is part of a continuing series on the 'Mahavamsa,' the recorded
chronicle of Sri Lankan history
The king becomes a prisoner
1. All the Yuvarajas of different areas of the country were frightened. They secretly joined against Yuvaraja Parakramabahu. They pretended however to be friendly with him. Parakramabahu was sharp enough to understand the situation. However he showed no concern. He was fully involved in development work. 'Pandawewa,' which was near Panduvasnuwara (also called Parakramapura) was enlarged and this tank was named 'Parakrama Samudraya.' This was the model for the building of the 'Parakrama Samudra' in Polonnaruwa in later years.
2. 'Pasyodunrata' at that time was marshy land. Yuvaraja Parakramabahu got canals dug to drain away the water of this marshy area. Later on, Pasyodunrata became a fertile area for the cultivation of paddy. In his development work, Parakramabahu concentrated on trade next. He tried to develop internal trade and got involved in foreign trade as well.
3. In the North West, in places like Chilaw and Kalpitiya, where there were harbours already, he developed them. He was also able to derive a lot of profit from trade and this helped him to solve the economic problem. His next task was the unification of all the provinces. At first, he sent an envoy to bring Malayaraja, who was the leader of one Tamil troop at Rathkurawaka. He came and saw Parakramabahu immediately.
4. He had a discussion with the Yuvaraja Parakramabahu and promised to yield to his authority. Believing his words, Parakramabahu gave him gifts. Next, Parakramabahu summoned the rulers of Giribarata, Monarawewa and Meepalrata. When he held discussions with them, they too promised to accept his leadership.
5. All these people were compensated with various gifts. Next Parakramabahu saw to their needs and went to the extent of supplying warriors and even weapons to them. Then he conquered the Malayarata. By now, he was the ruler of a large part of the country. All these people had pinned all their hopes on him.
6. Yuvaraja Parakramabahu's next attempt was to conquer Rajarata. That of course was no easy task. It involved a lot of fighting. In all the initial battles, Parakramabahu had to suffer defeat, as Gajaba – the king of the entire country, was very powerful. His royal army was strong.
7. Anyway, Parakramabahu did not give up his struggle. He employed clever warriors and waged war again. King Gajaba's army gave a good fight. But this time, King Gajaba lost in battle and became a prisoner in the hands of Parakramabahu. During this time, the ruler in the south happened to be a relation of both Gajaba and Parakramabahu.
8. This Yuvaraja was a cousin brother of Parakramabahu – who was Manabharana, by name. He was the son of Yuvaraja Sri Vallabha. This prince Manabharana,
sympathized with King Gajaba and marched with an army to help him. Yuvaraja Parakramabahu then had to enter the battle field again.