ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 16
Funday Times - Mahawamsa

The Battle of Digavapi

By Halaliye Karunathilake
Edited and translated by Niluka De Silva
Illustrated by Saman Kalubowila

1. On hearing about the arrival of the relics, King Parakramabahu was very happy. He marched forwards as far as the river, to receive them. This was a distance of about eight miles. Once he received the relics, he conducted them to the capital, in a procession. Both sides of the road, along which the procession passed were beautifully decorated. The people gathered in huge numbers to join the procession. Once it reached the capital city, the relics were deposited in a special chamber.

2. Grand celebrations were held. A few days were set apart for the people to pay homage. After that, the relics were deposited in the 'Dalada Maligawa,' which was built for this purpose. In the meantime, the commanders who were engaged in fighting in Ruhuna, assembled to discuss the war situation and the plans of war strategy adopted by the enemy. They thought thus, "Our enemies know the geography of Ruhuna far too well, as it is the place where they were born and bred."

3. "As a result, just as we approach them, they disperse. In no time, they succeed in winning over the territory, we have brought under our control. What could we do to put a stop to this?" asked one commander.
The solution agreed upon, was to adopt a strategy against this. It was to station a contingent of soldiers, in areas they conquer in future, so that the enemy cannot approach. Then the victory can be stabilized.

4. Meanwhile at Digavapi, modern Gal-Oya area, there was a very bad uprising. Only serious fighting could suppress it. For this purpose, all the forces were combined. They marched towards the East. There was fighting between Sakaman and Balapasana. It is between Sakaman and Malwatta that the village of Balapasana is situated.

5. They put up a strong camp here and stationed a powerful contingent of soldiers. From there, up to the end of Gal-Oya Valley, fighting followed. The enemy attacked them all the way. It is with difficulty that King Parakramabahu's armies fought them.

6. Finally, they met with success. They were able to win over Digavapi. About 50 miles away, there was a camp of Queen Sugala. It was in the village of Hintalawana. King Parakramabahu's armies attacked this camp too and conquered it. But here, the unexpected happened. Queen Sugala's forces were active.

7. When King Parakramabahu's forces were celebrating at Hintalawanagama, they attacked and captured Digavapi once more. The forces of Queen Sugala were able to corner the soldiers who were at Balapasana fortress. After hearing this, the armies at Hintalawanagama were alarmed. A number of these soldiers came to the assistance of the forces of Balapasana.

8. They were able to crush Queen Sugala's hopes. They recaptured Digavapi. King Parakramabahu's next attempt was to conquer Buttala, where the enemy was powerful. Several contingents were sent there. They fought at Dambagalla, Horambara and a few other places. They then joined hands and came to Wellawaya and camped there.

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