Wednesday, May 26, 2010



Kandyan Kingdom

The beginning of kandyan kingdom.

The Kandian Kingdom originated during the latter part of the 15th century. Jothiya Siu organised arebellion to secede from the Kingdom of King Parakrmabahu VI of kotte. Even though it was unsuccessful in 1469, a prince called Sena Sammatha Wickrmabahu was able to rebel against the Kingdom of Kotte and establish the Kandian Kingdom. The capital of the city was Senkadagala.

· Jothiya Situ- He was the ruler appointed by King Parakramabahu VI to govern the Kandyan Kingdom. The rebekkion organised by him against the king was suppressed by prince Ambulugala.

· The inscriptions indicate that at the time Wikramabahu established the Kingdom of Kandy, it consisted of Gampola, Sinduruwana, Denuwara, Balawita, Matale, Pansiya Pauwa and Uwa.

The birth of the Kandyan Kingdom was an enormous challenge to the kingdom of Kotte. The objective of the Kotte Kingdom was to subjugate Kandy. Therfore from 1470 onwards, for the next 125 years. The Kandyan Kingdom had to engage itself in an endless campain to secure its independence.

From 1540 Kotte and Sitawaka challenged the Kanyan Kingdom. The policy of the Kandyan King was either to get help from the Portuguese or get the Kotte ruler to an amicable settlement. The common praractice was to arrange marriages to build relationship. However, specially the expansion of Sitawaka was a threat to the Kandyan Kingdom.

In 1574, the armies of the King of Sitawaka attaked the hill country and captured the Balana pass. By the time the Portuguese army arrived in Kandy , the people of the hill country had already driven the armies of Sitawaka out of Kandy. Against in 1582, an army from Sitawaka attaked Kandy and King Karalliyadde (1552-1582 A.D.) fled to Manner with his family, seeking the protection of the Portuguese.

King Rajasingha of Sitawaka seized the Kandyan Kingdom and appointed Weerasundara Badara to the post of ajudicator.(Saamamtha) But after a few days the king grew suspicious of Weerasundara Bandara, got him killed through subterfuge, and appointed Nikapitiy Bandara of the royal lineage of Sitawaka.

· Saamantha (Ajudicator)- The person who ruled the Kandyn territory prior to complete independence from Kotte was known as (Saamantha) ‘Ajudicator’. It meant a rovincial ruler.

Towards the latter part of his life, King Rajasingha of Sitawaka came under the influence of the Saiva Hindu Brahmin from India and embracing their religion, destroyed the Buddhist temples, burnt the ola leaves containing the Dhamma, and earned the contempet of not only the Kandyan people, but the entire Buddhist population.

In the face of threats from King Rajasingha of Sitawaka, Princess Kusumasana Devi daughter of King Karaliyadde, the heir to the Kandyan Kingdom as well as Yamasingha Bandara, a nephew of the King and Konappu Bandara, son of Weerasundara Bandara had fled to the Portuguese and lived under their protection and were converted as Catholics. At this point a Portuguese army was sent to Kandy under Don Juan. The Portuguese captured Kandy very easily and made Don Philip (Yamasingha Bandara) the King of Kandy. Thus Kandy became a territory subjugated by the Portuguese.

· Prince Kusumasana Devi, Yamasinghe Bandara and Konappu Bandara were baptized as Dona Cathrina, Don Phillip , and Don Juan of Austria respectively.

The Kandyan Kingdom was consisted of five areas at the beginning.

1) Siduruwana : Udu Nuwara and Uda Palatha

2) Balawita : Harispaththuwa

3) Matale : Matale (at present)

4) Dumbara : Dumbara (at present)

5) Sagama Tungama : Walapane and Hewaheta

The Kandyan Kingdom was known by several names.

a) Kanda Uda Pasrata

b) The Senkadagala Kingdom

c) The Kanda Udarata

d) The Mahanuwara Kingdom

e) Sri Wardhanapura