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near Nilgala, and at the present high road to Batticaloa it is well defined. Near Nilgala it runs on an earthen embankment which is about twenty feet high near some stream-crossings; it is five feet high at the path from Nilgala, and one hundred feet wide at the base. The top of this bank appears to have been thirty or forty feet broad, or even more.
It is clear that if the true site of Wijita-pura is even approximately fixed by me, the landing-place from which it was necessary to pass through it in order to arrive at the capital cannot have been at any point on the western coast, or even on the central part of the eastern coast. We are therefore reduced to southern and south-eastern Ceylon in which to find the port where the princess disembarked, the same Gōnagāma at which Paṇḍuwāsa Dēva landed.
The name of the river, Mahā Kandara, is of little use in the quest without further corroboration of its position, there being several Kandura streams in Ceylon. But the name of the port itself may now be utilised. Where is there a Gōnagāma landing-place in southern or south-eastern Ceylon? This query is easily answered. Four miles inland from the mouth of the Kirindi river which runs past Magama or Tissa there is a natural pool still termed Gōnagama-wila, 'the Gōnagama pool.' I suggest that, taken with the other evidence, it proves that the mouth of this river was the landing-place in question. If so, the Maha Kandara river is the present Kirindi river, the old name of which in the Mahāvansa was Karinda. The 'Sambar village' which gave its name to the pool, but may have been nearer the mouth of the river, has long since disappeared.
This, then, is the place, unlikely as it may seem at the extreme south-east of Ceylon, at which the two Indian travellers, one from the same country as Wijaya, and the other from its immediate neighbourhood, landed in Ceylon. It is a fair inference that this was the usual route of the early Gangetic traders, and that the journey of Wijaya was believed to have followed the same course.
That such is the case is confirmed by the Rājāvaliya which says (p. 20), in unmistakable terms, that Paṇḍuwāsa Dēva
landed at the haven of Tammanna,' the Sinhalese name of Tambapanni city. Thus Gōnagāma was the port or haven of Tambapanņi.
It was at the same spot that Wijaya and his men landed :— 'When the ship made for land in the direction of Ruhuṇa [southern Ceylon], they saw the rock Samanta Kūṭa [Adam's Peak] while at the sea, and concluded among themselves that it was a good country to live in. Having seen the sea-coast they landed at Tammanṇā-toța, and rested beneath a Banyan. tree' (Rāj., p. 16). From the sea or the coast near Kirindi, Adam's Peak is clearly visible in fine weather, as the writer from whom this account was taken by the historian evidently was aware, or he would not have specially mentioned the fact, which itself excludes every site on the eastern coast.
Having once found this landing-place of Wijaya, Paṇḍuwāsa Dēva, and the latter's queen, the fact that the first capital was so close to it that it was termed 'the port for Tammanņa' leaves no room to doubt that the later Magama, now called Tissa, at the side of the Kirindi river, and only six miles from its mouth, was the spot selected by the settlers as the first seat of government. All the early settlements of the leading chiefs are termed gāma, ' village,' in the Mahāvansa, and the capital became the Maha-gāma, 'the Great Village' of the country. The appellation still survives as the name of a small village, Magama, on the bank of the river, between Tissa and its mouth.
The city was established along the higher ground on the left bank of the Kirindi-oya. In a slight hollow to the left of this again the Tissa reservoir or' tank' was made for supplying the place with water. Tissa appears to have been the name of a suburb on the eastern shore of the reservoir, where an inscription of about the second century A.D., cut on a pillar to record the suppression of a heresy, refers to it as Asatisa rajakaya gāma. Asatissa, the royal village.'
It is not my intention to give a description of the present state of the early cities. I shall be satisfied if I can succeed in identifying the sites of some of them, and thus clearing up certain difficulties in the early topography of the island.
Wijitapura is described as follows in the second century B.C., at the time of Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi's war: 'The fortress of Wijitapura was in this wise. It was girt about with three moats filled with water. Around it was a rampart of bronze closed by a gate of eighteen cubits. Amongst the fortresses reduced there was none like unto this. Except the city of Anuradhapura none of the other fortresses equalled it.' (Rāj., p. 38).
According to the Mahāvansa it was founded by a chief called Wijita, who accompanied Prince Wijaya to Ceylon, and it was then an extensive settlement' (Mah., i, p. 34). Panduwāsa
Dēva subsequently removed there from Upatissa-nuwara, and made it his residence in the early part of his reign (p. 37), and the brother of his queen also lived at it, probably as 'Governor,' like other princes mentioned in the histories. Thus it was evidently one of the most important towns in the country at this time. It was then abandoned by the sovereign in favour of Upatissa, and it does not re-appear in history until the war of Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi; nor after he captured it is it again mentioned until the twelfth century A.D.
