Kingdom of Kandy
Overview
 
Kingdom of Kandy was an important independent monarchy of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, located in the central and eastern portion of the island. It was founded in late 15th century and endured until the early 19th century. Initially a client kingdom of the Kingdom of Kotte
Kingdom of Kotte
The Kingdom of Kotte , centred on Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte was a kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 15th century. Its king was the last native sovereign to unify all of Sri Lanka under one rule. -Etymology:The term Kotte means fortress in Sinhalese...

, Kandy gradually established itself as an independent force during the tumultuous 16th and 17th centuries, allying at various times with the Jaffna Kingdom
Jaffna Kingdom
The Jaffna kingdom , also known as Kingdom of Aryacakravarti, of modern northern Sri Lanka was a historic monarchy that came into existence around the town of Jaffna on the Jaffna peninsula after the invasion of Magha, who is said to have been from Kalinga, in India...

, Sitawaka
Kingdom of Sitawaka
The Kingdom of Sitawaka was a kingdom located in south-central Sri Lanka. It emerged from the division of the kingdom of Kotte following the Spoiling of Vijayabahu in 1521, and over the course of the next seventy years came to dominate much of the island. Sitawaka also offered fierce resistance to...

, the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and the Dutch
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 to ensure its survival.
Quotations

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Eva: [Watching Vinnie and Crazy fight each other.] Here I am right in the middle of it - defiant youth in action!

Encyclopedia
Kingdom of Kandy was an important independent monarchy of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, located in the central and eastern portion of the island. It was founded in late 15th century and endured until the early 19th century. Initially a client kingdom of the Kingdom of Kotte
Kingdom of Kotte
The Kingdom of Kotte , centred on Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte was a kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 15th century. Its king was the last native sovereign to unify all of Sri Lanka under one rule. -Etymology:The term Kotte means fortress in Sinhalese...

, Kandy gradually established itself as an independent force during the tumultuous 16th and 17th centuries, allying at various times with the Jaffna Kingdom
Jaffna Kingdom
The Jaffna kingdom , also known as Kingdom of Aryacakravarti, of modern northern Sri Lanka was a historic monarchy that came into existence around the town of Jaffna on the Jaffna peninsula after the invasion of Magha, who is said to have been from Kalinga, in India...

, Sitawaka
Kingdom of Sitawaka
The Kingdom of Sitawaka was a kingdom located in south-central Sri Lanka. It emerged from the division of the kingdom of Kotte following the Spoiling of Vijayabahu in 1521, and over the course of the next seventy years came to dominate much of the island. Sitawaka also offered fierce resistance to...

, the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and the Dutch
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 to ensure its survival. From the 1590s, it was the sole independent native polity on the island of Sri Lanka, and through a combination of hit-and-run tactics
Hit-and-run tactics
Hit-and-run tactics is a tactical doctrine where the purpose of the combat involved is not to seize control of territory, but to inflict damage on a target and immediately exit the area to avoid the enemy's defense and/or retaliation.-History:...

 and diplomacy kept European colonial forces - in particular the British - at bay, before finally succumbing to the third and last colonial ruler in 1818. The kingdom was absorbed into the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 as a protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 following the Kandyan Convention
Kandyan Convention
The Kandyan Convention was an agreement in 1815 between the British and the Chiefs of the Kandyan Kingdom, in Sri Lanka for the deposition of rule King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. The king who was of Telugu ancestry faced powerful opposition from the Sinhalese chieftains who sought to reduce his power...

 of 1815, and definitively lost its autonomy following the Uva Rebellion
Uva Rebellion
The Great Rebellion of 1817-1818, also known as the 1818 Uva-Wellassa Uprising, , or simply the Uva Rebellion was the third Kandyan War with the British, in what is now Sri Lanka...

 of 1817.

Name

Over the years of the existence of the Kingdom of Kandy it has been known by many names. These include:
  • Kanda Uda Pasrata
  • The Senkadagala Kingdom
  • The Kanda Udarata
  • The Mahanuwara Kingdom
  • Sri Wardhanapura

Geography and climate

Much of the kingdom's territory was located in Sri Lanka's mountainous and thickly forested interior, with mountain passes to the capital providing plenty of opportunities for defenders to stage ambushes. Routes to the city were kept secret, and spreading information concerning them could often result in death. Many routes into the hill country became impassable during the annual monsoon, and malaria was rife. Throughout its existence Kandyan forces used the land to their advantage, engaging in guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 against invading forces, and evacuating major urban centres when enemy forces drew near - a tactic used with particular effect during the Kandyan Wars. Though the kingdom had intermittent access to the port of Batticaloa
Batticaloa
Batticaloa is a city in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka. It is the seat of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka. It is on the east coast, south by south east of Trincomalee, and is situated on an island.-Etymology:...

 it had no naval forces and could not prevent the Portuguese and Dutch maintaining a strong presence in lowland areas.

Foundation

The city of Senkadagalapura
Kandy
Kandy is a city in the center of Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka; it is both an...

 may have been founded as early as the mid-14th century during the reign of Vikramabâhu III of Gampola (1357–1374). Central Sri Lanka was ruled by the kings of Kotte
Kingdom of Kotte
The Kingdom of Kotte , centred on Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte was a kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 15th century. Its king was the last native sovereign to unify all of Sri Lanka under one rule. -Etymology:The term Kotte means fortress in Sinhalese...

 from the early 15th to late 16th centuries; with Kotte's weakening in the face of Portuguese
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 influence the area developed into an autonomus domain with Senkadagalapura at its capital. Following the Spoiling of Vijayabahu
Wijayaba Kollaya
Vijayaba Kollaya This is the historic event that happened in 1521 where the Kotte king's three sons mutinied against their father killing him and divided the Kingdom among themselves....

 in 1521, and the subsequent partition of the kingdom of Kotte, Kandy asserted its independence and emerged as a serious rival to the eastern and southern kingdoms.

