History of Sri Lanka/Ancient Sri Lanka

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A Buddhist statue in the ancient capital city of Polonnaruwa, 12th century
Prince Vijaya of Sri Lanka

According to the Mahavamsa (text written in Pali of the Kings of Sri Lanka), a traditional date of ancient Sri Lanka is the landing of Vijaya, who arrived in Sri Lanka (because he was banned by King Vanga of India) with 700 followers with him and ruled Sri Lanka from 543 BC – 505 BC (Modern time now: 38 years!). Vijaya played an important role in Sri Lanka, such as the establishment of the Kingdom of Tambapanni. Vijaya played an important role in the country's ancient history.

Another annual date of ancient Sri Lanka is the arrival of Buddhism from Devanampiya Tissa, son of monarch Mutasiva of Anuradhapura. Though another source states that Buddhism was founded by a man named "Mahinda", which then integrated into Sinhalese culture. Epigraphic sources show the appearance of Buddhism around the 3rd century B.C.

The entire ancient period of ancient Sri Lanka is dominated by the Anuradhapura Kingdom, which includes Sri Lanka's ancient history in one place. The Sri Lanka Kingdom moved into Anuradhapura in 380 B.C.. From there onwards, the city of Anuradhapura stayed as the capital of Sri Lanka for more than 1000 years, until the fall of the kingdom in 1017 A.D., when Rajendra I sent a large invasion on the kingdom. Thus, the capital then moved to Polonnaruwa.

After more than a century under Chola control, Vijayabahu I of Polonnaruwa successfully drove off the Chola Empire, thus, reuniting the country back together once again. Also, reuniting the country back in Buddhism culture too when Vijayabahu I, in request, sent monks from Burma to Sri Lanka. Though Sinhalese king Vijayabahu I was a strong leader who fought off the powerful Chola empire out of Sri Lanka, after his death, weak rulers took over after him. Eventually, Sri Lanka broke into independent states.

A statue in Polonnaruwa that is known in Sri Lanka to be off the Great Parakramabahu

Though, in 1153, a Sinhalese king named Prākramabāhu I, also called Parākramabāhu The Great, reunited Sri Lanka and repaired the irrigation systems that were made for water to be easily used in Sri Lanka. Prākramabāhu I also reformed Buddhist establishments (made new temples), and allowed Hindus to worship.

In the 13th century, Sri Lanka suffered from Indian invasion. The irrigation system was damaged, and the capital of Sri Lanka (Polonnuwara) was abandoned (in 1255). Sri Lanka was then divided into 3 areas, one for the Tamils (north; City of Jaffna) and two for the Sinhalese (south and east; City of Kotte and Kandy).