BATTLES OF KING MAHINDA II[767-787 AD]

BATTLES OF KING MAHINDA II[767-787 AD]

family tree of Mahinda1

The Family Tree of Mahinda and Dapulla. The numbers gives the reference to chapter and the verse in Mahavansa.

Three of the sons of King Manvannama ruled from Anuradhapura.

Prince Mahinda was the son of Aggabodhi VI[721-751 AD] , as he showed all qualities of kingship, his father groomed him for Kingship. When he grew up his father made him Senapati, he also gave the entire government and as an independent ruler the discerning Prince fulfilled his duties in a just way When is father died, his uncle[ younger brother of Aggabodhi VI ], reigned  as Aggabodhi VII[751-752 AD].Mahinda gives up post and took a commission  at Mahatittha Fortress  in Mannar [the Utthardesa or the Northern District of the Rajarattha]. Mahatittha was a walled city , and obtained it revenue from export of Pearls, Gems, elephants etc.

On the death of his uncle  Mahinda  hurries back to Anuradhapura and takes control of the army. Many of his cousins , the Children of his uncles and other generations of Princes ruling in Ruhuna and Maya etc, all aspired for kingship of the Island.

The Mahavansa states that Senapati Mahinda reigned at  first in the name of the widowed queen of Aggabodhi VII (76-89).The queen conspires to kill him. He is suspicious but keeps  her under constant  watch and feared to leave her in  the city when ever he away, in case she conspires against him.

1.Rebellion  in the North

The Chieftains  in the Uttradesa refuses to pay taxes and declares independence .Senapati Mahinda  marches north  with his army and suppress the Rebellion In the Uttradesa . { also known as Uttarapassa or Uttaradesa or Uttararattha in inscriptions, Uturapasa, Uturpasa and Uturukara) the Northern division, which began about 10 miles north of Anuradhapura and extends to the north-west(Mahatittha), north and north east coasts.

2.Battle of Sangagama

There is a rebellion from perhaps Dakkhinadesa or Dakkhinapassa (in inscriptions,.Dakun-pasa), the  southern division, extending in the 10 th century to the Kalu Ganga. A  Prince Dappula ,the sister’s son of his father ,camps with a large Army at Kalavapi area .King MahindaII marches to Kalavapi and they do battle at  defeat Dappula .

3.Battle for Anuradhapura- No I.

During the period he is away from the capital , The Northern Chieftain’s  forces from Uttradesa occupy the capital Anuradhapaura and Mahinda hurries back and  put them to flight.

4.Battle of Anuradhapura No II

Prince Dapulla collects his scattered troops and reinforced by an army from Ruhuna led by two sons[Adipadis ]his sisters,  attack  Anuradhapura at night time and broke over the troops encomposed the  town with clangour on all sides. With neighing of the Steeds , the trumpeting of the Elephants, the rattle of drums with the rhythmic  sounds and the battle cry of warriors…..  Senapati Mahinda exhorts his troops that night and placed his army in readiness and at daybreak mounted  his war tried Elephant, and with a thousand warriors and breaks through the gate, like a down-rushing thunder bolt . The forces of Dappula is scattered and the two Adipads[ Princes from Ruhuna are taken captive, Dappula beats a hasty retreat . Mahinda do not pursue them and declares a truce. The thousand warrior may just be a ancient army division or formation, very similar to the 1000 or 1o10 mobilised by each of the King Dutugemunu’s  Ten Generals[ dasa Maha Yodayas]. Map of Mahinda's battles 2

5.Subduing of Pacinadesa & Uttradesa

Mahinda next embarks  to subdue the North and East and send troops to the Pacinadesa[ Coast] and then the North and subdues the rebels and gains control . This expedition is led by his son Udaya. He fathers a son from the queen of his uncle and makes him his Yugaraja, after which is reconciled and the Mahawansa names him as King.

6.Battle of Kovilaragama

The two Princes from Ruhuna invades parts of the East coast[Pacinadesa which come under control of King Mahinda]. Then they raised a large army from both their provinces after spending large amount of money.Then make a treaty with Dapulla,a their uncle,  take up positions along the Mahaveli Ganga. King Mahinda marches and takes up position at Mahummara village. According to CW Nicholas these two villages are between Mahaveli Ganga and Anuradhapura.Two armies meet at Kovilaragama. Senapati Mahinda son from the earlier marriage when Senapati of his fathers army, Udaya skilled in battle and fighting on elephant back, meets face to face with Prince Dappulla also o n an elephant. Prince Dapulla is forced to flee from the Battlefield.The two Princes from Ruhuna are slain during the battle. Mahinda’s army  is victorious and two Princes fall in battle. Dappula flees to Ruhuna.