Rise: 1521–1594

Following the Spoiling of Vijayabahu
Wijayaba Kollaya
Vijayaba Kollaya This is the historic event that happened in 1521 where the Kotte king's three sons mutinied against their father killing him and divided the Kingdom among themselves....

 in 1521, the kingdom of Kotte split into three competing states - Sitawaka, Raigama, and Bhuvanekabahu VII's kingdom of Kotte. Of these Sitawaka, under the dynamic leadership of Mayadunne, posed the greatest threat to the autonomy of the other states. In 1522, the Kandyans secured Portuguese protection against Sitawaka, but any potential for alliance ended in 1546 when Portuguese and Kotte forces invaded the kingdom. Kandy subsequently lent aid to the Jaffna Kingdom
Jaffna Kingdom
The Jaffna kingdom , also known as Kingdom of Aryacakravarti, of modern northern Sri Lanka was a historic monarchy that came into existence around the town of Jaffna on the Jaffna peninsula after the invasion of Magha, who is said to have been from Kalinga, in India...

 against the Portuguese in 1560.
Kandy territory was invaded twice in the 1570s and 1580s, first in 1574, and then in 1581 by the newly-crowned king of Sitawaka Rajasinha I. Rajasinha - who had already scored a significant victory over the Portuguese at the Mulleriyawa Satana
Battle of Mulleriyawa
The Battle of Mulleriyawa was a battle part of the Sinhalese–Portuguese War, it was one of the most decisive battles in Sri Lankan history. At the time, it was the worst ever defeat by a colonial power on eastern soil. Local chronicles say that the marshlands of Mulleriyawa turned red with blood...

 - succeeded in annexing the kingdom outright; the Kandyan king Karalliyadde Kumara Bandara (also known as Jayavira III) fled north to the Jaffna Kingdom
Jaffna Kingdom
The Jaffna kingdom , also known as Kingdom of Aryacakravarti, of modern northern Sri Lanka was a historic monarchy that came into existence around the town of Jaffna on the Jaffna peninsula after the invasion of Magha, who is said to have been from Kalinga, in India...

 with his daughter, Kusumasana Devi, and his nephew. Both eventually fell under Portuguese warship, converted to Christianity, and adopted the names Dona Catherina and Don Phillip respectively. In the meanwhile the Portuguese also laid claim to the Kandyan realm, citing Dharmapala
Dharmapala
In Vajrayana Buddhism, a dharmapāla is a type of wrathful deity. The name means "Dharma-defender" in Sanskrit, and the dharmapālas are also known as the Defenders of the Law , or the Protectors of the Law, in English....

's donation
Portuguese period in Ceylon
Portuguese Ceylon was a Portuguese territory in present-day Sri Lanka, representing a period in Sri Lankan history from 1505–1658. The Portuguese first encountered the Ceylonese kingdom of Kotte, with whom they signed a treaty. Portuguese Ceylon was established through the occupation of Kotte and...

 of 1580 as a precedent

Sitawakan rule over Kandy proved difficult to enforce. Wirasundara Mudiyanse, Rajasinha's viceroy in the area, rebelled soon after the initial conquest; though his uprising was crushed another occurred in 1588. Resistance eventually coalesced around Konnappu Bandara, son of Wirasundara, who had fled to Portuguese lands following his father's murder by agents of Rajasinha. Between 1591 and 1594, he returned to the area, seized the Kandyan throne under the name Vimaladharmasuriya I
Vimaladharmasuriya I
Vimaladharmasuriya I, also known as Konappu Bandara before Coronation and Dom Joan of Austria' was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled the country from 1590 to 1604 was a late 16th century–early 17th century King of the Kandyan Kingdom, located in the central hills of the present-day island nation...

 and married Dona Catherina. Victories over the Sitawakans and the Portuguese (who occupied Kandy briefly in 1592) secured his position.

The strategic situation in Sri Lanka changed dramatically during Vimaladharmasurya's rise to power. To the north, the Portuguese deposed the king Puviraja Pandaram
Puviraja Pandaram
Puviraja Pandaram ruled the Jaffna Kingdom during a period of chaos during and after the death of his father Cankili I in 1565. He became the King in 1561 when due to a local uprising against Cankili 1. Although he was the nominal King, Cankili I wielded real power behind the throne until his...

 of the Jaffna Kingdom in 1591 and installed his son Ethirimana Cinkam
Ethirimana Cinkam
Ethirimanna Cinkam was the penultimate ruler of the Aryacakravarti line of Kings of the Jaffna Kingdom in northern Sri Lanka. He came to power due to the second Portuguese expedition led by André Furtado de Mendonça in 1591...

 as client king. In 1594, Rajasinha I died and the kingdom of Sitawaka disintegrated. Kandy remained the sole native polity outside of European dominance. In 1595, Vimaladharmasurya brought the sacred Tooth Relic - the traditional symbol of royal and religious authority amongst the Sinhalese - to Kandy, and Kandy entered a long period of attritionary warfare with the Portuguese.

Consolidation and the coming of the Dutch: 1594–1739

Hostilities between the Portuguese and the Kandyans continued throughout the rest of Vimaladharmasurya's reign. The Kandyans lent aid to a rebellion led by Domingos Correa and later Simao Correa, Sinhala subjects of Dharmapala, between 1594 and 1596. A Portuguese incursion in 1604 saw them capture Balane, but dissent amongst their Lascarin
Lascarins
Lascarins is a term used in Sri Lanka to identify indigenous soldiers who fought for the Portuguese during the Portuguese era and continued to serve as colonial soldiers until the 1930s....

 troops forced a withdrawal back to the coast.

Relations between the Dutch Republic and the Kandyans were initiated on the 2 June 1602 when Dutch explorer Joris van Spilbergen
Joris van Spilbergen
Joris van Spilbergen was a Dutch naval officer of the 17th century.His first major expedition was in 1596, when he sailed to Africa....

 arrived at Santhamuruthu on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Later that year the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 despatched Sebald de Weert
Sebald de Weert
Sebald or Sebalt de Weert was a Dutch captain and vice-admiral of the Dutch East India Company...

 to Kandy in an attempt to negotiate a treaty. The visit ended in disaster when the visitors offended their Kandyan hosts with their behaviour and in the ensuing fracas de Weert and a several of his entourage were killed.

Vimaladharmasurya died in 1604. The throne passed to his cousin, Senarat, who at the time of the king's death was an ordained priest, but left the sangha
Sangha
Sangha is a word in Pali or Sanskrit that can be translated roughly as "association" or "assembly," "company" or "community" with common goal, vision or purpose...

 and married Dona Catherina. In 1611 Portuguese forces captured Kandy in the name of the pretender Mayadunne of Uva and torched the city yet again. In 1619, Cankili II
Cankili II
Cankili II was the self-proclaimed last king of the Jaffna kingdom and was a usurper who came to throne with a palace massacre of the royal princess and the regent Arasakesari in 1617. His regency was rejected by the Portuguese colonials in Colombo, Sri Lanka...

 was deposed and the Jaffna Kingdom absorbed into the Portuguese Empire. Despite these setbacks Senarat survived as king and in 1612 had even concluded a treaty with the VOC
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

. When help came it was in the form of a Danish East India Company
Danish East India Company
The Danish East India Company was a Danish chartered company.-History:It was founded in 1616, following a privilege of Danish King Christian IV....

 fleet which arrived in 1620, but failed to secure Trincomalee and was expelled by the Portuguese

The Portuguese strengthened their position throughout the 1620s, building forts at Kalutara
Kalutara
Kalutara is a resort town located approximately 40 km south of Colombo in Sri Lanka.- Overview :Once an important spice-trading center, the city's name is derived from the Kalu Ganga River . In the 11th Century, the town was temporarily made a capital on the orders of a South Indian Prince...

, Trincomalee
Trincomalee
Trincomalee is a port city in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka and lies on the east coast of the island, about 113 miles south of Jaffna. It has a population of approximately 100,000 . The city is built on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outer harbours. Overlooking the Kottiyar Bay,...

, Batticaloa
Batticaloa
Batticaloa is a city in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka. It is the seat of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka. It is on the east coast, south by south east of Trincomalee, and is situated on an island.-Etymology:...

, and in Sabaragamuwa, and upgrading fortifications in Colombo
Colombo
Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital of the country, since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo...

, Galle
Galle
Galle is a city situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km from Colombo. Galle is the capital city of Southern Province of Sri Lanka and it lies in Galle District....

, and Manikkadawara. A disastrous defeat at the battle of Randeniwela on the 2nd of August 1630 in which Portuguese captain-general Constantino De Sa de Noronha killed resulted in large parts of Portuguese Ceilao
Portuguese period in Ceylon
Portuguese Ceylon was a Portuguese territory in present-day Sri Lanka, representing a period in Sri Lankan history from 1505–1658. The Portuguese first encountered the Ceylonese kingdom of Kotte, with whom they signed a treaty. Portuguese Ceylon was established through the occupation of Kotte and...

 being overrun by the Kandyans. Internal instability yet again prevented the Kandyans from securing their acquisitions, and by the time of Senarat's death in 1635 lowland Sri Lanka was once again under Portuguese control.

The throne now passed to Senarat's son Rajasinha II, who led the Kandyans to a major victory over the Portuguese at Gannoruwa
Battle of Gannoruwa
The Battle of Gannoruwa was a battle of the Sinhalese–Portuguese War fought in 1638 between the occupying Portuguese forces and the Sinhalese King's army at Gannoruwa in the District of Kandy, Sri Lanka. The Portuguese had attempted three times without success to capture the Kingdom of Kandy, in...

 on the 28 March 1638. The battle was to be the last major military victory for the kingdom of Kandy, and succeeded in severely weakening the Portuguese presence in Sri Lanka. In May of that year he concluded a wide-ranging alliance with the Dutch, who were by now in control of Batavia. Batticaloa and Trincomalee fell in 1639, Galle in 1640, and Kandyan forces seized Portuguese territories further inland.
Relations between the Dutch and the Kandyans had been difficult from the onset and the alliance fell apart in the 1640s. The two sides joined forces again in the 1650s to expel the Portuguese, but a final break occurred in 1656 in the aftermath of the fall of Colombo after a six-month siege and the final expulsion of the Portuguese from Sri Lanka. Rajasimha demanded that the fort be handed over to the Kandyans for demolition; in November, the Dutch refused and drove the king and his army from the vicinity. Rajasimha's hold over his own population was tenuous, and rebellions against him in 1664 and 1671 gave the Dutch the opportunity to seize large parts of Sabaragamuwa in 1665, as well as Kalpitiya, Kottiyar, Batticaloa and Trincomalee. The seizure of the ports was a serious blow to the Kandyan kingdom - not only were Dutch holdins now more or less contiguous with the territory the Portuguese had held, but all Kandyan trade was now in Dutch hands. Rajasinha attempted to negotiate an alliance with French
French colonial empire
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

, who seized Trincomalee, but were expelled by the Dutch in 1672. Kandyan campaigns in 1675 and 1684 recaptured some territory, but by the time of Rajasinha's death in 1687 neither city had returned to Kandyan control.

