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temples, and some of them had parts of inscriptions on them, two of which recorded grants to wihāras. Another was an octagonal pillar; and on its lower part, which was square and had been fixed in the ground at its former site, was cut the following inscription (see Fig. No. 153), ready to be set up on the embankment when the work was completed, the pillar being then reversed :
Śrīmat Sihapure jata Śrī Parākrama Bāhu nakāritan wiswa lokattha kāryyavya pāritat manā.
Made for the benefit of the whole world by the prosperous Śrī Parakrama-Bāhu, born at Sinhapura, minded of what was fit to be done.1
The record is almost a copy of that which was left at Padawiya, in which the king gives himself the epithet Śrīmat, prosperous, which therefore is to be applied to him and not to the town. It is merely placed first in order that, according to an old custom, the record may begin with an auspicious word.
It is surprising to find that the king records his birth at Sinhapura. It appears to be clear from the statements in the Mahāvansa (ii, p. 118) that Parākrama-Bāhu I was born at Punkha-gama in southern Ceylon, whereas we find NiśśankaMalla stating in more than one inscription that he himself was born at Sinhapura, in India. As he also in his long Dambulla inscription gives himself only the name 'ParakramaBahu,' it would appear either that all these records at the great tanks in reality belong to him, or otherwise, as is more probable, that he carried on and completed some of the works begun by his great predecessor, and copied his records when writing this and perhaps other inscriptions. ParakramaBahu and not Niśśanka-Malla receives all the credit of the works in the histories.3
1 I have followed the words of Mr. Bell's translation of the Padawiya inscription so far as the two inscriptions are identical.
2 Cicero says in his work on Divination 'Our ancestors were persuaded that much virtue resides in certain words, and therefore prefaced their various enterprises with certain auspicious phrases.'
3 Dr. E. Müller thought that some of Niśśanka-Malla's deeds may have been put on Parākrama-Bāhu's account in the Mahāvansa.' (Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon, p. 19.)
It may be concluded that the Giant's Tank was one of the more important irrigation works the improvement of which was at least begun by Parakrama-Bāhu I, and that it was in existence for centuries before his time. This alone does not amount to proof that it is 'the great tank Uruwēla'; but as there is no other reservoir in the neighbourhood of the pearl banks which can be accepted as such, it would seem that in the present state of our information the identity must be granted.
If so, the Uruwēla city must have been somewhere near the coast in that part of the country, where remains of ancient Buddhist edifices have been found in many places, as well as statues of Buddha. There are some ancient remains also at Mantota (called in Tamil Maka-toṭṭal, and Maka-tōtam) opposite the southern end of the island of Maṇṇār, including those of a celebrated Tamil temple dedicated to Tirukēsvaram, that is, Vishnu; but this place is generally believed to be the Mahātiṭṭha of the historians, 'the great landing-place' of travellers from southern India, although I am not aware that there is anything but the Tamil name to confirm the identification.
I should be inclined, however, to look for Uruwēla nearer the mouth of the Malwatta-oya, or Aruvi-āṛu as it is called in that district, where a permanent supply of fresh water would be obtainable easily by means of shallow wells, and where the attraction of the pearl fishery would induce a considerable population to reside. In all probability this was the original reason of the establishment of a town or trading settlement at the place, long before Wijaya's time. Beyond this general idea of the position of Uruwela city we cannot go until the discovery of some suitable remains produces evidence of its actual site.
I next come to another city, regarding the early history of which the annals are silent. Unfortunately its original name has been lost; for many centuries it has been called merely Parana Nuwara, 'the Old City.' Its site is well known in
the district around it, but elsewhere even its modern name is not recognised. It is on the bank of the Daeduru-oya, and about a mile from an ancient reservoir at Batalagoḍa, near Kurunāēgala, which was restored by me in the last decade (see Fig. 134).
At one time it was a very important post for the protection of the frontier districts of the kingdom of Kaelaņi, or southwestern Ceylon, and perhaps of Ruhuņa, or southern Ceylon. The fort established at it agrees more closely with the account of that at Wijita-pura than any other I have seen, being surrounded on three sides by three high earthen banks separated by wide ditches; on the fourth side the steep bank of the river acted as a protection, and only one earthen embankment was raised there.
The extent of the town itself is unknown; it stretched along the side of the river and over some adjoining ground on the opposite side of a narrow rice-field. It had also several subordinate villages near it in which the various classes of artizans and workpeople whose services were necessary in the city were quartered. In one the smiths and tom-tom beaters lived, in another the washermen, and the same castes still occupy them. At a third a caste of hunters kept the king's hounds. A small wihāra and dāgaba were on the bank of the river to the south of the fort.
