According to the chronicles, Sri Lanka’s second Sinhalese king, Panduvasudeva, married Baddha-Kacchayana, a daughter of a cousin of the Buddha, Pandu. She arrived in Sri Lanka accompanied by her brothers from the Sakya family.
Panduvasudeva was succeeded by his son Abhaya, who was the eldest of ten brothers.
They had a sister called Chitra. A sage prophesied that a son born of this princess would kill nine of his uncles and then claim the throne. To prevent this from happening, nine brother wanted to kill her. But Abhaya decided to spare Chitra. She was hold in captivity to keep her away from all males. But her cousin Digha-Gamini managed to meet her. And a son was born and named Pandukabhaya. Chitra, aware that her son would be killed by her brothers, exchanged babies with a woman who had just given birth to a baby girl. Only her mother knew of the secret exchange.
The hidden Prince Pandukabhaya was brought up as a herdsman’s son in a village called Doramadalawa near Mihintale. That same year, King Panduvasudeva died and his eldest son, Abhaya, became the new king.
But after some years rumours reached his uncles about a boy in that herdsman’s village who showed signs of being of royal background. They sent out their soldiers to kill all boys in the village while they were bathing in a pond. Several young villagers were murdered. But Pandukabhaya had been hiding and managed to escape. When rumours reached them again of a hidden prince, they attempted again to have him killed and again failed.
Pandukabhaya was then educated by a Brahmin holy man called Pandula. Pandula’s son Canda became the prince’s closest friend. When Pandukabhaya was old enough to become king, he left his tacher, who gave him money to enrol soldiers, and began warfare against his uncles to claim his right to the throne. When Abhaya sent a letter with money to his beloved nephew to ask him to leave the country, Abhaya’s enraged brothers forced him to abdicate in favour of his younger brother Tissa.
During Pandukabhaya’s campaign, which took seventeen years, eight of his uncles were slain, most of them by Canda. Only Abhaya, who never was evil-minded, and Girikandasiva, who was Pandukabhaya’s father in law, were spared. So Pandukabhaya finally ascended the throne. He is said to have reigned 70 years. He appointed his uncle Abhaya headman of his city.
It was Pandukabhaya who made Anuradhapura the capital of the Sinhalese kingdom. Pandukabhaya is credited with the constructed the Abhaya tank near the later Abhayanagiri monastery. The still existing oldest tank of Anuradhapura is now called Basavakkulam. In the twelfth year of his reign Pandukabhaya fixed the boundaries of the villages in all parts of Lanka. ending the conflict between the Sinha migrants an and the local community. Pandukabhaya was succeeded by his son Mutasiva.
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