Funday Times - Mahavamsa

Help from India
This article is part of a continuing series on the ‘Mahavamsa,’ the recorded chronicle of Sri Lankan history
By Halaliye Karunathilake, Edited and translated by Kamala Silva, Illustrated by Saman Kalubowila

1. South Indian inscriptions also refer to the defeat of Chandrabhanu. According to these, the Pandyas too had joined in this battle. The Pandya ruler at the time was Jatavarman Sundara Pandya, who is also known as Veera Pandya Jatavarman. Veera Pandya counts his years from 1253 AD and according to this reckoning, in an inscription written in the 10th year of his rule, he has said that the struggle between Sri Lanka and Javakas was a trouble for him too.

2. According to this inscription Javakas were also ruling Sri Lanka. In another inscription written in the 11th year of Jatavarman Sundara Pandya's rule, it is mentioned that he killed one of the two kings of Sri Lanka. He had seized the army and the wealth of this king. He had also claimed elephants as tribute from the other king.

3. The second inscription further goes on to state that they came to Sri Lanka, as a minister sought their help. According to our chronicles, Chandrabhanu's second battle was fought between 1258 – 1262 AD. As such, the Javaka king referred to in the Pandya inscriptions could be either Magha or Chandrabhanu. There is a doubt as to which one it could be.

4. Scholars believe that since Magha was chased from Sri Lanka in 1256 AD, Chandrabhanu would have invaded this country, to spread Malay power again in Sri Lanka. However, though Prince Vickramabahu took all measures to safeguard Mayarata, it was insufficient. So he had to seek Pandya help. For this purpose, a minister would have been sent to the Pandya country.

5. This request had been made to King Jatavarman Sundara Pandya, who acceded to it and sent an army to Sri Lanka. They had arrived here when Chandrabhanu had besieged Yapahuwa. The Pandya soldiers attacked Chandrabhanu's forces from behind, while Prince Vickramabahu's soldiers attacked from the front. As Chandrabhanu's soldiers were sandwiched in between the two armies, they suffered a very bad defeat. Sri Lankan records and Pandya records give two different versions to this event.

6. The Pandyan records mention that it was solely a victory for the Pandya king. The scholars who recorded Sri Lankan history, state the Yapahuwa battle was a major victory for the Sri Lankan king. No mention whatsoever is made of the combined forces. This battle too did not put an end to the threats to the kings of Dambadeniya from the Javakas.

7. There is further mention of this battle, in an inscription written during the 11th year of Jatavarman Sundara Pandya's rule. It says that a Javaka prince had gained kingship in Sri Lanka. This prince cannot be the son of Chandrabhanu as he never ruled Sri Lanka. As Magha ruled Pihitirata, this could be quite likely, a son of Magha. However the Pandyas too did not welcome the idea of a united Sri Lanka.

8. When the two kings of Sri Lanka were against each other, Pandyas knew that always one of them would seek their help. Then they would get a chance to interfere and claim tribute too. Whatever it may be, there is evidence to show that there was Javaka rule in the North of Sri Lanka, for a period of 75 years. Our local writers do not give any details here.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]


Other Funday Articles
Homework - Poem for the week
Help from India - Mahavamsa
The birth of a new civilization - Our Heritages


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2008 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution