|Historical states in|
present-day Sri Lanka
The Sinhala Kingdom or Sinhalese Kingdom refers to the one and or all of the successive Sinhalese kingdoms that existed in what is today Sri Lanka. Founded in 543 BC, the Sinhala Kingdom existed as successive kingdoms known by the city at which its administrative centre was located. These are in chronological order: the kingdoms of Tambapanni, Upatissa Nuwara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, Gampola, Kotte, Sitawaka and Kandy. The Sinhala Kingdom ceased to exist by 1815. During the period in which the Sinhala Kingdom existed, other political entities also existed in Sri Lanka, including the Jaffna kingdom, Vanni chieftaincies and the Portuguese and Dutch colonies. However, these political entities were not part of the Sinhala Kingdom.
- Kingdom of Tambapanni (543 BC–505 BC)
- Kingdom of Upatissa Nuwara (505–377 BC)
- Kingdom of Anuradhapura (377 BC – 1017 AD)
- Kingdom of Polonnaruwa (1056–1236)
- Kingdom of Dambadeniya (1220–1345)
- Kingdom of Gampola (1345–1412)
- Kingdom of Kotte (1412–1597)
- Kingdom of Sitawaka (1521–1593)
- Kingdom of Kandy (1590–1815)
References in Mahabharata
The myth about the origin of the Sinhala Tribe
*Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 177
When the sage Vasistha was attacked by king Viswamitra's army, Vasistha's cow, Kamadehnu, brought forth from her tail, an army of Pallavas, and from her udders, an army of Dravidas and Sakas; and from her womb, an army of Yavanas, and from her dung, an army of Savaras; and from her urine, an army of Kanchis; and from her sides, an army of Savaras. And from the froth of her mouth came out hosts of Paundras and Kiratas, Yavanas and Sinhalas, and the barbarous tribes of Khasas and Chivukas and Pulindas and Chinas and Hunas with Keralas,and numerous other Mlechchhas.
In the ancient Indian literature, the cow is a symbol of earth or land. Thus the myth mentioned above can be interpreted to mean that the tribes listed in the quote gathered to protect the sage Vasistha's land, against the army of king Viswamitra.
Kings present in Yudhishthira's Rajasuya Sacrifice
*Mahabharata, Book 2, Chapter 33
King Bhagadatta of Pragjyotisha accompanied by all Mlechcha tribes inhabiting the marshy regions on the sea-shore; and many mountain kings, and king Vrihadvala; and Vasudeva the king of the Paundrayas, and the kings of Vanga and Kalinga; and Akastha and Kuntala and the kings of the Malavas and the Andhrakas; and the Dravidas and the Singhalas and the king of Kashmira, and king Kuntibhoja of great energy and king Gauravahana, and all the other heroic kings of Valhika; and Virata with his two sons, and Mavella endued with great might; and various kings and princes ruling in various countries; and, king Shishupala accompanied by his son, all of them came to the (Rajasuya) sacrifice of Yudhishthira.
*Mahabharata, Book 2, Chapter 51
The Kings of Chola and Pandya, brought numberless jars of gold filled with fragrant sandal juice from the hills of Malaya, and loads of sandal and aloe wood from the Dardduras hills, and many gems of great brilliancy and fine cloths inlaid with gold. The king of the Singhalas gave those best of sea-born gems called the lapis lazuli, and heaps of pearls also, and hundreds of coverlets for elephants.
*Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 51
All kings, even those of the Vangas and Angas and Paundras and Odras and Cholas and Dravidas and Andhakas, and the chiefs of many islands and countries on the seaboard as also of frontier states, including the rulers of the Sinhalas, the barbarous mlecchas, the natives of Lanka, and all the kings of the West by hundreds, and all the chiefs of the sea-coast, and the kings of the Pahlavas and the Daradas and the various tribes of the Kiratas and Yavanas and Sakras and the Harahunas and Chinas and Tukharas and the Sindhavas and the Jagudas and the Ramathas and the Mundas and the inhabitants of the kingdom of women and the Tanganas and the Kekayas and the Malavas and the inhabitants of Kasmira, were present in obedience to your invitation, performing various offices (during Yudhishthira's Rajasuya Sacrifice). They were fighters.
Sinhalas in Kurukshetra War
*Mahabharata, Book 7, Chapter 20
The Kalingas, the Sinhalas, the Easterners, the Sudras, the Abhiras, the Daserakas, the Sakas, the Yavanas, the Kambojas, the Hangsapadas, the Surasenas, the Daradas, the Madras, and the Kalikeyas, with hundreds and thousands of elephants, steeds, chariots and foot-soldiers were stationed at the neck of Drona's Garuda Military Formation.
- Cavendish, Marshall (2007). World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 350–51. ISBN 978-0761476313.
- Bandaranayake, S. D. (1974). Sinhalese Monastic Architecture: The Viháras of Anurádhapura. Leiden: BRILL. p. 17. ISBN 9004039929.
- De Silva, K. M. (1981). A History of Sri Lanka. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0195616552.
- Blaze, L. E. (1938). History of Ceylon. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 978-8120618411.
- Manogaran, Chelvadurai (1987). Ethnic Conflict and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-0824811167.
- Malalgoda, Kitsiri (1976). Buddhism in Sinhalese Society, 1750-1900: A Study of Religious Revival and Change. University of California Press. p. 29. ISBN 0520028732.