Rajasinha's son ascended to the throne as Vimaladharmasuriya II, and his twenty-year reign (1687–1707) proved relatively peaceable. A trade war broke out in 1701, when the Kandyans closed their borders with Dutch territories in order to stimulate trade through the ports of Puttalam
Puttalam
Puttalam is the capital city of the Puttalam District in North Western Province, Sri Lanka.-History:The history of this dry zone dates back to the arrival of Prince Vijaya, nearly 2500 years ago, when his vessel washed ashore. The name "Puttalam" may be a modification of the Tamil word Uppuththalam...

 and Kottiyar. As a result the Dutch lost control of the areca nut trade and retaliated; by 1707 Kandyan borders had reopened and both ports were closed. Upon his death Vimaladharmasurya was succeeded by his son, who ruled as Vira Narendra Sinha. Several anti-Dutch uprisings occurred in the lowlands during the course of the 1720s and 1730s; the Kandyans in turn declared war in the Dutch in 1736 and seized some territory. Hostilities subsided with the appointment of Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff as Governor, and by 1737 the Dutch and Kandyans were once again at peace.

The Nayakkars and the British: 1739–1803


A succession crisis emerged upon Narendrasinha
Vira Narendra Sinha of Sri Lanka
Vira Parakrama Narendra Sinha was the last Sinhalese King of Sri Lanka of the Kingdom of Kandy. The son of Vimaladharmasurya II, he came to the throne when he was seventeen years old and reigned for 32 years....

's death in 1739. The king had one son - Unambuve Bandara - by a Sinhala consort. However, succession to the Kandyan throne was reserved exclusively for those of kshatriya
Kshatriya
*For the Bollywood film of the same name see Kshatriya Kshatriya or Kashtriya, meaning warrior, is one of the four varnas in Hinduism...

 ancestry on both their mother and father's side, and Unambuve's mother had been of a lower caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

. With the support of the bhikku Weliwita Sarankara, the crown passed to the brother of one of Narendrasinha's senior wives, a member of the Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

-speaking Nayak house from southern India. He was crowned Sri Vijaya Rajasinha later that year.

Relations between the Sinhala populace, including the Kandyan aristocracy, and the Nayakkars remained fraught throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries. As early as Narendrasinha's reign, attempts at appointing Nayakkars to prominent positions in court had caused rebellion, including one in 1732 that the king had only been able to crush with Dutch assistance. The Nayakkar nobility - which tended to be exclusivist and monopolise access to the king - was seen as forming an elite group privileged above the native aristocracy, the powerful adigars. Though Sri Vijaya Rajasinha's reign (1739–1747) proved relatively peaceful, his successor Kirti Sri Rajasinha had to deal with two major rebellions. The first, in 1749, was directed at his father Narenappa; the second, in 1760, was a far more dangerous insurrection which attempted to replace him with a Siamese prince. Despite these tensions, however, the Nayakkar dynasty endured, establishing support by their patronage of Buddhism and Kandyan culture.

Throughout the reigns of Sri Vijaya Rajasinha and Kirti Sri Rajasinha the Kandyans launched numerous raids and incursions into Dutch territory, including the annexation of villages in 1741, 1743, and 1745. The Dutch governors, subservient to Batavia, were under strict orders to avoid conflict with the kingdom, without ceding any of their privileges, including monopoly of the cinnamon
Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

 trade. In 1761, however, Kirti Sri Rajasinha launched a major invasion of the low country, annexing Matara
Matara, Sri Lanka
Matara is a city on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, 160 km from Colombo. It is one of the largest cities in Sri Lanka. It was deeply affected by the Asian tsunami in December 2004.-History:...

 and Hanwella
Hanwella
Hanwella is a small town in Sri Lanka, situated about 30 km from Colombo, the commercial capital of the country. Hanwella lies on the Colombo-Ratnapura main road, on the banks of the Kelani River.-Geography:...

 as well as numerous frontier districts. It was to prove to be a disaster; the Dutch re-captured Matara and Hanwella in 1762, seized Puttalam
Puttalam
Puttalam is the capital city of the Puttalam District in North Western Province, Sri Lanka.-History:The history of this dry zone dates back to the arrival of Prince Vijaya, nearly 2500 years ago, when his vessel washed ashore. The name "Puttalam" may be a modification of the Tamil word Uppuththalam...

 and Chilaw
Chilaw
Chilaw is a western seaboard town on the island of Sri Lanka.It is a bustling town with a famous fishmarket and beach...

 in 1763, and then drove inland in a two-pronged invasion. The Kandyans evacuated Senkadagala
Kandy
Kandy is a city in the center of Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka; it is both an...

