article is part of a continuing series on the ‘Mahavamsa’,
the recorded chronicle of Sri Lankan history.
march to Anuradhapura
Nandimitra, who crushed the huge wall of the fortress at Vijithapura,
looked at Suranimala with pride. He nodded, looked at the other
warriors and smiled. In a moment all the warriors jumped inside
the fortress. They attacked the Tamil soldiers with whatever weapons
they could lay their hands on. Velusumana, mounted his horse and
rode into the city, as fast as lightening. The Tamil soldiers who
surrounded him to attack him, were all crushed.
the elephant Kandula took a cartwheel in his trunk and chased the
enemy. The enemy did not want to give in. They too, fought bravely.
They had very clever commanders manning the fortress at Vijithapura.
So it took four long months for King Dutugemunu to win.
battle ended. The Sinhala flag was hoisted in Vijithapura. The entire
ground of the fortress was covered with blood. Dead bodies lay all
over. But the king saw to it that they were given a proper burial.
The Sinhala soldiers celebrated their victory. They feasted and
rejoiced the whole day. The very next morning, they attacked the
camps at Girinil. The commander there and his soldiers were killed.
next target was the camp at the city named Manel. Here too, they
had to face strong resistance. According to Thupavamsa, it took
nearly four months to destroy these two camps. The Sinhala army
celebrated their victory. The king rewarded all his warriors with
the end of the feasting, an alms-giving was organized for five hundred
monks. At the end of it, the king was blessed by the priests to
face the last battle courageously. The king summoned all his warriors
and the entire army and announced that they were proceeding to Anuradhapura
the next day. The king got on to the elephant Kandula, and accompanied
by his army, set forth to Anuradhapura. They went as far as Ellinallankanda
and rested there.
marching a great distance, the next day, the king and his army camped
near place called Kasagalugalpakada, close to Anuradhapura. There
they built a tank, which was named Posonnane. The king and his army
camped here for quite some time. The king had a water festival here.
The village found there was called’Pajjotha’.
this time, King Elara had heard about the power of King Dutugemunu.
When he got to know the king had come close to Anuradhapura, he
summoned all his ministers and the army. After an important discussion,
the king told them it was a crucial moment and they had to act with
Elara’s warrior Dighajanthu was not scared of the strength
of the Sinhala forces. He commented that as long as they had ministers
who act wisely, there was nothing to worry. The others too, agreed
and said that Dutugemunu’s soldiers would in no way compare
with their strength. They got ready to face the Sinhala army.