The measurements of some of the bricks still to be found at Polannaruwa prove that buildings of pre-Christian date existed there or in its immediate neighbourhood; but beyond this meagre evidence which they have preserved nothing further is known of the early settlement at this town on the greatest highway in the kingdom. Its position on this route was too commanding, however, for it to be totally given up; and in all probability the new city, Polannaruwa, merely supplanted the old one.
In the Mahavansa (i, p. 34) it is stated that the chiefs under Wijaya settled down at important stations throughout the country. Thereafter the followers of the prince formed an establishment, each for himself, all over Sihala 1 [Ceylon].
1 The Vaeddas still use this expression to designate the districts occupied by Sinhalese. The Sinhalese expression for the island is Lankā or Lankāwa.
On the bank of the Kadamba river [the Malwatta-oya], the celebrated village called after one of his followers Anuradha. To the north thereof, near that deep river, was the village of the brahmanical Upatissa, called Upatissa. Then the extensive settlements of Uruwēla and Wijita, each subsequently a city. Thus these followers, having formed many settlements, giving to them their own names, thereafter having held a consultation, solicited their ruler to assume the office of sovereign.'
Of these towns, neither Upatissa nor Uruwēla has been identified. Upatissa is described in the Dipavansa (p. 162) in eulogistic terms :-' Upatissa founded Upatissa nagara, which had well-arranged markets, which was prosperous, opulent, large, charming, and lovely.' It ought to be discovered when the ruins along the course of the Malwatta-oya have been completely explored.
A highway formerly ran northward from Anuradhapura through what is now the Northern Province, the ancient Nāgadīpa. It crossed the Malwatta-oya by a bridge formed at the ends by stone posts fixed in rocks in the bed of the river, a few of them being still visible at the banks, according to information given to me by villagers. It passed immediately below the embankment of a large and very early reservoir, now called Pavat-kulam, the original name of which is unknown. Across the water which escaped over the waste weir or flood escape, the road was carried by means of another bridge consisting of stone beams, laid on stone posts, part of it still remaining at the spot (Fig. No. 125). It is extremely probable that this great highway, a continuation of that from Tissa, was carried through or close past Upatissa-nuwara, the only large town which is described as being north of Anuradhapura. I believe, however, that no ruins likely to be the remains of such a city have been found as yet.
After a lapse of more than two thousand years the ground occupied by the early houses will doubtless be covered by an accumulation of soil. At Anuradhapura, the floors of many buildings the majority of which must have belonged to postChristian times have been buried under two or three feet of soil. Only slight mounds, or the ends of a few broken stone
posts may be visible at the surface as an indication of the site of what may once have been an extensive town. Even at Tissa, which was an important town down to the twelfth century A.D., nothing but the excavation of an irrigation channel revealed the portion of the city which once must have been thickly covered by the ordinary houses of the populace, now traceable merely by a layer of ashes, and bits of charcoal, and fragments of pottery some three feet in depth, which was entirely hidden under a coating of soil over which a dense growth of thorny jungle had spread. There was no mound of any kind to show that houses had formerly existed at the spot.
When it is considered that all the dwellings, with the exception of those devoted to the Buddhist monks, and perhaps also to royalty, would be made of mere sticks and mud, or, at the best, of wood alone, it is easy to comprehend that all trace of a great city may totally disappear from view in a few centuries, unless some prominent Buddhist ruins attract attention to the site. Still, it is always somewhat surprising to discover how completely these early cities disappear from view, while many insignificant hamlets, with their little mud-walled huts under the shelter of their ancestral trees, are found still occupying the spot on which they were established, in some cases more than two thousand years ago, with the inhabitants doubtless leading nearly the same simple life as their distant forefathers.
At a few miles to the north-west of the great north road, and three miles south of the Malwatta-oya, there was an extensive and very early monastery at a place now known as Tantiri-malei, a wilderness of rocks about a quarter of a mile across. The bricks in the dãgaba are 3:23 inches thick and 9.04 inches wide, Bt. being 29.2, and the length either 18 inches, making the contents 525 cubic inches; or, if it was six times the thickness, 19.38 inches, which would make the
1 Reference is made to it in Mr. Bell's Annual Report for 1896, pp. 7 and 8. He met with an inscription which is cut in the rock there, for which I made unsuccessful search on my visit ten years previously; but he does not state its contents.