, which the Dutch torched; outlying agricultural lands were also ravaged, leaving the kingdom on the brink of starvation by 1764. Kirti Sri Rajasinha requested assistance from the British in 1762, but failed to secure an alliance. By 1765 the Dutch were in a position to force a treaty upon the Kandyans returning not only the border districts but all of Kandy's coastal provinces to the Dutch; henceforth, the kingdom would be effectively cut off from the outside world. Relations between the Dutch and the Kandyans remained peaceable after this until the final expulsion of the former from the island in 1796.

Though several British sailors and priests had landed in Sri Lanka as early as the 1590s, the most famous was Robert Knox
Robert Knox
Robert Knox was a Scottish surgeon, anatomist and zoologist. He was the most popular lecturer in anatomy in Edinburgh before his involvement in the Burke and Hare body-snatching case. This ruined his career, and a later move to London did not improve matters...

 who published An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon
An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon
An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon together With somewhat Concerning Severall Remarkable passages of my life that hath hapned since my Deliverance out of Captivity is a book written by the English trader and sailor Robert Knox in 1681...

based on his experiences during the reign of Rajasinghe II in 1681. One hundred years later, British involvement in Sri Lankan affairs commenced in earnest with the seizure of Trincomalee by Admiral Edward Hughes as part of general British-Dutch hostilities during the American War of Independence.

The tumult of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 had spread to the Netherlands by 1795, and Dutch Zeylan
Dutch period in Ceylon
Ceylon was a governorate of the Dutch East India Company between 1658 and 1798 on the island currently known as Sri Lanka.In the early 17th century, Sri Lanka was partly ruled by the Portuguese and the Sinhala kingdom, who were constantly battling each other...

 sided with the Batavian Republic
Batavian Republic
The Batavian Republic was the successor of the Republic of the United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on January 19, 1795, and ended on June 5, 1806, with the accession of Louis Bonaparte to the throne of the Kingdom of Holland....

 during the ensuing conflict. The British rapidly annexed Dutch possessions in Sri Lanka, taking Trincomalee
Trincomalee
Trincomalee is a port city in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka and lies on the east coast of the island, about 113 miles south of Jaffna. It has a population of approximately 100,000 . The city is built on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outer harbours. Overlooking the Kottiyar Bay,...

 (which had been returned to the Dutch in 1794) between 28 and 31 August, Batticaloa
Batticaloa
Batticaloa is a city in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka. It is the seat of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka. It is on the east coast, south by south east of Trincomalee, and is situated on an island.-Etymology:...

 on 18 September, and the entirety of Jaffna
Jaffna
Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna district located on a peninsula of the same name. Jaffna is approximately six miles away from Kandarodai which served as a famous emporium in the Jaffna peninsula from classical...

 on 28 September. Migastenne Disawa, the Kandyan ambassador, negotiated the a treaty in Madras securing the return of much of the eastern coast to the Kandyans in February 1796; by the 15 of that month, Colombo
Colombo
Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital of the country, since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo...

 had fallen and Dutch rule on the island had come to an end.

Kirti Sri Rajasinha died in the midst of these events in January 1796, and was succeeded by his brother Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha. The new king rejected the terms of Migastenne's treaty, depriving the kingdom of the opportunity to regain the lands it had lost a generation earlier. It proved to be a fateful decision; the British immediately set about organising their new acquisitions, establishing systems of government, education, and justice. With the appointment of Frederick North (1798–1805) as the first British governor of Ceylon, any hope of the Kandyans regaining their eastern territories essentially disappeared.

Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha died of illness on 26 July 1798 with no heir. The English East India Company and the Crown both had control over the island from 1798 until it became the British crown colony of Ceylon
British Ceylon
British Ceylon refers to British rule prior to 1948 of the island territory now known as Sri Lanka.-From the Dutch to the British:Before the beginning of the Dutch governance, the island of Ceylon was divided between the Portuguese Empire and the Kingdom of Kandy, who were in the midst of a war for...

 in 1802. Much of the king's reign had been dominated by the powerful First Minister, Pilima Talawe, who now moved to enthroned a young relative of the king, 18-year-old Konnasami as Sri Vikrama Rajasinha
Sri Vikrama Rajasinha
Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was the last king of Ceylon and the last of four kings from the Telugu origin of Nayakar dynasty...

. Muttusami, brother-in-law of Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha also claimed the throne of Kandy, but Pilima Talauve arrested him and his sisters. The First Minister, was close to the British however could not control Sri Vickrama Rajasinha, he coveted the throne for himself, and at meetings with the British at Avissawella
Avissawella
Avissawella, also known as Seethawakapura or Seethawaka, is a town along the A4 route from Colombo on the Western Coast to Kalmunai in the Eastern Coast of Sri Lanka via Ratnapura, Pelmadulla, Balangoda and Wellawaya.- Overview :...

 between 1799 and 1801 requested British assistance in deposing Sri Vickrama Rajasinha. Complex negotiations ensued, with various ideas - including the king being moved to British lands with Pilima Talawe acting as his viceroy in Kandy - were discussed and rejected by both sides.

The territories still possessed by they Dutch on the island were formally ceded to the British in the 1802 treaty of Amiens
Treaty of Amiens
The Treaty of Amiens temporarily ended hostilities between the French Republic and the United Kingdom during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was signed in the city of Amiens on 25 March 1802 , by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquess Cornwallis as a "Definitive Treaty of Peace"...

