Parakramabahu VI of Kotte

Parâkramabâhu VI (1410/1412/1415–1467) was a king in the Sri Lankan kingdom of Kotte. He is the last great king in Sri Lanka who managed to unite the island under one flag.[1] His rule is famous for the political stability which he maintained in that time period and the thriving of literature, especially poetry. Classical literature (prose and verse) as well as many rock inscriptions and royal grant letters (patent letters, sannas) have been found, rendering much information pertaining to this period.

Parakramabahu VI
King of Kotte
Obverse coin of Parakramabahu VI (left); Reverse coin of Parakramabahu VI (right)
ReignA.D 1412-1467
SuccessorJayabahu II of Kotte
SpouseQueen Consort Swarnamanikya
(a Kirawalle Princess)

Queen Consort Madura
(another Kirawelle Princess)

Royal Consort Subadhra
IssueCrown Princess Ulakudaya Devi/Lokanatha

Princess Chandrawathi

Prince Siriwardhana Jayamahalena/ Parakramabahu Jnr./ Prince Kanitu Rukule (කනිටු රුකුලේ කුමරු) < /ref>si:ශ්‍රී වර්ධන

Adopted sons

Prince Sapumal (සපුමල් කුමරු) later King Bhuvanaikabahu VI of Kotte,

Prince Ambulugala (අම්බුළුගල කුමරු) later king Parakramabahu VIII of Kotte

Prince Rahula/Jayaba also known as Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera
HouseHouse of Siri Sanga Bo
FatherLord Lameni Jayamahalena
MotherMother Queen Sunethra Devi

Early life

His father was Lameni Jayamahalena, and his mother was Sunethra Maha Devi. If so, he is the grandson of Parakramabahu V, who was Savulu Vijayabahu's son. Savulu Vijayabahu was the fifth to go by the name Vijayabahu. Another scholar states that Jayamahalena was the grandfather of Parakramabahu VI. However, he is supposed to belong to the family, that came after Parakramabahu V.[2]



Parakramabahu VI was allied with Ming China who forcibly dethroned Alakeshvara in favor of Anndra Megan Jeyashankar .[3][4] As documented in Chinese records, Parakramabahu VI was elected by the Sinhalese present at the Ming court, nominated by the Ming emperor, and installed by Admiral Zheng He with the backing of his fleet.[4]

During his reign, economic relations between the Ming dynasty and the Kotte kingdom increased; he sent alteast five diplomatic missions to China in order to confirm that sea piracy in the Sea of Kotte had been abolished.[5] The Galle Trilingual inscription was also placed by Zheng He during this period.[6]


King Parakramabahu VI suppressed the revolts in Malayarata. The chiefs of Vanni who wielded power there, were defeated by this king.[7] In 1435, a south Indian invasion from the Vijayanagara Empire, is recorded. Sri Lankan sources say that the king that started the invasion successfully but south Indian records contradict this. Soon after this time, king Parâkramabâhu VI directed a naval attack on south Indian ports, resulting from a dispute that arose after the incident of stealing a cargo ship by an Indian called Rayan Malavar around the year 1443.[8]

Conquering Yapa Patuna

This battle was led by king Parâkramabâhu VI's adopted son, Prince Sapumal. Selalihini Sandeshaya[9] records that the prince returned after winning the Yapa Patuna (Jaffna), about year 1449. The king took advantage that AryaChakravarthi could no longer get military assistance from Vijayanagara. As troops advanced across Mannar to Jaffna by land, naval forces must have cut south Indian assistance by patrolling the Palk Strait. The first fierce battle happened in JavaKotte (Chavakacheri) near Elephant pass. Later Jaffna was attacked and Arya chakravarthi was forced to retreat to India.[10][11]


In year 1463, there was a rebellion in the hill country and Sena sammatha Wikramabahu became king of Senkadagala. The king died in 1467. And his grand son Jayabahu VI became king. But this was followed by much political turmoil. The stability of king Parâkramabâhu VI would not return for centuries to come.

Contribution to literature

He also played a main role in the contribution to literature. King Parakramabahu VI showed a great interest in literature and arts. Also the offering of Royal favour is influenced to flourish of Sinhalese Literature. His period is considered as the Golden Era in Sinhalese Literature. That was the heyday of 'Sandesha Poetry.'

Contribution to Buddhism

He had built a 'Dalada Maligawa', a 3-floor building that became the repository of tooth relic. In addition to that he constructed a temple in honour of his mother and it is presently the Sunethradevi Pirivena at Pepiliyana.

See also



  1. "Sri Lanka - Kotte - 1415-1521".
  2. "History".
  3. Ray, Haraprasad (1987). "An Analysis of the Chinese Maritime Voyages into the Indian Ocean during Early Ming Dynasty and their Raison d'Etre". China Report. 23 (1): 74–75. doi:10.1177/000944558702300107. S2CID 154116680.
  4. Holt, John Clifford (1991). Buddha in the Crown: Avalokiteśvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 109–110. ISBN 0-19-506418-6..
  5. Hall, Kenneth R (2010). "Ports-of-Trade, Maritime Diasporas, and Networks of Trade and Cultural Integration in the Bay of Bengal Region of the Indian Ocean: c. 1300-1500". Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Empires and Emporia: The Orient in World Historical Space and Time. 53 (1): 109–145. doi:10.1163/002249910X12573963244287. JSTOR 25651214.
  6. Duyvendak, J. J. L. (1939). "The True Dates of the Chinese Maritime Expeditions in the Early Fifteenth Century". T'oung Pao. 34 (5): 369. doi:10.1163/156853238X00171. JSTOR 4527170.
  7. "Mahavamsa".
  8. A. S. F. Weerasuriya, Kurukula Charithaya, p.232-8 (1960) Sujatha Publishers
  9. Dhammika, Shravasti (2008). Sacred Island: A Buddhist Pilgrim's Guide to Sri Lanka. ISBN 9789552402715.
  10. The fifteenth century route to Yapa Patuna Archived 2015-11-20 at the Wayback Machine, Padma EDIRISINGHE (Sunday Observer) Retrieved 20 November 2015
  11. "Portuguese encounter with King of Kotte in 1517". Denis N. Fernando. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.


  • Shrilankave Ithihasaya, Department of educational publications, Sri Lanka.
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