Parakramabahu VI of Kotte
Parâkramabâhu VI (1410/1412/1415–1467) was a king in the Sri Lankan kingdom of Kotte. He is the last great Sri Lankan king to have united the whole island of Sri Lanka under one flag. His rule is famous for the political stability which he maintained in that time period and the thriving of literature, especially poetry. Classical literature (prose and verse) as well as many rock inscriptions and royal grant letters (patent letters, sannas) have been found, rendering much information pertaining to this period.
Despite the fact that there is much information (as mentioned before) on the late period of his rule, there is meagre details found on his former life. How he came to power preceding whom, is yet unknown. His mother was Sunethra Maha Devi. His father was Lameni Jayamahalena (Prince Jayakahalena), a lord. If so, he is the grandson of Prince Parakramabahu, who was Savulu Vijayabahu's son. Savulu Vijayabahu is the fifth to go by that name. His son Parakramabahu is the one who ruled the country, from Dedigama. Another scholar says that Jayamahalena was the grandfather of Parakramabahu. However, he is supposed to belong to the family, that came after Parakramabahu V.
Although most sources say 1415 as his year of coronation, they also say that he coroneted after ruling three years from Raigama. Saddarmalakaraya says the coronation was in 1410. Parakramabahu VI's queen's name is Swarnamanikya or Ranmenika. A new palace was built in Jayawardane-pura Kotte. A 'Temple of the Tooth' was also constructed.
King Parakramabahu VI suppressed the revolts in Malayarata. The chiefs of Vanni who wielded power there, were defeated by this king. In 1435, a south Indian invasion from the Vijayanagara Empire, is recorded. Sri Lankn sources say that the king thwarted the invasion successfully but south Indian records contradict this. Soon after this time, king Parâkramabâhu VI directed a naval attack to south Indian ports, resulting from a dispute that arose after the incident of steeling of a cargo ship by an Indian called Rayan Malavar. This was around the year 1443.
Conquering Yapa Patuna
This battle was led by king Parâkramabâhu VI's adopted son, Prince Sapumal (Sembagapperumal). Selalihini Sandeshaya records how prince returned from after winning the Yapa Patuna (Jaffna). This is around year 1449. The king took advantage from the fact that AryaChakravarthi could no longer get military assistance from Vijayanagara. As troops advanced across Mannar to Jaffna by land, naval forces must have cut south Indian assistance by patrolling the Pork Strait. First fearce battle happened in JavaKotte near Elephant pass. Later Jaffna was attacked and Arya chakravarthi was forced to retreat to India.
In year 1463, there was a rebellion in the hill country and Sena sammatha Wikramabahu became king of Senkadagala. The king died in 1467. And his grand son Jayabahu became king. But this was followed by much political turmoil. The stability of king Parâkramabâhu VI would not return for centuries to come.
Contribution to literature
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He also played a main role in the contribution to literature. Books such as,"Visuddhi Magga Sanaya", "Besajja Manjusawa" and "Samotha Kuta Varnana" were written by him. King Parakramabahu VI showed a great interest in literature and arts and therefore should be credited for all of his works, as the above mentioned books play a main role in Sinhala Sahithya. Also the offering of Royal favour is influenced to flourish of Sinhalese Literature. His period is considered as the Golden Era in Sinhalese Literature. That was the heyday of 'Sandesha Poetry.'
Contribution to Buddhism
He had built a 'Dalada Maligawa' which imbuded with 3 floors for reposing the tooth relic.So also he constructed a Greatest monument having honour of his mother called 'Papiliyane Sunethradevi Piriwena'.
1. Shrilankave Ithihasaya, Department of educational publications, Sri Lanka.