|Status||Colony of Portugal|
|Common languages|| Portuguese (official)|
|King of Portugal|
|Jerónimo de Azevedo|
|António de Amaral de Meneses|
• Portuguese arrival
• Death of Dharmapala of Kotte
|27 May 1597|
• Luso–Kandyan Treaty
• Surrender of Jaffna
Portuguese Ceylon (Portuguese : Ceilão Português, Sinhala: පෘතුගීසි ලංකාව Puruthugisi Lankawa, Tamil: போர்த்துக்கேய இலங்கை Porthukeya Ilankai) is the name given to the territory on Ceylon, modern-day Sri Lanka, controlled by the Portuguese Empire between 1597 and 1658.
Portuguese presence in the island lasted from 1505 to 1658. Their arrival was largely accidental, and the Portuguese sought control of commerce, rather than territory. The Portuguese were later drawn into the internal politics of the island with the political upheaval of the Wijayaba Kollaya, and used these internal divisions to their advantage during the Sinhalese–Portuguese War, first in an attempt to control the production of valuable cinnamon and later of the entire island. Direct Portuguese rule did not begin until after the death of Dharmapala of Kotte, who died without an heir, and had bequeathed the Kingdom of Kotte to the Portuguese monarch in 1580.That allowed the Portuguese sufficient claim to the Kingdom of Kotte upon Dharmapala's death in 1597. Portuguese rule began with much resistance by the local population.
Eventually, the Kingdom of Kandy sought help from the Dutch East India Company, with whom they initially entered into agreement. After the collapse of the Iberian economy in 1627, the Dutch–Portuguese War saw the Dutch conquest of most of Portugal's Asian colonies – Ceylon included, between 1638 and 1658. Nevertheless, elements of Portuguese culture from this colonial period remain in Sri Lanka.
|History of Kandy|
|Kingdom of Kandy (1469–1815)|
|Colonial Kandy (1815–1948)|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2022)
Portuguese knew Sri Lanka by the name ''Seylan''. In 1505 King of Portugal instructed General Dom Francisco de Almeida to find the island of ''Seylan'' when he was appointed as the emperor of the East by the Portuguese. When the Portuguese were trying to establish relations with Ceylon, Dom Lourenco de Almeida, son of Dom Francisco de Almeida, and others arrived by chance in 1505 AD. So, the first contact between Sri Lanka and the Portuguese was established by Dom Lourenço de Almeida in 1505. It was largely accidental and it wasn't until 12 years later that the Portuguese sought to establish a fortified trading settlement.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2019)
Direct Portuguese rule began after the death of Dharmapala of Kotte who bequeathed the Kingdom of Kotte to the Portuguese monarch.By 1600 the Portuguese had consolidated the main centers of rebellion, the Kelani and Kalu ganga basins, leaving the border regions to Sinhalese resistance.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2019)
There are many foods of Portuguese influence that are still popular in Sri Lanka. For example, lingus and pastries.
Sinhala words for certain types of Western attire/ furniture/ food & drink are derived from the Portuguese. Some examples are below:
|Sinhala Word||Meaning||Portuguese Word|
|Bébadda (colloq.)||Drunkard||Bêbado (drunkard)|
The Jaffna Kingdom, also known as Kingdom of Aryachakravarti, of modern northern Sri Lanka was a historic monarchy that came into existence around the town of Jaffna on the Jaffna peninsula. It was traditionally thought to be established after the invasion of Magha, who is credited with the founding of the Jaffna kingdom and is said to have been from Kalinga, in India. Established as a powerful force in the north, north east and west of the island, it eventually became a tribute-paying feudatory of the Pandyan Empire in modern South India in 1258, gaining independence in 1323, when the last Pandyan ruler of Madurai was defeated and expelled in 1323 by Malik Kafur, the army general of the Delhi Sultanate. For a brief period, in the early to mid-14th century, it was an ascendant power in the island of Sri Lanka when all regional kingdoms accepted subordination. However, the kingdom was eventually overpowered by the rival Kotte Kingdom, around 1450 when it was invaded by Prince Sapumal under the orders of Parakramabahu VI.
The Sinhala Kingdom or Sinhalese Kingdom refers to the successive Sinhalese kingdoms that existed in what is today Sri Lanka. The Sinhala Kingdom existed as successive kingdoms known by the city at which its administrative centre was located. These are in chronological order: the kingdoms of Tambapanni, Upatissa Nuwara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, Gampola, Kotte, Sitawaka and Kandy. The Sinhala Kingdom ceased to exist by 1815. While Sinhala Kingdom existed from 543 BCE to 1815 CE, other political entities co-existed in Sri Lanka spanning certain partial periods, including the Jaffna kingdom, Vanni chieftaincies and the Portuguese and Dutch colonies. During these partial periods of time, these political entities were not part of the Sinhala Kingdom.
Karava is a Sinhalese speaking ethnic group of Sri Lanka, whose ancestors from ancient times migrated from the Coromandel coast, claiming lineage to the Kaurava royalty of the old Kingdom of Kuru in Northern India. The Tamil equivalent is Karaiyar. Both groups are also known as the Kurukula.
Alagakkonara, also known as Alakeshwara, were a prominent feudal family that provided powerful ministers and military rulers during the medieval period in Sri Lanka. Although some historian say that the family was of Tamil origin originated from Madurai or Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, India. They arrived in Sri Lanka around the 13th century and naturalized themselves in Sri Lanka. One member of the family is noted for founding the current capital of Sri Lanka, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte as a fort from which he waged a war against encroaching tax collectors from the Jaffna kingdom in the north. The family lost most of its influence after its leader was taken captive by the Ming Dynasty (Chinese) Admiral Zheng He in 1411.