, but the English Company still retained a monopoly on the colony’s trade. Agents of the British were put in charge of lucrative pearl fisheries, cotton plantations, salt, and tobacco monopolies. In the first three years the government received £396,000 from pearl fisheries. This compensated for the lower price of cinnamon because of Dutch stocks in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

.

Amidst rising tension, matters came to a head when a group of Moorish British subjects were detained and beaten by agents of Pilima Talawe's. British demands for reparations were ignored by the Kandyans and so North ordered a British force to invade Kandyan lands starting the First Kandyan War. On 31 January 1803 a British force led by General Hay Macdowall marched to Kandy and found it evacuated. The British force installed Muttusami, but he was not respected by the Kandyans. The British were surrounded by hostile people, lacked food, and suffered disease. Macdowall became ill and put Major Davie in charge. The British abandoned Kandy with the sick left behind were put to death. Kandyan forces defeated the retreating British at the Mahavali River, executing Muttusami and all the British prisoners except Davie and three others. This Kandyan war lasted for two years, becoming the longest and most intensive period of the Kandyan Wars, because Governor North continued to send forces to the frontiers.

Annexation and Rebellion: 1803–1817

The British fought their way to Kandy, encounter Kandyan resistance led in part by a Malay commander known as Sangunglo. Upon their arrival they found the city deserted. Rather than torching it, they installed a puppet king, Muttusami, and left a small garrison in the town before withdrawing. The Kandyans recaptured the city, leaving only one survivor, and harried British forces down to the Mahaveli river, but were routed at Hanwella. The following year another British incursion resulted in stalemate, and an uneasy truce was in place by 1805.

In the following decade Sri Wickrama Rajasinha's increasingly erratic and capricious rule led to serious unrest amongst the population. A major rebellion in the Seven Korales nearly dethroned him in 1808. The powerful Pilima Talawe rebelled in 1810, was captured, and executed. In 1814, the king ordered Ehelepola Adikar, Dissave
Lord
Lord is a title with various meanings. It can denote a prince or a feudal superior . The title today is mostly used in connection with the peerage of the United Kingdom or its predecessor countries, although some users of the title do not themselves hold peerages, and use it 'by courtesy'...

 of Sabaragamuwa, to Kandy. Ehelepola, suspecting a trap, refused; in revenge, the king had his wife and three children executed. Such was the cruelty of the execution that the Kandyan populace, not unused to sights of public execution, now turned en masse against the king. The king was also hugely unpopular amongst the clergy for his sudden and brutal seizures of their land and valuables.
In November 1814, ten British subjects were captured and mutilated in Kandyan territory. Governor Robert Brownrigg
Robert Brownrigg
General Sir Robert Brownrigg, 1st Baronet GCB was a British statesman and soldier.-Military career:Brownrigg was commissioned as an ensign in 1775...

 ordered several British forces moved inland from their coastal strongholds in January 1815, accompanied by native forces under Ehelepola. Molligoda, Ehelepola's successor in Sabaragamuwa and lord in his own right of the Four Korales, defected to the British in February; Kandy was seized on 14 February, and Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe himself captured on 18 February by Ehelepola's men. The king was subsequently exiled to India, where he died in 1832. His son died childless in 1843, bringing the Nayakkar line to an end.

On 2 March 1815, British agents - including Robert Brownrigg
Robert Brownrigg
General Sir Robert Brownrigg, 1st Baronet GCB was a British statesman and soldier.-Military career:Brownrigg was commissioned as an ensign in 1775...

 and John D'Oyly
Sir John D'Oyly, 1st Baronet, of Kandy
Sir John D'Oyly, 1st Baronet was a British colonial administrator.D'Oyly had a key role in arranging for the British takeover of the Kandyan kingdom in 1815. Fluent in Sinhala, he was the intermediary between the British Governor and the disaffected Kandyan chiefs who were intriguing to "sell out"...

 - met with the nobility of the kingdom and concluded in a conference known as the Kandyan Convention
Kandyan Convention
The Kandyan Convention was an agreement in 1815 between the British and the Chiefs of the Kandyan Kingdom, in Sri Lanka for the deposition of rule King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. The king who was of Telugu ancestry faced powerful opposition from the Sinhalese chieftains who sought to reduce his power...

. The resulting agreement allowed for the protection of Buddhism and the preservation of local systems of government under the authority of the British Governor in Colombo and supervised by British agents in Sabaragamuwa, the Three Korales, and Uva. In practice, however, local lords such as Ehelepola and Molligoda were acutely aware that they were ultimately answerable to the British, and were in practice junior to British military officers who now had free access to their domains.

Rebellion broke out in 1817 in Wellassa, spreading rapidly to Uva and Walpane. Keppitipola, Dissave of Uva, was sent to quash the uprising, but defected and joined the rebels instead. By July, every major Kandyan lord except Molligoda had joined the rebellion; several, including Ehelepola, had already been captured. Molligoda however ensured the road to Kandy remained open and on 30 October Keppetipola was captured. His associate Madugalle Adikaram was captured on 1 November, and thereafter the rebellion collapsed. Both leaders were beheaded on 26 November 1817. Viewing the Convention as null and void, the British set about breaking the power of the nobility. Though smaller uprisings occurred in 1820, 1823, and 1824, none of them seriously threatened British government of the highlands.

