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Rajarata
Rajarata
[rā dja ra tə] (Sinhala: රජරට) (Tamil: ரஜரட) was one of three historical regions of the island of Sri Lanka for about 1,700 years from the 6th century BCE to the early 13th century CE.[1] Several ancient cities, including Tambapanni, Upatissa Nuwara, Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura
and Polonnaruwa, were established as capitals within the area by successive rulers.[2] Rajarata
Rajarata
was under the direct administration of the King (raja/king, rata/country). Two other areas, Malayarata and Ruhunurata, were ruled by the king's brothers "Mapa" and "Epa"[citation needed] . The Magha invasion in the 13th century brought about the end of the Rajarata
Rajarata
kingdom.[3][4]

Contents

1 History and kingdoms 2 Settlements 3 Boundaries 4 Fall of Rajarata 5 See also 6 References

History and kingdoms[edit] The first kingdom in Rajarata
Rajarata
was established by Prince Vijaya
Prince Vijaya
in 543 BCE.[5] He settled near the delta of the Malvathu River between Chilaw and Mannar. According o a local myth, Prince Vijaya
Prince Vijaya
married a local princess, Kuveni, to gain control of Rajarata. With her help, he betrayed and killed all of the regional leaders.[6] After his death, the administrative center was moved to the countryside along the Malvathu Oya. The river was ideal for agriculture. The first three administrative centres Tambapanni, Upatissa Nuwara, and Anuradhapura, were situated close to the Malvathu Oya. King Pandukabhaya, once a prince descended from local Yaksha and Sinha tribes, formed a stable kingdom in Anuradhapura. He garnered support from tribes in different areas of the island.[7] Administrative centres in Rajarata:

Tambapanni - Prince Vijaya
Prince Vijaya
- Founded in 543 BCE[5] Upatissa Nuwara - Founded by King Upatissa in 505 BCE[8] Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura
- Founded by King Pandukabhaya in 377 BCE[citation needed] Sigiriya
Sigiriya
- Built by King Kashyapa (477 – 495 CE), but after the death of the king center moved to Anuradhapura[citation needed] Polonnaruwa - Founded by King Vijayabahu I[citation needed]

Settlements[edit] Prince Vijaya
Prince Vijaya
and his clan settled in Tambapanni, near the Malvatu Oya delta. According to Mahavamsa, various groups came from India in the period between Prince Vijaya
Prince Vijaya
and King Pandukabhaya's reign, frequesntly settling along the Malvathu Oya. In 377 BCE, King Pandukabhaya moved the administrative centre to Anuradhapura. Most of the settlements were located near rivers and reservoirs. Water was used for agricultural purposes. According to the Yodha wewa area in Mannar District
Mannar District
by King Dhatusena,[9] Eropathana in Vavuniya District, Padawiya area in Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura
District and Mullaitivu District
Mullaitivu District
by King Moggallana II[10] the extent of Sri Lanka's golden civilization spread to the southern boundary of the Vanni forest.[citation needed] The thick Vanni forest acted as a barrier to colonizers above the southern border of the forest. Tanks built during the Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura
era (Giant's, Padaviya, Minneriya, Kantale, Mahavillachchiya, Thabbowa,Kala) are proof of the early settlements in Rajarata area.[citation needed] Initial settlements based near rivers:[citation needed]

Malvathu oya - Anuradhapura, Upatissa nuwara, Tambapanni[citation needed] Mahaweli river - Pollonnaruwa[citation needed] Deduru oya - Sigiriya, Yapahuwa[citation needed]

Boundaries[edit] Boundaries of the three divisions (Rata):[11]

Raja rata - Area between Deduru oya and the Mahaweli river Ruhunu rata - Area between the Mahaweli river and Kalu gaga Malaya rata - Area between Deduru oya and Kalu gaga

Fall of Rajarata[edit] In 1215, Kalinga Magha
Kalinga Magha
invaded Rajarata
Rajarata
with an army of 24,000 soldiers[citation needed]. After the conquest of Rajarata, Magha established his capital in Pollonnaruwa.[citation needed] Then the Kalinga forces extended their power to the Malaya Rata. During the rise of the Kingdom of Dambadeniya
Kingdom of Dambadeniya
under the king Vijayabahu III (1220-1224 CE), Magha lost the control of Malaya Rata. The native Sinhalese resisted the Magha's administration at Pollonnaruwa. The Sinhalese gathered around inaccessible towns, fortresses and mountains including Yapahuwa
Yapahuwa
and Gangadoni under army generals including Subha and Sankha. Because of the rising threat, Pandyan
Pandyan
troops established an administration centre in Jaffna Peninsula
Jaffna Peninsula
which was more secure and isolated by the impenetrable Vanni forest. Later Rajarata
Rajarata
was annexed by king Parakramabahu II(1236–70).[citation needed] His power extended over Rohana, the central hills, Rajarata
Rajarata
and the Vanni.[12] The Sinhalese tried to re-establish the administrative centre in Rajarata
Rajarata
but this never happened because of constant battles with invaders from south India. The administration centre was moved away from Rajarata
Rajarata
by the Sinhalese. The defeat of Pandyan
Pandyan
in South India in the rising Mogul empires weakened the Tamil power in Sri Lanka. The last Pandyan
Pandyan
ruler of Madurai, was defeated and expelled in 1323 by Malik Kafur, the army general of the Muslim empire Delhi Sultanate.[13] The falling of Pandyan
Pandyan
was a historical event that had a big impact for Sri Lanka. It leads to following events:

Military rulers "Aryacakravarti" - who was appointed as minister of Pandyan
Pandyan
empire - made the Jaffna administrative center independent from Pandyans and established the Jaffna kingdom
Jaffna kingdom
and Arya Chakrawarthi dynasty. The Tamil lost power in the Vanni and they withdrew from Vanni to the Jaffna Peninsula.[14] The population was very low in this area until the British started the Tamil Colonization south to Parantan. Area below Vanni forest stabilized under Sinhala Kingdom

Also, ancient Rajarata
Rajarata
(before the 13th century) was divided into three parts:[citation needed]

Jaffna kingdom
Jaffna kingdom
- Jaffna peninsula. This was ruled by the Arya Chakrawarthi dynasty.[citation needed] Rajarata
Rajarata
- Area below the Vanni. This area was ruled by the Sinhalese kingdoms.[citation needed] Vanni Area - Area which covers the Vanni forest, abandoned area between Sinhala Kingdom and Jaffna Kingdom[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Rajarata
Rajarata
University of Sri Lanka

References[edit]

^ "A series by Gaveshaka in association with Studio Times". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). Retrieved 27 May 2014.  ^ http://www.sundaytimes.lk/040725/funday/2.html ^ The Island ^ Padaviya: the Eastern Capital of the Rajarata
Rajarata
Kingdom ^ a b Sunday Times ^ [1] ^ A tale of two nation ^ The Mahávansi, the Rájá-ratnácari, and the Rájá-vali. Parbury, Allen, and Co. 1833.  ^ Yoda Wewa - Mannar District
Mannar District
amazinglanka.com ^ The Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Reader History, Culture, Politics by John Clifford Holt, Robin Kirk, Orin Starn page 55 ^ Short History of Ceylon By Humphrey William Codrington page 2 ^ A history of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
by K. M. De Silva Page 82 ^ The History of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
By Patrick Peebles page 31 ^ A History of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
K.M

.