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Saturday, August 8, 2009

General Information of Kotte

Kotte is an ancient city in the chronicle of Ceylon. The period between 1400-1597 AD is considered to be the KOTTE PERIOD. A according to historical evidence available, a merchant by the name of Alakeshwara was the first ruler of Kotte. However, the Kingdom of Kotte was first established by king Parakrama bahu the 6th who ruled who ruled whole island including jafna.For a period of over two decades, Jaffna was under the writ of the Kingdom of Kotte administered by Prince Sapumal. After the reign of Parakramabahu V1 the Kingdom of Kotte was sub divided into several provincial Kingdom.

The Portuguese invasion of Ceylon took place during this period. The Kotte rule which began with Weera Parakramabahu, Wijayabahu and Buwanekabahu, ended with King don Juan Dharmapala handing over the kingdom to the Portuguese in 1597.The city, which ruled a whole Island during the reign of king Parakramabahu V1 later, became a provincial kingdom bordered by the Deduruoya from the north and the Walawe Ganga from the south.The fortress of kotte was built by Nissanka Alakeshwara, a nobleman of kotte.He named it Sri Jayawardanapura kotte. It was built on a strip of land then known as "Darugama" bordering Diyawanna oya and kolonna oya from either side, which later came to be known as kotte.Kotte was a prosperous city in the ancient days. Situated 6 miles from the commercial port of Colombo trading was done by using waterways and rivers.It became important after king Parakramabahu established his rule by bringing it as the capital of the kingdom.

In 1567 king Dharmapala abandoned the city and shifted his residence to the Portuguese Fort in Colombo. After king Rajasinghe destroyed the city of kotte, it was neglected until the 19th century.Though kotte is an ancient city there are hardly any archeological remains that could be found today. This may be due to the invasions by the Portuguese.However the ruins of the moat, the fortress, palace of the sub king, are some of the historical sites which can still be seen.

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