Sri Lanka has a population of around 22 million (2020) and is a multinational state, home to diverse cultures, languages, and ethnicities. The Sinhalese are the majority of the nation's population. The Tamils, who are a large minority group, have also played an influential role in the island's history. Other long established groups include the Moors, the Burghers, the Malays, the Chinese, and the indigenous Vedda.
The Battle of Vijithapura was a decisive battle fought in the campaign carried out by Sri Lankan king Dutthagamani against the invading South Indian king Ellalan. The battle is documented in detail in the ancient chronicles of the country. However, they only provide the viewpoint of Dutthagamani and his army, and details are scarce on Elara's side.
After launching a campaign to regain the country from Elara, Dutthagamani captured a number of his strongholds before coming to the fortified city of Vijithapura. A four-month siege ensued, followed by a large assault where Dutthagamani's champions and royal elephant played a major part. The chronicles focus a lot on these ten champions, and vividly describe some unusual "tests" that Dutthagamani carried out to find out their skills. (Full article...)
Image 29The Sigiriya ("Lion Rock"), a rock fortress and city, built by King Kashyapa (477–495 CE) as a new more defensible capital. It was also used as a Buddhist monastery after the capital was moved back to Anuradhapura. (from Sri Lanka)
Image 30The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, Colombo (from Sri Lanka)
Image 33Sri Lanka map of Köppen climate classification (from Sri Lanka)
Image 34Sri Lanka's most widely known export, Ceylon tea, which ISO considers the cleanest tea in the world in terms of pesticide residues. Sri Lanka is also the world's 2nd largest exporter of tea. (from Sri Lanka)
The statue in Polonnaruwa traditionally held to be of Parākramabāhu the Great
Parākramabāhu I (Sinhala: මහා පරාක්රමබාහු, c. 1123–1186), or Parakramabahu the Great, was the king of Polonnaruwa from 1153 to 1186. He oversaw the expansion and beautification of his capital, constructed extensive irrigation systems, reorganised the country's army, reformed Buddhist practices, encouraged the arts and undertook military campaigns in South India and Burma. The adage "Not even a little water that comes from the rain must not flow into the ocean without being made useful to man" is one of his most famous utterances.
In 1140, Parakramabahu following the death of his uncle, Kitti Sri Megha, Prince of Dakkinadesa, ascended the throne of Dakkhinadesa. Over the next decade, improved both Dakkhinadesi infrastructure and military. Following a protracted civil war, he secured power over the entire island around 1153 and remained in this position until his death in 1186. During Parākramabāhu's reign, he launched a punitive campaign against the kings of Burma, aided the Pandyan dynasty against the Chola dynasty in southern India and maintained extensive trade relations with China, Angkor, and countries in the Middle East. Within the island, he consecrated religious monuments, built hospitals, social welfare units, canals and large reservoirs, such as the Sea of Parakrama. (Full article...)
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