Kingdom of Kotte


The Kingdom of Kotte was a Sinhalese kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 15th century. Kotte was founded as a fortress by Minister Alakesvar.

Parakramabahu VI, who become the king of Raigama in 1412, made Kotte his capital in 1415. The King upgraded the existing citadel and built a new royal palace. Kotte, under the rule of Parakramabahu VI, conquered the Jaffna kingdom and the Vanni principalities, and brought the country under one flag. . It led to a punitive invasion against the Vijayanagar dynasty and captured a port, which was converted to a trade route.

The Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka in 1505, landing in Galle Harbour. Once they learnt that they had arrived in Sri Lanka, they sailed to Colombo. They were taken by a tortuous route to the capital, Kotte. During this meeting, the Portuguese managed to secure a trade agreement with the Kotte king.


Kotte was the golden era of Sri Lanka's Literature, royal patronage was given to literature paving way to a golden age of literature in the island. The giant pillars that had brightened and elevated Sinhala literature to the peak are Ven. Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera, Ven. Wattawe Thera and Ven. Weedagama Maithree Thera. Thousands of books were written during this time. Royal patronage was given to literature paving way to a golden age of literature in the island.

Demise of Kotte Kingdom

Kotte Kingdom's downfall began with an event in 1521 that became known as the "Wijayaba Kollaya". The Kotte King Vijayabahu VII's three sons mutinied and killed their father dividing the kingdom among themselves. This gave rise to three minor kingdoms, Kotte, Sitawaka and Principality of Raigama. In 1565, the capital of Kotte was abandoned by Dharmapala of Kotte due to frequent attacks from the Kingdom of Sitawaka. In 1597 Dharmapala gifted the Kotte Kingdom to the Portuguese throne and the Kotte era was officially ended.

【Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】

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