka Buddha image) to Burma king Alaungsithu and it is now still in Pakokku.
The current capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte. In the course of history, the national capital has been in many locations other than Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.
Nissanka Malla, also known as Keerti Nissanka and Kalinga Lokesvara was a king of Polonnaruwa who ruled the country from 1187 to 1196. He is known for his architectural constructions such as the Nissanka Lata Mandapaya, Hatadage and Rankot Vihara, as well as for the refurbishment of old temples and irrigation tanks.
The Polonnaruwa Vatadage is an ancient structure dating back to the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa of Sri Lanka. It is believed to have been built during the reign of Parakramabahu I to hold the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha or during the reign of Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa to hold the alms bowl used by the Buddha. Both these venerated relics would have given the structure a great significance and importance at the time. Located within the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, it is the best preserved example of a vatadage in the country, and has been described as the "ultimate development" of this type of architecture. Abandoned for several centuries, excavation work at the Polonnaruwa Vatadage began in 1903.
The Anuradhapura period was a period in the history of Sri Lanka of the Anuradhapura Kingdom from 377 BC to 1017 AD. The period begins when Pandukabhaya, King of Upatissa Nuwara moved the administration to Anuradhapura, becoming the kingdom's first monarch. Anuradhapura is heralded as an ancient cosmopolitan citadel with diverse populations.
The Chola conquest and occupation of Anuradhapura Kingdom was a military invasion of the Kingdom of Anuradhapura by the Chola Empire. It initially began with the invasion of the Anuradhapura Kingdom in 993 AD by Rajaraja I when he sent a large Chola army to conquer the kingdom and absorb it into the Chola Empire. Most of the island was subsequently conquered by 1017 and incorporated as a province of the vast Chola empire during the reign of his son Rajendra Chola I. The Chola occupation would be overthrown in 1070 through a campaign of Sinhalese Resistance led by Prince Kitti, a Sinhalese royal. The Cholas fought many subsequent wars and attempted to reconquer the Sinhalese kingdom as the Sinhalese were allies of their arch-enemies, the Pandyas. The period of Chola entrenchment in northern Sri Lanka lasted in total about three-quarters of a century, from roughly 993 to 1070, when Vijayabahu I recaptured the north and expelled the Chola forces restoring Sinhalese sovereignty.
Parakrama Pandyan II, also Pandu Parakramabahu of Polonnaruwa or Parakrama Pandu, was a Pandyan king who invaded the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa in the thirteenth century and ruled from 1212 to 1215 CE. His namesake royal Parakrama Pandyan I had ruled in Madurai fifty years earlier and had sought help from his contemporary Parakramabahu I of Polonnaruwa when faced with a Pandyan civil war. Parakrama Pandyan II came to the throne deposing Lilavati—ruling monarch, consort and successor of Parakramabahu I—as king of Polonnaruwa. He ruled for three years until Polonnaruwa was invaded and he was taken captive by Kalinga Magha, who succeeded him.
The Pandyan Civil War from 1169 to 1177 was precipitated by rival claims of succession to the Pandyan throne between Parakrama I and his son Vira III with Kulasekhara Pandyan. The war gradually spread to the rest of Southern India when the Chola King Rajadhiraja II and the Sinhalese King Parakramabahu I of Polonnaruwa entered the fray and took opposing sides in the conflict, eager to increase their influence in the Pandya kingdom.
Rajarata [rā dja ra tə] was one of three historical regions of the island of Sri Lanka for about 1,700 years from the 6th century BCE to the early 13th century CE. Several ancient cities, including Tambapanni, Upatissa Nuwara, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, were established as capitals within the area by successive rulers. Rajarata was under the direct administration of the King. Two other areas, Malayarata and Ruhunurata, were ruled by the king's brothers "Mapa" and "Epa". The Magha invasion in the 13th century brought about the end of the Rajarata kingdom.
Parakramabahu II, also known as Panditha Parakramabāhu, was the King of Dambadeniya in 13th century, whose reign lasted from 1234 to 1269. As a pioneer in literature, he was bestowed with the honorary title "Kalikala Sahitya Sarvagna Pandita". Parakramabahu's reign is notable for the creation of numerous Sinhalese literal works such as, Kausilumina, Pūjāvaliya, Pāli Vishuddḥi Mārgaya, Thūpavaṃsa and Sidhath Sangarāva. He launched a campaign against the Eastern Ganga invader Kalinga Magha, and successfully expelled him in 1255, unifying Sri Lanka under one rule. He succeeded his father Vijayabahu III as King of Dambadeniya, and was succeeded by his elder son, Vijayabahu IV, after his death.
The Polonnaruwa period was a period in the history of Sri Lanka from 1017, after the Chola conquest of Anuradhapura and when the center of administration was moved to Polonnaruwa, to the end of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa in 1232.
The Transitional period of Sri Lanka spans from the end of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa, in 1232, to the start of the Kandyan period in 1597. The period is characterised by the succession of capitals that followed the fall of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom and the creation of the Jaffna kingdom and Crisis of the Sixteenth Century.
Malay invasions of Sri Lanka occurred in the mid-13th century, when the Malay ruler Chandrabhanu Sridhamaraja of Tambralinga, invaded Sri Lanka twice during the reign of king Parakramabahu II of Dambadeniya. Both invasions were successfully repulsed by the Kingdom of Dambadeniya.