Bhuvanaikabahu VI of Kotte

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Bhuvanekabahu VI (Sapumal Kumaraya) (Sinhala:සපුමල් කුමාරයා) or Chempaha Perumal [1] (died 1480) was by self admission an adopted son of Parakramabâhu VI whose principal achievement was the conquest of Jaffna Kingdom in the year 1447 or 1450. He ruled the Kingdom for 17 years when he was apparently summoned to the south after the demise of his adopted father. According a primary source Rajavaliya, he killed the grand son of Parakrama Bahu VI namely Vira Parakrama Bahu or Jaya Bahu (1468 – c. 1470) but Do Couto, however, who was well-informed, says after a few years' reign the king died and his half-witted son was put on the throne by his aunt, who two years later finding herself unable to rule sent for Sapumal Kumaraya from Jaffna.[2][3][4]

Conquest of Jaffna Kingdom[edit]

The conquest of the Jaffna Kingdom took place in many stages. Firstly, the tributaries to the Jaffna Kingdom in the Vanni area, namely the Vanniar chieftains of the Vannimai were neutralised. This was followed by two successive invasions. The first invasion did not succeed in capturing the kingdom. It was the second invasion dated to 1450 that eventually was successful. Apparently connected with this war of conquest was an expedition to Adriampet in modern South India, occasioned according to Valentyn by the seizure of a Lankan ship laden with cinnamon. The Tenkasi inscription of Arikesari Parakrama Pandya of Tinnevelly 'who saw the backs of kings at Singai, Anurai,' and else where, may refer to these wars; it is dated between A.D. 1449–50 and 1453-4.[5] Kanakasooriya Cinkaiariyan the Aryacakravarti king fled to South India with his family.

This victory seemed to have left a very important impression on the Sinhalese literati and political leaders. The glory of Sapumal Kumaraya is sung in the Kokila Sandesaya (Message carried by Kokila bird) written in the fifteenth century by the Principal Thera of the Irugalkula Tilaka Pirivena in Mulgirigala. The book contains a contemporary description of the country traversed on the road by the cookoo bird from Devi Nuwara (City of Gods) in the South to Nallur (Beautiful City) in the North.

“Beloved Kokila, wing the way to Yapa Patuna ( or present day Jaffna). Our Prince Sapumal has driven away from there King Arya Chakravarti, and has established himself in war-like might. To him, I offer this message”

“Arya Chakravarti beheld his glory, dazzling as the glory of the sun. He beheld his might which was poised throughout the eighteen ratas. Thereupon grief entered into his heart, he abandoned his realm and fled beyond the sea.”

The return of the Prince to Kotte is sung by the poet, Sri Rahula Thera of Totagomuva in the Selalihini Sandesaya (Message carried by the Selalihini bird) thus:

"Dear one, behold, here comes Prince Sapumal, the conqueror of Yapa Patuna [Jaffna].[2][6]

He is known as Chempaha Perumal as well as Ariavettaiadum Perumal in Tamil sources.[1]

Ascension in the Kotte Kingdom[edit]

Sapumal Kumaraya ascended the Kotte throne under the name of Bhuvanaika Bahu VI. (c. A.D. 1472–1480 at least) . According to Rajawaliya having heard that Jayabahu(1467-1472 AD) ascended the throne, Sapumal arrived from Jaffna and killed Jayabahu to ascend the throne. An embassy arrived from Pegu for the purpose of obtaining the priestly succession from Lanka in 1476, at a moment when a serious rebellion had broken out. in the chronicles this king is given a reign of seven years from his coronation, hut the Dedigama inscription is dated in his ninth year.according to E.W. Codrington this period is from 1472-80 AD. He was succeeded by his son Pandita Parakrama Bahu VII.[2]

Origins theories and end[edit]

There are number of theories as to his ethnic origin and the reason for the rebellion against his rule. According to John Holt he was an ethnic Tamil from the Eastern part of the Island, whereas other sources mention that he may have come from Malabar region or Tulunadu in modern India. He is credited to have built the Nallur Kandaswamy temple in Jaffna as well as other Temples and Buddhist Vihares in the South. The rebellion against his is seen as a reflection of ethnic Sinhalese identity against a perceived outsider.[3][4][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gnanaprakasar, S A critical history of Jaffna, p.103
  2. ^ a b c "The Kotte Dynasty and its Portuguese allies". Humphry Coddrington. Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "History of Sri Lanka". Patrick Peebles. Retrieved 3 January 2008. 
  4. ^ a b "Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist". John Holt. Retrieved 2 January 2008. 
  5. ^ Humphrey William Codrington, A Short History of Ceylon Ayer Publishing, 1970; ISBN 0-8369-5596-X
  6. ^ "Buddhist Jaffna". Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Portuguese encounter with King of Kotte in 1517". Denis N. Fernando. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 


  • Gnanaprakasar, Swamy (2003). A Critical History of Jaffna. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. p. 122. ISBN 81-206-1686-3. 
  • Holt, John Clifford (1991). Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka. Oxford University Press. p. 304. ISBN 0-19-506418-6. 
  • Peebles, Patrick (2006). The History of Sri Lanka. USA: Greenwood Press. p. 248. ISBN 0-313-33205-3. 
Preceded by
Kanakasooriya Singaiariyan
Jaffna Kingdom
Succeeded by
Kanakasooriya Singaiariyan
Preceded by
Parakrama Bahu VI
Kotte Kingdom
Succeeded by
Pandita Parakrama Bahu VII