Battle of Vijithapura.

The fortress of Vijithapura was earlier placed near Vijithapura Vihare near Kala-weva. Mr Dennis Fernando has identified the remains Vijitha-nagara as the ancient  site  between the New town and the Railway station at Pollonnaruva. This was  from satellite Photo’s. According to the Mahavansa all the troops of King Elara, who were in various fortifications along the Mahaveli river threw them selves for protection into a fortress of Vijitha Nagara. This fort was between the crossing of the river  and Anuradhapura the capital occupied  by King Elara, which is most probably  the fortress now identified by Mr Dennis Fernando.

vijithapura map

Mahavansa Ch XXV para24.

“When the king had (thus) put them both to the test he marched to Vijitanagara. Near the south gate befell a fearful battle between the warriors. But near the east gate did Velusumana, sitting on his horse, slay Damilas in great numbers.

The Damilas shut the gate and the king sent thither his men. Kandula and Nandhimitta and Suranimila, at the south gate, and the three, Mahasona, Gotha and Theraputta, at the three other gates did their (great) deeds. The city had three trenches, was guarded by a high wall, furnished with gates of wrought iron, difficult for enemies to destroy. Placing himself upon his knees and battering stones, mortar and bricks with his tusks did the elephant attack the gate of iron. But the Damilas who stood upon the gate-tower hurled down weapons of every kind, balls of red-hot iron and molten pitch. When the smoking pitch poured on his back Kandula, tormented with pains, betook him to a pool of water and dived there.

`Here is no sura-draught for thee, go forth to the destroying of the iron gate, destroy the gate !’ thus said Gothambara to him. Then did the best of elephants again proudly take heart, and trumpeting he reared himself out of the water and stood defiantly on firm land.

The elephants’ physician washed the pitch away and put on balm; the king mounted the elephant and, stroking his temples with his hand, he cheered him on with the words: `To thee I give, dear Kandula, the lordship over the whole island of Lanka.’ And when he had had choice fodder given to him, had covered him with a cloth and had put his armour on him and had bound upon his skin a seven times folded buffalo-hide and above it had laid a hide steeped in oil he set him free. Roaring like thunder he came, daring danger, and with his tusks pierced the panels of the gate and: trampled the threshold with his feet; and with uproar the gate crashed to the ground together with the arches of the gate. The crumbling mass from the gate-tower that fell upon the elephant’s back did Nandhimitta dash aside, striking it with his arms. When Kandula saw his deed, in contentment of heart he ceased from the former wrath he had nursed since he (Nandhimitta) had seized him by the tusks.

That he might enter the town close behind him Kandula the best of elephants turned (to Nandhimitta) and looked at that warrior. But Nandhimitta. thought: `I will not enter (the town) by the way opened by the elephant’ and with his arm did he break down the wall. Eighteen cubits high and eight usabhas long it crashed together. The (elephant) looked on Süranimila, but he too would not (follow in) the track but dashed forward, leaping the wall into the town. Gona also and Sona pressed forward, each one breaking down a gate. The elephant seized a cart-wheel, Mitta a waggon frame, Gotha a cocos-palm, Nimila his good sword, Mahasona a palmyra-palm, Theraputta his great club,’ and thus, rushing each by himself into the streets, they shattered the Damilas there.

When the king in four months had destroyed Vijitanagara he went thence to Girilaka and slew the Damila Giriya.”

The fortifications

According to the Mahavansa

a.The city had three trenches, was guarded by a high wall, furnished with gates of wrought iron, difficult for enemies to destroy.

b.Kandula and Nandhimitta and Suranimila, at the south gate, and the three, Mahasona, Gotha and Theraputta, at the three other gates did their (great) deeds.

c.But Nandhimitta. thought: `I will not enter (the town) by the way opened by the elephant’ and with his arm did he break down the wall. Eighteen cubits high and eight usabhas long it crashed together.

The Map drawn by Mr Dennis Fernando is shown below .The remnant of the fort of Vijithpura where this battle took place was discovered by Mr Dennis Fernando. The dimension of the remnants of the fort and the size of it as given in the Mahavansa is in agrement.

vijitha fort

The shows that the fort is approximately 3/4 Mile square.having perhaps three Moats.The north gate has an remains of a fortified gate.The size of the fortress is perhaps 1/2 mile square.A mile is approximately 32 Usabas, perhaps the half the length  of the wall along[ 8 usabhas] with the gate collapse under the attack of the war elephant and Senpathi Nanda-miita.

a.The four directional attack , led by the generals named along with Kandula the elephant.

vijithapura

b.

c.

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