The area of the central highlands in which the Kandyan kingdom was situated had the natural protection of rivers, waterways, hills and rocky mountainous terrain. The prominent location of the Kandyan kingdom with its cool climate had greatly contributed to protect the independence of the nation for nearly three centuries

King

According to the Kandyan administrative system, the king was head of all spheres. He was also known as "Lankeshwara Thrisinhaladheeshwara". It was accepted that the king owned all lands and therefore was known as "Bhupathi". Even though the king was called "Adeeshwara", he had to rule according to the advice of the Buddhist priests and chieftains. The king had to follow the customs and traditions which were in popular practice at that time, otherwise the people would rebel against him if he did not. Not obeying these would be detrimental to the power of the king, an example being Vikrama Rajasinha, who had to surrender to the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, merely because he ignored the advice of the Buddhist priests and chieftains and did not follow the age old traditions.

The kings of Kandy became the rulers of the whole island with Vimaladharmasuriya I
Vimaladharmasuriya I
Vimaladharmasuriya I, also known as Konappu Bandara before Coronation and Dom Joan of Austria' was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled the country from 1590 to 1604 was a late 16th century–early 17th century King of the Kandyan Kingdom, located in the central hills of the present-day island nation...

. List of Kandyan kings:
  • Sena Sammatha Wickramabahu (1473–1511)
  • Jayaweera Astana (1511–1551)
  • Karaliyadde Bandara (1551–1581)
  • Dona Catherina (1581–1581)
  • Rajasinha I (1581–1593)
  • Yamasinghe Bandara (1 year)
  • Vimaladharmasuriya I
    Vimaladharmasuriya I
    Vimaladharmasuriya I, also known as Konappu Bandara before Coronation and Dom Joan of Austria' was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled the country from 1590 to 1604 was a late 16th century–early 17th century King of the Kandyan Kingdom, located in the central hills of the present-day island nation...

     (1590–1604)
  • Senarat (1604–1635)
  • Rajasinghe II (1635–1687)
  • Vimaladharmasurya II (1687–1707)
  • Vira Narendra Sinha (1707–1739)
  • Vijaya Rajasinha (1739–1747)
  • Kirti Sri Rajasinha (1747–1782)
  • Rajadhi Rajasinha (1782–1798)
  • Vikrama Rajasinha (1798–1815)

Maha Adigars

Persons were appointed to the title and office by the King
King
- Centers of population :* King, Ontario, CanadaIn USA:* King, Indiana* King, North Carolina* King, Lincoln County, Wisconsin* King, Waupaca County, Wisconsin* King County, Washington- Moving-image works :Television:...

, these appointees made up the King's council of ministers. The only a very few Adigars existed at one given time and most senior of Adigars was known as the Maha Adikarm or 1st Adikar; similar to the post of a modern Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

. There was no time limit for the office holder as he held the post at the pleasure of the King, which meant throughout his life, if not incurred the displeasure of the King. It was not hereditary, although members of the same family have been appointed.

Rate Mahaththayas

Persons were appointed to the title and office by the King
King
- Centers of population :* King, Ontario, CanadaIn USA:* King, Indiana* King, North Carolina* King, Lincoln County, Wisconsin* King, Waupaca County, Wisconsin* King County, Washington- Moving-image works :Television:...

, these appointees headed the administration of a large locality known as Korale, which was a division of the province of the Kingdom known as a Dissava and as such he would be subordinate to the local Dissava
Dissava
Dissava was a feudal title associated with high office in the Kandian and central region of Sri Lanka. Persons were appointed to the title and office by the King during the Kingdom of Kandy, these appointees headed the administration of a large province of the Kingdom known as a Dissava and was the...

. There was no time limit for the officer holder as he held the post at the pleasure of the King, which meant throughout his life, if not incurred the displeasure of the King. It was not hereditary, although members of the same family have been appointed.

Disawes

Persons were appointed to the title and office by the King
King
- Centers of population :* King, Ontario, CanadaIn USA:* King, Indiana* King, North Carolina* King, Lincoln County, Wisconsin* King, Waupaca County, Wisconsin* King County, Washington- Moving-image works :Television:...

, these appointees headed the administration of a large province of the Kingdom known as a Dissava and was the king's personal representative, tax collector in that area. In modern terms the post was similar to a combination of the post of Chief Minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

 and a Governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 of a province of Sri Lanka. There was no time limit for the officer holder as he held the post at the pleasure of the King, which meant throughout his life, if not incurred the displeasure of the King. It was not hereditary, although members of the same family have been appointed.

Diyawadana Nilame

Diyawadana Nilame was an office of the Royal household, charged with safeguarding and carrying out ancient rituals for the sacred Relic of the tooth of the Buddha
Relic of the tooth of the Buddha
The Sacred Relic of the tooth of Buddha is venerated in Sri Lanka as a relic of the founder of Buddhism.-The relic in India:...

. The Diyawadana Nilame has the responsibility of overseeing of all aspects of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. One of his principal duty of organizing the annual pageant, the Kandy Esala Perahera
Esala Perahera
Esala Perahera is the grand festival of Esala held in Sri Lanka. It is very grand with elegant costumes. Happening in July or August in Kandy, it has become a unique symbol of Sri Lanka. It is a Buddhist festival consisting of dances and nicely decorated elephants. There are fire-dances,...

.

Military

The Kingdom of Kandy did not maintain a large standing army, which was common for the era, although the King maintained a full time Royal Guard
Royal Guard
A Royal Guard describes any group of military bodyguards, soldiers or armed retainers responsible for the protection of a royal person, such as Emperor/Empress, King/Queen, or Prince/Princess...

 at the Palace. In the provinces, local garrisons were maintained to guard strategic mountain passes
Mountain pass
A mountain pass is a route through a mountain range or over a ridge. If following the lowest possible route, a pass is locally the highest point on that route...

 or to suppress rebellions. During times of war or military campaign these would be supplemented with local militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

.