The amount of money spent to raise the army is not given, only instance where it is given is when Padukabaya raised the first 500 troops , this was 100,000 silver kahapanas[3.4 grams of silver], that is 340 kilo of Silver. The ratio of Silver to gold was 20:1[ or 16:1]. That is 17 Kilos of Gold.This was a period of Gold Coinage, and a Golden Era of the history. Even books were of Gold.

Man Gold Nuggets which were inscribed with the value, in this case Ekunu Anuva Kalan, is one less than 90, is weighing almost a half a Kilo.Found at Abeyagiri Complex.

Many Gold Nuggets which were inscribed with the value, in this case Ekunu Anuva Kalan, is one less than 90, is weighing almost a half a Kilo.Found at Abeyagiri Complex.

Golden Religious Book in the same script of that on Gold Nugget, but in Sankrit.

Golden Religious Book in the same script of that on Gold Nugget, but in Sanskrit.

7.Expedition to Rohona

King Mahinda  takes a large well equipped army with Horses, Elephants, Chariots and Foot and WHICH ACCORDING TO THE Mahavasa was provided with all resources [logistic support and Planning]  reached Mara – gala[mountain] with in a short time. The average rate of march of ancient armies ,[ click to read] that of Dutugemunu was a Yojana or about 15 Kilometers per day. To frighten the people of Rohona as a strategy, He ensured that along the route they devastated the area. His route was to Mara-gala.  Gieger identifies the route is perhaps Ratnapura- Pelmadulla –Madampe  mountains. This mountain is could be the ranges to south of Rakwana with the Bulutota Pass.The people of Ruhuna surrendered  and King Mahinda has a treaty decreed with Dapula, after taking Elephants, Horses and Royal Jewels. The decree where the boundary of Rohona is shifted  further south from the Mahaveli river to the  Galha-ganga[Gal-oya], and Mahinda expanded his area of control.

His son Udaya ,born of an another queen while he was Senapati/ prior to becoming king . He also has a son from the consecrated Queen[ Uncles queen] who dies while young. Prince Udaya  proved his mettle in  most battle the battles of Mahinda and in siege of Anuradhapura and expeditions to all regions. He succeeded his father to the throne of Sri Lanka.

CONCLUSIONS.

Moving of armies between Rohona and Rajarattha was no easy task. Many battles were fought after marching for 100-200 miles.It involved a lot of logistic support and training or a set of laid down proceedure . Some of these are discussed in the Military operation of King Dutugemunu [ click to read]from Mahagama to Anuradhapura. The picture below is that off the Funday in Sunday Times Newspapers. There were many kings who used this route called old Military Road from Mahagama to Anuradhpura. A road has been found similar to the old Roman roads, called Kalugalbemma which is paved with large Boulders for about 50 miles.rations 3

The Old Military Road used by all kings from Anuradhapura to Mahagama

Gieger’s Interpretation from Codringtons Book

Old Road KalugalbemmaTraces of Kalugalbemma on present Maps

 

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2 thoughts on “BATTLES OF KING MAHINDA II[767-787 AD]

  1. Hello Mr. Sirimunasiha! First of all, what a awesome post! How long does it take you to gather and write all of this?? Your website is by far the most thorough and knowledgable source of Sri Lankan history I have come across. Anyways, I just wanted to make sure, the Chola kingdom from South India ruled all of Sri Lanka, correct? My mother claims that they just conquered the northern part, but my history textbook (Traditions & Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past, Fifth Edition by Jerry H. Bentley and Herbert F. Ziegler) says otherwise.

    (sorry for the awkward angle)

    • I have not placed this part of Military History yet, but there is some facts about Vijeyaba I’s General under Sri lankan Coins
      We had a weak King Mahinda V in 10 cent AD, the people reused to pay taxes as he was performing his duties expected of a King. The soldiers were not paid and they surrounded the Palace. He escaped through a tunnel and went down South. The vacuum created was exploited by Chola King Raja Raja and he occupied the Rajarata the North of country. He had 95,000 troops in Sri lanka, he captured King Mahinda and took him to South India where he died,There were many battle fought when Raja Raja attempted to capture the South, but people of Rohona or South always had many leader[ 5 or 6 of them are named ] who opposed him.
      Finally Vijayabahu I expelled the Cholas.

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