Kingdoms in Sri Lanka – Part III 0 308

Kingdoms in Sri Lanka – Part III 0 309


The Kingdom of Dambadeniya (1220 -1345 AD) was the kingdom capital  founded by King Vijayabahu III after driving off Kalinga Magha’s armies from Maya Rata. The capital then later changed from Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa and finally Kurunegala before Gampola was chosen as the next Kingdom.

A few important rulers during this reign are:

  • King Vijayabahu III (1220- 1224 AD) – A notable king who fought against Kalinga Magha’s army and subsequently became the king of Dambadeniya. He was from House of Siri Sanga Bo as well as its Founder. The king secured Buddha’s tooth relic and alms from Kotmale where the Magha people had hidden it and also brought unity among the Sangha who had fled during the time of war.
  • King Parakramabahu II inherited throne from his father King Vijayabahu III and ruled from 1234 to 1269 AD. He was known to be wise and was also a poet and writer during his reign in Dambadeniya. Thereafter successors were his children, his eldest son King Bosath Vijayabahu and King Bhuvanekabahu I.

Rise of Yapahuwa

King Bhuvanekabahu I (1271-1283 AD) moved his throne to Yapahuwa as he found Dambadeniya unsafe after his brother’s death. He was a writer like his father and continued the religious works of his late brother while making Yapahuwa the kingdom capital. The city remained the capital  from 1273 to 1284 AD. The rock fortress here is similar to Sigirya and was once home to the sacred tooth relic of Buddha. His successor was his nephew, King Parakramabahu III (1298-1303 AD) and was not considered as king during his reign.

#YohoTip: The stairway to the royal palace is something you MUST checkout when in Kurnunegala.


The capital was move to Kurunegala (1300-1342 AD) by  King Bhuvanekabahu I’s successor, King Bhuvanekabahu II. He moved his dynasty to Kurunegala and ruled from 1293 – 1302 AD. He was succeeded by his son King Parakramabahu IV also known as Pandith Parakramabahu who ruled from 1302-1326 AD. The King was known to be the greatest of his time because of his devotion towards Buddhism, education and literature. The King also built a temple to keep the sacred tooth relic safe. Thereafter the successors in order are King Bhuvanakabahu III and King Vijayabahu V who was also the last king of Dambadeniya.

Kingdom of Gampola

King Bhuvanekabahu IV was the first king who moved from Kurunegala to Gampola and made it his capital. Thereafter, the successor his brother King Parakramabahu V ruled from 1353 -1359 AD after which King Vikramabahu II’s nephew succeeded to the throne from 1359 to 1374 AD. The king shifted the tooth relic to Gampola and history records the Gadaladeniya Viharaya to be his construction. The last king in this capital (1341-1408 AD) was King Bhunakebahu V who was in reign for 29 years.

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Nastashia Ekanayake is a travel enthusiastic who enjoys travelling solo when budget and time permit. Having currently moved back to Sri Lanka, she functions as an administration professional by day and wanderer and foodie by night. She enjoys journaling her adventures, exploring the joys of Instagram and looking up her next travel destination.

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