is part of a continuing series on the 'Mahavamsa,' the recorded
chronicle of Sri Lankan history
Chola rule comes to an end
1. The Sinhala soldiers got the gates of the Chola camp opened. With their swords drawn they entered the camp. The fighting began. The weapons clashed at lightening speed. Chola soldiers died as their limbs were just chopped off. The entire place turned into a pool of blood. The Sinhala army hoisted their flag and began to sing, to rejoice over their victory.
2. We should remember that for nearly 50 years, the entire 'Pihiti-Rata' was under Chola rule, which began in 1029 AD. Now the country was completely freed and there was no more foreign domination. The power of the Sinhalese spread throughout the country. In villages, provinces and all other areas the people began to celebrate. The outside world too noticed this victory of the Sinhala armies.
3. The Chola rulers of South India, now began to accept the military power of the Sinhala people and decided never to invade again. King Vijayabahu, on his part, began reconstructing the city of Anuradhapura. He made it the capital once more and decentralized power.
4. The king appointed the commanders who fought well against the Cholas, as rulers of provinces. The rest were also recognized by giving them posts as village leaders. The king held a great pooja to the Sri Maha Bodhi. Vast crowds of devotees participated in this religious ceremony. The king lived in Anuradhapura for three more months, getting involved in reconstruction activities, just like the kings before him.
5. Meanwhile, preparations were made for his coronation ceremony. A minister was appointed to be in charge. By this time, the king had completed 14 years as Yuvaraja. Then he came back to Polonnaruwa. There were some Sinhala leaders, who were still loyal to the Cholas and they did not tolerate the accession of King Vijayabahu to power.
6. There were some, who had worked under the Cholas and gained various positions. There were others, who had made enough money, by being supportive of the Cholas. These people had even collected small armies of their own. When King Vijayabahu came to power, he abolished all these posts and closed all avenues of their income. This made them hate the king. They were awaiting a chance to take revenge.
7. The king knew all this, but pretended to be unaware of it. He was extra careful but carried on, with his reconstruction programme. Tanks, canals and other buildings that were broken down by the invaders, were repaired. While this work was going on, a commander named Aadimalaya, rose up against the king. As he had his own army, he declared war. He came to Polonnaruwa to fight King Vijayabahu.
8. He came close to Polonnaruwa and set up camp. He began to set fire to the homes in the neighbourhood villages and caused distress to people. King Vijayabahu was getting greatly offended. He came with his army and gave a good fight. Before long, Aadimalaya had to die, at the hands of the king.