Kandyan forces, throughout their history, relied heavily on the mountainous terrain of the kingdom and primarily engaged in guerrilla-style hit-and-run attacks, ambushes, and quick raids. One of the hallmarks of the clashes between the kingdom and its European foes was the inability of either side to take and hold land or to permanently cut off supply routes, with the exception being the Dutch, who managed to do so for an extended period of time in 1762.

In the 16th and 17th century the Kandyan Kings relied on mercenaries, often Telugu
Telugu people
The Telugu people or Telugu Prajalu are an ethnic group of India. They are the native speakers of the Telugu language, the most commonly spoken language in India after Hindi and Bengali...

 military adventurers. With the arrival of the Nayakkars, large numbers of South Indian Tamil soldiers made up the king's personal guard. In addition to this, various Europeans were in the King's service during this period (including a master gunner), and large contingents of Malays, who were very highly regarded as fighters.

As for the armies, each of the local chieftains could call upon a militia which often accompanied them on their journeys around the kingdom. The bulk of the Kandyan army consisted of local peasant conscripts - irregulars pressed into service in times of war - who tended to bring with them around twenty days' worth of supplies and functioned in discrete units often out of contact with each other. One of the reasons for the Kandyan's inability to hold the land they captured was poor logistical support, as many soldiers had to return to base to replenish their supplies once they ran out.

Interaction with Europeans had led to the introduction of muskets and other gunpowder weapons, and by the 1760s bows and arrows had been rendered obsolete. Kandyan gunsmiths specialised in manufacturing light flintlocks with smaller bores than European guns, with their barrels extended for accuracy. The Kandyans also developed a unique form of hand-held cannon, the kodithuwakkuwa.. These innovations allowed the kingdom to produce heavy artillery on the scale and quality of European forces.

Economy

During the reign of Vimaladharmasuriya I
Vimaladharmasuriya I
Vimaladharmasuriya I, also known as Konappu Bandara before Coronation and Dom Joan of Austria' was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled the country from 1590 to 1604 was a late 16th century–early 17th century King of the Kandyan Kingdom, located in the central hills of the present-day island nation...

 many steps were taken to develop and improve the economy of the Kingdom of Kandy. He took steps to improve the iron industry the Uva Province
Uva Province
Uva is Sri Lanka's second least populated province, with 1,187,335 people, created in 1896. It consists of two districts: Badulla බදුල්ල பதுளை and Moneragala මොනරාගල மொனராகல. The provincial capital is Badulla. Uva is bordered by Eastern, Southern and Central provinces...

 and agriculture in places such as Kothmale, Walapane, Harispaththuwa, Uva
Uva Province
Uva is Sri Lanka's second least populated province, with 1,187,335 people, created in 1896. It consists of two districts: Badulla බදුල්ල பதுளை and Moneragala මොනරාගල மொனராகல. The provincial capital is Badulla. Uva is bordered by Eastern, Southern and Central provinces...

, Hewaheta
Hewaheta
Hewaheta is a village in Sri Lanka. It is located within Central Province.-External links:*...

, Udunuwara, Yatinuwara and Ududumbara.

Imports of the Kandyan Kingdom included silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

, tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

, and sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 while exports included cinnamon
Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

, pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

 and areca nut.

Divisions

In the early years of the kingdom it consisted of areas or divisions.
Name Present Name Present District
Siduruwana Uda Nuwara and Uda Palatha
Balawita Harispaththuwa
Matale
Matale
Matale is a town in the hill country of Sri Lanka, from Colombo and from Kandy. It is an area steeped in history and village living. The mayor of Matale is Hilmy Careem, as of May, 2006....

 
Matale
Matale
Matale is a town in the hill country of Sri Lanka, from Colombo and from Kandy. It is an area steeped in history and village living. The mayor of Matale is Hilmy Careem, as of May, 2006....

 
Matale District
Matale District
Matale District is a district in Central Province, Sri Lanka. Its area is 1,987 km².- Demographics :The population according to 2001 census is 441,328. 80.1 % of the population are Sinhalese, 8.7 % Sri Lankan Moors, 5.5 % native Sri Lankan tamils and 5.3 % tamils of...

Dumbara Dumbara
Sagama Tungama Walapane and Hewaheta
Hewaheta
Hewaheta is a village in Sri Lanka. It is located within Central Province.-External links:*...


Rata Wasama

Rata Wasama was the provincial administration of the subdivisions of the Kingdom of Kandy.

Demographics

Religions

The state religion was Buddhism. However after the arrival of the Nayak dynasty elements of Hinduism also incorporated in to the local Buddhism.

The dynasty of Vimaladharmasurya I largely tolerated the presence of Christians, in particular Catholics fleeing Portuguese land following their occupation by the Dutch. On occasion the Kandyan kings even protected Catholic agents, most famously Vimaladharmasurya II's protection of Joseph Vaz
Joseph Vaz
Blessed Joseph Vaz was a Catholic Oratorian priest from Goa. He is known as theApostle of Ceylon....

. The religious environment, however, changed dramatically with the arrival of the Nayak dynasty. In 1743 Sri Vijaya Rajasinha ordered churches burned and commenced a general repression of the faith, which continued until Kirti Sri Rajasinha commanded its cessation.

Art and Architecture

External links

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