Aggabodhi I and Aggabodhi II are the only rulers in the second half of the first millennium who were important initiators of irrigation projects. Both Aggabodhis also rebuilt many stupas and monasteries. Apart from the reigns of Dhatusena in the 5th and Mogallana II in the 6th century, the reigns of the two successive Aggabodhis are the only interlude of stability and control of the entire island in the 5th to 7th century, centuries which were otherwise marked by numerous changes of rulers in Anuradhapura due to palace intrigues and civil wars.
Aggabodhi is called “Agbo” in Sinhala language, a name given to Aggabodhi II is “Kuda Agbo”, meaning “Little Agbo”.
According to wikipedia, the reign of Aggabodhi I lasted from from 564 to 598.
He succeeded his elder brother Mahanaga as King of Anuradhapura. Mahanaga had previously been a local ruler in Rohana, which was the southern part of the island. Mahanaga managed to take over power in Anuradhapura after a period of reigns of kings of the Lambakanna race, which was the Moriya royal family’s rival within the Sinhalese nobility. With Mahanaga the Moriyas came to power again.
Aggabodhi I built a tank called Kurundu Wewa, which is otherwise unknown. Perhaps it was located in the very north of his realm, even north of Padawiya. Others identify it with the Giant’s Tank at the northwestern coast. Furthermore, Aggabodhi I is reported to have constructed a dam at Minipe and from there a long canal that conveyed the water right up to Kantalai, thus restoring Mahasena's canal to Minneriya, the famous Elahera channel, which is the first part of this canal from Minipe to Kantalai.
Later chronicles such as the Pujavaliya mention twelve poets as flourishing during the reign of Aggabodhi I. The Chulavamsa part of the Mahavamsa chronicle also reports, that this king suppressed the Vaitulya “heresy”, which had been adopted nearly forty years early by the monks of the Jetavanarama monastery again, after it had played an important role already in the period, when this third large monastery of Anuradhapura had been established in the late 3rd or century.
In the course 7th century, the Anuradhapura Kingdom was divided into administrational units, of these divisions Dakkhinadesa in the area of today’s Kurunegala District became the largest in size. It was since the time of Aggabodhi I that Dakkhinadesa was entrusted to the heir to the throne, the “Mahapa”, and therefore became to be called the Mahaparata as opposed to the Rajarata, the king's division. Dakkhinadesa alias Mahaparata soon became so important that, along with Rajarata and Rohana, it was one of the three main centres of Sinhalese civilization on the island.
Aggabodhi I was succeeded by his nephew and son in law Aggabodhi II, whose reign, according to wikipedia, lasted from 598 to 608.
Aggabodhi II is the last ruler of the Anuradhapura period who is credited with the construction of large tanks, Kantalai between Habarana and Trincomalee and Giritale between Habarana and Polonnaruwa being his major achievements. Altogether fourteen tanks were constructed during his reign. Aggabodhi II also rebuilt the Thuparama as a circular stupa house, an early Chetiyaghara, and he constructed six new monasteries. Aggabodhi II also added a dormitory to the Abhayagiri Vihara and called it “Dathaggabodi”, combining the names of his Queen Datha and himself. The solid granite monolith called “rice boat” in the Mahapali alms-hall in Anuradhapura’s citadel is also ascribed to Aggabodhi II.
During the time of this second Aggabodhi’s rule the king of Kalinga (in today’s Odisha state), who was horrified by war in his homeland in India, fled to Lanka to become a Buddhist monk here. He was accompanied by his queen and chief minister, who also entered the order. The Indian warrior who seems to have been the one who drove him out, was the mightiest ruler of the Chalukya dynasty, Pulakesin II (609-55), who managed to dominate the entire Indian peninsula called Dekkhan.
Aggabodhi II was succeeded by his younger brother Sanghatissa II, who was overthrown by a member of the Lambakanna race, Moggallana III. The death of Aggabodhi II was followed by what can be called the worst period of turmoil in the Anuradhapura kingdom. Between 614 and 650, each of seven successive kings had to face either a rebellion from within or an invasion from South India. A characteristic of this period is the growing influence of Tamil mercenaries.
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