Dambadeniya is the third kingdom of Sri Lanka that became significant due to the Sacred Tooth Relic that was placed here during the rule of King Vijayabahu III in the 13th Century. It was initially used as a fortification, built on a rock, which was protected by a moat, marsh, ramparts and royal gardens. Vijayabahu’s successor was his son, King Parakramabahu the II who ruled till 1270. King Parakramabahu was known to be a genius and it was during his reign that the Dambadeniya Kingdom flourished.
Even today Dambadeniya is highly important to the Buddhist people for its past glory and self-righteousness.
Archaeological evidence of the Dambadeniya Site
Dambadeniya is a significant archeological site with an immaculate historical background located in the Narammla regional secretariat division in Kurunagala. There are several folk tales that relate to the creation of the name Dambadeniya. A folk tale describes that during the ancient era this particular place experienced a shower of gold. Among the other folk tales that surround Dambadeniya one talks of an arahath Buddhist monk who ate a fruit call Damba at this place. It was King Rawana that planted a special Damba tree in this location, which was brought from Dambadiva, India. Regardless of folk tales Dambadeniya is an ancient Sri Lankan kingdom that continues to reveal valuable information relating to ancient history and the civilization of Sri lanka
According to the archeologists Dambadeniya marks a significant milestone in Sri Lankan history merely due to its cultural and historical process. The Rajarata civilization was badly damaged due to the invasion of king Kalinga Maga in 1215 A.D. and no ruler was emerged to challenge the mighty power of Maga.Yet the provincial leaders from Maaya region was able to establish their power in regional perspective.Yapahuwa suba, minipe Sanka,lord Buvanekabahu and Vijayabahu from Dambadeniya acted as such provincial leaders. But Dambadeniya Vijayabahu emerge as the most powerful and became the ruler of maaya region. At the same time he took over the ownership of the sacred tooth relic and invariably become the leader of entire country in 1232 A.D.He ruled the country from 1232-1236A.D. and able to created a poltical stability in the country, not only king Vijayabahu work to unit the country yet contributed immensely for the welfare of Buddhism. King Vijayabahu constructed a special arena to establish the sacred tooth relic and also constructed a stupa called Vijaysundararamaya.
After king vijaybahau king parakramabahu the 2nd took the throne. Historic documents revealed the fact that king parakramabahu had to counter 3 foreign invasions.Actualy he was the king who contributed immensely in order to end the cruel ruling of kalinga maga.His military abilities further show cased when he was able to defeat Jawaka king chandrabanu.Despite all these wars king Parakramabahu the 2nd contributed immensely for cultural and religious development of the country.He him self established a palace for the sacred tooth relic in the vijaysunderarama viharaya and observed all the essential rituals as well.This was mentioned in the historical book of chulawansaya. He was a great author and rendered immaculate service for the development of Sri lankan literature.King parakaramabahu the 2nd took the initiative in writing valuable books such as sidat sangarawa.After the great era of Parakramabahu leadership took over by king vijaybahu the 2nd.He continued the good work which his father implemented during his ruling.His contribution was mainly allocated to the religous and cultural development of the country.In 1272 A.D Buvanekabahu became the king and transferred kingdom to the city of yapahuwa.There is no doubt about the fact that Vijaysundararamaya was a decisive Buddhist centre as it recived the assistance and supervision of the four royal statures belong to Dambadeniya.The author of pujavaliya emphasis the fact that king parakramabahu the 2nd constructed a palace of 3 floors to establish sacred tooth relic. But this significant status vested with Vijayasundararamaya decreased for certain extend as the time went on,no significant information can be found regarding the temple in ancient sources until the latter part of kandyan period. Despite all the above odds Dambadeniya and the Buddhist civilization vested around Viyaysunderaramaya still considered to be a decisive land mark of Ceylon history.
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