October 2018

Famous Kings of Sri Lanka
October 2018

Since the arrival of Prince Vijaya to the island, a succession of kings ruled and safeguarded Sri Lanka.


King Pandukabhaya
The first king who established Anuradhapura as the capital. There are numerous legends that describe his birth, childhood and how he ascended to the throne.

King Devanampiya Tissa
Buddhism was introduced to the island during this king's period. A close friend of Emperor Asoka of India, he is the first Sri Lankan king to be crowned following Indian traditions.

King Dutugamunu
The first king to unify the country, he constructed numerous temples including Ruvanwelisaya and Mirisavetiya.

King Valagamba
After spending 15 years in hiding, he reclaimed the throne and constructed Abhayagiriya and other temples. The king gifted Abhayagiriya to Mahatissa thero, who helped him immensely during his exile.

King Mahasen
Having built one of the largest reservoirs, Minneriya, he went on to construct Jethavanaramaya, Minneriya Viharaya and several others. He is also known as Minneri deviyo (god).

King Dhatusena
During his reign, King Dhatusena constructed Kala Wewa, Yoda Ela and several temples including Kalavapi temple, and the Badulla temple.


King Bhuvanaikabahu IV
King Bhuvanaikabahu IV ascended the throne after the reign of his father, King Vijayabahu V. This king shifted the capital from Kurunegala to Gampola once he was crowned.

King Parakramabahu V
He is the second king of Gampola. Prior to his ascension to the throne, King Parakramabahu V resided in Dedigama. He was eventually exiled to Malaya kingdom.


King Vijayabahu I
The first king of Polonnaruwa. After a prolonged war, King Vijayabahu liberated the country from the rule of invading Cholas who had captured a significant portion of the island.

King Parakramabahu
One of the most significant achievements of this king is the construction of the Parakrama Samudraya to provide water for agriculture.


King Mayadunne
This king was known to be a fierce opponent of the Portuguese. He waged constant war against the King of Kotte, an ally of the Portuguese.

King Rajasinghe I
Celebrated for his bravery and patriotism, King Rajasinghe I waged war against the Portuguese in an effort to liberate the country.


King Vijayabahu III
King Vijayabahu II constructed a Temple for the sacred Tooth Relic in Beligala. The Dambadeniya kingdom under his reign is said to have been a place of refuge for Buddhists.

King Parakramabahu II
This king defeated Kalinga Magha who ruled Rajarata for 40 years. King Parakramabahu II also foiled two invasion attempts by an East Indian king named Chandrabhanu.


King Vimaladharmasuriya I
King Vimaladharmasuriya I is known for the battles of Danture and Balana.

King Rajasinghe II
To expel the Portuguese from the country, he allied with the Dutch. However, the king also waged war againt the Dutch.

King Sri Vickrama Rajasinghe
The last king of Sri Lanka, with his capture, the Sri Lankan monarchy came to an end. The king and his wife were exiled from the island to Tamil Nadu by the British, where he spent the rest of his life.