Vira Alakesvara, also known as Vijayabahu VI, was the last King of Gampola who ruled from 1397 to 1411. He was the last prominent member of the Alagakkonara family.
Ethirimanna Cinkam was the penultimate ruler of the Aryacakravarti line of Kings of the Jaffna Kingdom in northern Sri Lanka. He came to power due to the second Portuguese expedition led by André Furtado de Mendonça in 1591. In that expedition, the King of Jaffna, Puviraja Pandaram and the father of Ethirimnna Cinkam was killed.
The Vanni chieftaincies or Vanni principalities was a region between Anuradhapura and Jaffna, but also extending to along the eastern coast to Panama and Yala, during the Transitional and Kandyan periods of Sri Lanka. The heavily forested land was a collection of chieftaincies of principalities that were a collective buffer zone between the Jaffna Kingdom, in the north of Sri Lanka, and the Sinhalese kingdoms in the south. Traditionally the forest regions were ruled by Vedda rulers. Later on, the emergence of these chieftaincies were a direct result of the breakdown of central authority and the collapse of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa in the 13th century, as well as the establishment of the Jaffna Kingdom in the Jaffna Peninsula. Control of this area was taken over by dispossessed Sinhalese nobles and chiefs of the South Indian military of Māgha of Kalinga (1215–1236), whose 1215 invasion of Polonnaruwa led to the kingdom's downfall. Sinhalese chieftaincies would lay on the northern border of the Sinhalese kingdom while the Tamil chieftaincies would border the Jaffna Kingdom and the remoter areas of the eastern coast, north western coast outside of the control of either kingdom.
The Portuguese conquest of the Jaffna kingdom occurred after Portuguese traders arrived at the rival Kotte Kingdom in the southwest of modern Sri Lanka in 1505. Many kings of Jaffna, such as Cankili I, initially confronted the Portuguese in their attempts at converting the locals to Roman Catholicism, but eventually made peace with them.
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.
The Kingdom of Sitawaka was a kingdom located in south-central Sri Lanka. It emerged from the division of the Kingdom of Kotte following the Spoiling of Vijayabahu in 1521. Over the course of the next seventy years it came to dominate much of the island. Sitawaka also offered fierce resistance to the Portuguese, who had arrived on the island in 1505. Despite its military successes, Sitawaka remained unstable, having to contend with repeated uprisings in its restive Kandyan territories, as well as a wide-ranging and often devastating conflict with the Portuguese. Sitawaka disintegrated soon after the death of its last king Rajasimha I in 1593.
The Battle of Mulleriyawa in 1559 was part of the Sinhalese–Portuguese War. It was one of the most decisive battles in Sri Lankan history and considered as the worst defeat of Portuguese during that period. According to local chronicles the marshlands of Mulleriyawa turned red with blood after the annihilation of the Portuguese. With this victory Sitawaka emerged as a military power which able to challenge the Portuguese expansion.
Lascarins is a term used in Sri Lanka to identify indigenous soldiers who fought for the Portuguese during the Portuguese era (1505–1658) and continued to serve as colonial soldiers until the 1930s. The lascarins played a crucial role not only in the colonial armies, but also in the success of the campaigns of the local kingdoms.
The Kingdom of Kotte, named after its capital, Kotte, was a Sinhalese kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 15th century.
Dom Jerónimo de Azevedo was a Portuguese fidalgo, Governor (captain-general) of Portuguese Ceylon and viceroy of Portuguese India.
Dharmapala or Dom João Dharmapala Peria Bandara was last king of the Kingdom of Kotte, in present-day Sri Lanka, from 1551 until 27 May 1597. He is also known as Dom João Dharmapala, the first Christian king in Sri Lankan history. He is widely known as the last true King and ruler of the capital city Kotte; under Portuguese military occupation, he attempted to reorganise his military and pursue a treaty with the Portuguese to save the Sinhalese Kingdom.
The Sinhalese–Portuguese War was a series of conflicts waged from 1527 to 1658 in Sri Lanka between the native Sinhalese kingdoms against the Portuguese Empire. It spanned from the Transitional to the Kandyan periods of Sri Lankan history. A combination of political and military moves gained the Portuguese control over most of the island, but their invasion of the final independent kingdom was a disaster, leading to a stalemate in the wider war and a truce from 1621. In 1638 the war restarted when the Dutch East India Company intervened in the conflict, initially as an ally of the Sinhalese against the Portuguese, but later as an enemy of both sides. The war concluded in 1658, with the Dutch in control of about half the island, the Kingdom of Kandy the other half, and the Portuguese expelled.
This is a bibliography of works on Sri Lanka.
Kuruvita Rala was a Sri Lankan rebel leader and prince of Uva, who served as regent in the kingdom of Kandy. He was also a relation of Dona Catherina, Queen of Kandy and the guardian of her children.
The Crisis of the Sixteenth Century was the later part of the Transitional period of Sri Lanka, that began with the decline of the Kingdom of Kotte, with the Vijayabā Kollaya in 1521, culminated in the collapse of the Kingdom of Sitawaka, and with Portuguese dominance of Sri Lankan coasts, if not control by 1597, over two of three kingdoms that had existed at the start of the century. The Kingdom of Kandy was the only independent Sinhalese kingdom to survive. The period was characterised by the fragmentation of the Sinhalese polity, intervention of foreign forces and constant military conflict.