For the water-supply of this town the Batalagoḍa tank was made in pre-Christian times, according to the evidence of the bricks found at it. It now covers 635 acres, and is about twenty feet deep. Bricks at one of the sluices were 2.83 inches thick and 9.9 inches wide; Bt. is 28, and the contents 476 cubic inches if the length was six times the thickness. The width and thickness closely resemble those of the inner part of the Ruwanwaeli dāgaba at Anuradhapura, and therefore the bricks may belong to the second half of the second century B.C.
From a high-level sluice at the reservoir water was carried by a channel into the city.
Of the great antiquity of the town there can be no doubt. The bricks found at what is traditionally reported to be the
remains of a wihāra are of a size which indicates that they were burnt in the second century B.C. or early part of the first century B.C. Their width is 9.5 inches and thickness 3 inches; Bt. is 28.5, and the contents may be 513 cubic inches; they resemble those in the dāgaba at Oṭṭappuwa in the North-central Province, which an inscription 1 proves to have been in existence before 30 A.D., and which tradition attributes to Dēvānam-piya Tissa.
Even in the third century A.D. it had lost its first name, and was already the Ancient City.' An inscription of this period (see Fig. 153 for facsimile) cut over the entrance to a cave-shelter under a rock at Pēddawa, a village six miles away, is as follows: Siddham, Pubaga nakaraka wasike bhojike Culutaha lene. Hail! The cave of Culuttha, a headman dwelling at the Ancient City.' Incidentally, we may infer from this inscription that there was already in existence another town termed the New City,' that is Alut-Nuwara, at Mahiyangana.
The town is believed locally to have been the seat or capital of the Great Scholar' king, Kumāra Dhātu-Sēna (515-524 A.D.), and it is said to have been here that the incident occurred which led to his self-immolation on the funeral pyre of his friend the Sinhalese poet Kālidāsa. Another and betterknown, but perhaps not better-founded, tradition places the tragic event at Mātara, in the extreme south of Ceylon, an unlikely spot to have been selected in those days for the residence of the king.
The place is first mentioned in the historical works in about 1081 A.D., when the Mahāvansa (ii, p. 100), includes it with others of the district, in a list of towns captured from the Sōlians by a general of King Wijaya-Bāhu (1065–1120 A.D.). It was then called Badalat-tala. It was here that the ceremony of the investiture of Parakrama-Bahu with the sacred thread was held with great pomp and rejoicing (Mah., ii, p. 125).
At a little later date the importance of the fort is shown by the story regarding it in the Mahāvansa (ii. p. 128 ff.) which relates how Prince Parakrama-Bāhu, who afterwards became
1 See Fig. No. 152.
the first king of that name, and the most energetic ruler whom the country ever had, first proceeded to this place on his way to attack his cousin King Gaja-Bahu, who reigned at Polannaruwa, from whom he hoped to acquire the sovereignty.
At that time a general, Sankha Sēnāpati, a man of great weight and valour, the most powerful general in the kingdom,' was stationed at it by the king of south-western Ceylon, with a body of troops, in order to guard the frontier districts, which then extended up to the Kala-oya. The general received the prince well, but on various pretexts continued to detain him pending the receipt of instructions from his master as to the course to be pursued regarding him. In the end, Parākrama and his men, losing patience, killed him at this fort. We find it mentioned several times afterwards during the desultory fighting of that period.
The last reference to the place is contained in an inscription which was left on a large slab on the embankment of the reservoir, by Queen Kalyanawati (1202-1208 A.D.), the widow of King Niśśanka-Malla, in the third year of her reign, that is, 1204 or 1205. In it she recorded her restoration of the tank at 'Badalagoḍa at Mahala-pura,' the old town, and her (re-)construction of a wihāra—now termed Koṭā-wēriya, from its 'short' dagaba, the Koța Waehaera-at an adjoining village, Pannala, as related in the Mahāvansa (ii, p. 268).
After this, the history of the old town relapsed into the fatal silence of all the other forgotten sites in the island, the fort was abandoned, and the inhabitants disappeared.
Another city of some interest on account of the prominence given to it by the Right Rev. Dr. Copleston in his work Buddhism (Appendix, p. 487 ff.), is Siriwaḍḍhana-nuwara, as to the position of which considerable doubt has existed owing to the vague statements regarding it in the histories. Dr. Copleston has given a summary of the history of its identification with a village called Nanbambaraya, said to be eight miles from Dambadeniya, in the North-western Province, which was the capital of the kingdom in the thirteenth century